Monday, October 29, 2018

The Coffee Heiress, Part 2: Gibbie's Books

Other Posts: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Final

Q (Bugliosi): What happened next?

A (Atkins): Tex told me to go into the bedrooms -- the other rooms, he didn't say bedrooms -- go in and see if there was anybody else in the house. I went into two bedrooms, walked past one room and saw a woman sitting wearing glasses reading a book. She looked at me and smiled and I looked at her and smiled.

( Susan Atkins Grand Jury Testimony (Kindle Locations 472-481). Kindle Edition.)

Abigail Folger was a voracious reader. In 1967 she travelled to New York City to work at one the most iconic book stores ever: The Gotham Book Mart in New York City. By all reports, she read constantly. She was seldom seen without a book. Reading was her passion; a passion she shared with her mother. 

The last evening of her life Abigail Folger was sitting in bed, reading a book. We know this because of Susan Atkins' testimony. But the question remains, what book was Gibbie reading that night? 

The answer may lie in the probate court file regarding her estate. On July 10, 1969 Abigail Folger purchased 12 paperbacks and three hardcover books at the Pickwick Bookshop located at 6743 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. The invoice for those books appears below. The receipt was submitted by the shop as a ‘claim’ against Abigail's estate and was paid by her father. 

These are the three hardcover books she purchased: 

Kingdom and Power: Behind the Scenes at The New York Times: The Institution That Influences the World, Gay Talese (1969)

The Dolphin Smile (Twenty-nine Centuries of Dolphin Lore), Eleanor Devine and Martha Clark (1967)

Man and Dolphin, John Cunningham Lilly (1961)

Aside from confirming her passion for reading (she bought 15 books!), two of the three books are interesting for another reason. 

In July 1969, Roman Polanski was in London working on the screenplay for a movie based upon the book, The Day of the Dolphin by Robert Merle. Polanski never finished the screenplay and withdrew from the project after Sharon Tate’s death. 

The final version of the film actually bears very little resemblance to the book. Instead, George C. Scott’s character and the communicating dolphin premise behind the storyline were taken rather directly from the work of John Cunningham Lilly the author of Man and Dolphin

Dr. John Cunningham Lilly was an American physician, neuroscientist, psychoanalyst, philosopher, writer, inventor and psychonaut. That last one means he was a nut case. 

Lilly believed he could find a way to talk to dolphins. He believed the sounds dolphins made above and below water were actually a complex language and the problem was not on their end, they were trying to communicate, but on our inability to figure out what they were saying. In 1960-61 our military apparently saw some merit in the theory and Lilly’s project was funded to the tune of $500,000 a year by the government and in particular by the U.S. Navy. That was a lot of money in 1960. 

Lilly’s efforts to connect with the dolphins initially resulted in him killing several because he failed to recognize, until after a half dozen tries, that the dolphins quit breathing under the anesthetic. The dolphins were being anesthetized so Lilly could drill electrodes into their brains. That idea failed to accomplish communication between man and dolphin. 

When the electrodes proved unsuccessful he then switched to using a sensory deprivation tank to ‘connect’ with the dolphins. His experiments with the tank would provide the inspiration for Paddy Chayefsky's 1978 novel, Altered States, later adapted into a movie by director Ken Russell but it did not further dolphins-human discourse.

At one point, Lilly even came up with the creative idea that if he and the dolphin both were on LSD in the deprivation tank that they might be able to connect in that heightened state of awareness. That too failed to produce results. 

At another point one of his assistants allegedly had sex with a dolphin in an effort to find a breakthrough. All efforts proved unsuccessful. 

However, despite his reputation today, in the 1960s Lilly and his dolphins were a national and indeed an international, phenomenon. The TV show ‘Flipper’ was also inspired by his work. 

It seems rather clear that a Lilly-inspired version of Day of the Dolphin was Polanski’s original plan for the movie. That is also the final storyline. George C. Scott plays a Lilly-like character who teaches the dolphins to speak English with a limited vocabulary. 

Sometime after Polanski became associated with the project he promised Wojciech Frykowski a ‘staff’ role in the film and according to Polanski was reading books about dolphins shortly before the murders.  

“Recently since I was preparing this (inaudible), I told him [Frykowski] because I saw that he was a little uptight doing nothing next to this girl [Abigail] like a kid. I said, “Believe me, you will have job on my staff” and a few letters I got in London from him were full of enthusiasm about this thing. He’s reading books about dolphins because that was the subject and he has ideas and he can’t wait and he was really loved me that guy, you know?”

(Lt. Earl Deemer interview of Roman Polanski (polygraph) August 16, 1969.) 

Abigail likely discussed the film project with Frykowski (or maybe even Polanski or Sharon Tate) around July10th and learned about Lilly's connection to the film. She then purchased Lilly’s book, probably for Frykowski. Lilly and his work is also extensively discussed in The Dolphin Smile, the more recent work. It appears then that these two dolphin-related books were purchased for Frykowski as background, to bring him up to speed on Polanski's project. The Day of the Dolphin was to be Frykowski's entree into the film industry, even if only on a limited basis.

Although she could have been reading one of the paperbacks, Kingdom and Power: Behind the Scenes at The New York Times: The Institution That Influences the World by Gay Talese is likely the book Gibbie was reading that night. Not exactly ‘light’ reading.

The image to the left is a book actually purchased by Abigail Folger in the fall of 1968. The book contains two works by the author Nathaniel West: A Cool Million and The Dream Life of Balso Snell. Both stories give a little insight into Abigail and her sense of humor. 

Nathaniel West wrote a series of books during the 1930’s that were intended to be comic satires of the Horatio Alger books of the late 1800’s; books that exhorted young men (only men) to go forth into the world and make their fortune. Ragged Dick, the most popular of Alger’s tales, for example, tells the story of a vagabond boy who through a series of fortunate coincidences and sheer determination pulls himself by his bootstraps to become the wealthy and respectable Richard Hunter, Esq. (an unfortunate name if you ponder it for a moment). 

West’s books follow the Horatio Alger storyline but with typically disastrous results, reflecting the times when he was writing. While I have never read The Dream Life of Balso Snell, I have read A Cool Million, actually titled A Cool Million: The Dismantling of Lemuel Pitkin for good reason. 

A Cool Million, as its subtitle suggests, is about the physical 'dismantling’ of the protagonist, Lemuel Pitkin, piece by piece. Lemuel sets out on the road like a good Horatio Alger figure to get money to pay his mother’s mortgage. He encounters a character named Mr. "Shagpoke Whipple, a former president of the United States, who tells him to work hard and persevere and good things will come his way. Lemuel accepts the challenge with dire consequences.

During the course of his quest, Lemuel is arrested, falsely accused of a crime and thrown in prison barely avoiding a life sentence for a crime he didn’t commit. He loses his thumb, teeth, one eye, one leg and his scalp while trying to accomplish his goal. The girl of his dreams, Betty Prail, is sexually assaulted, kidnapped and sold as a sex slave. A native American he encounters and befriends named Jack Raven is lynched by a crowd in Mississippi. Lemuel never accomplishes his goal. His mother loses her home. Even when he manages to collect any cash he is robbed.

In the end Lemuel is a performer in a vaudeville-like show where ‘losing’ his artificial parts is his ‘role’. Before one final show Whipple, who appears throughout the book, sends a messenger to Lemuel informing him that Whipple’s National Revolutionary Party is taking over NYC and gives him a speech to read to announce the event.Lemuel reads two lines before he is shot from the crowd. 

Lemuel gains some success posthumously: as the martyr of the National Revolutionary Party, also known as the 'Leather Shirts', an organization he never embraced. The book ends with marching young men singing songs about Lemuel and chanting “Hail!”

As one critic has said:

“However, West makes a viable point about the American Dream. It is a well-constructed myth backed by air and dream clouds, and perhaps stories of the lucky few. He reveals the timeless truth that everyone wants so desperately to ignore: the American Dream is one great big, lie, well-advertised for the sake of developing economy and putting to work little hopeful bees. And all the while, as vaguely sickening and bizarre as Lem’s experiences are, West’s humor is catching. The ridiculous racist gestures, poking ridicule, and hysterical happenings, all drawn in such nonchalance as if the world was built off an M.C. Escher drawing and walking sideways was standard practice; no one is spared from West’s mocking. Every character is wholly a part of West’s strange view of America, and each fits in just perfectly.”

And as to The Dream Life of Balso Snell:

“The title character, a lyric poet, takes a nightmare tour through the bowels of the Trojan Horse, meeting a series of failed and frustrated writers along the way. Each surrealistic episode underscores the futility of the literary vocation and gleefully mocks the pipe dreams of amateurs who aspire to wealth and immortality. 

Deborah Wyrick, one of the book's few defenders, sums up the novel's customary place in the West corpus: "critics agree that it is formless, chaotic, a juvenile pastiche of bathroom jokes, college magazine parody, and borrowings from contemporary avant-garde authors"

Abigail took notes throughout the book. She gave the book to a teenager whom she met through his mother, a friend in Los Angeles. You can hear more about the book, here:

I think Abigail’s choice of this book revels something about her. A Cool Million is not for everyone. The reader encounters rape, scalping, lynching, racism and, foreshadowing today, anti-immigrant politics. The subjects are presented with dark nihilistic humor. There is no ‘happy ending’ and West certainly does not offer even a glimmer of hope. 

I also believe the book provides a glimpse of how Abigail may have actually felt about the problems she confronted through her volunteer social work. It seems to me that Abigail may have felt the situation was hopeless. There is certainly a hint of that in this quote that has been attributed to her: 

"A lot of social workers go home at night, take a bath and wash their day off, I can't. The suffering gets under your skin".

While some point to this quote as evidence of her dedication, remember, she quit.

At the same time, I think her choice of books may reveal the depth of the conflict she likely experienced because of her ‘inherited’ socio-economic status. Abigail was a member of the "1% Club". She certainly was never going to have to work a day in her life.

Her book choices reveal an interest in the structures of the establishment. She had purchased Gay Talese's book about the intrigues and personalities of the New York Times. The inner workings of the New York Times and its ability to shape public opinion likely would not appeal to many.

Her reading choices also reveal a certain level of rebellion against that same 'establishment'. While she was born into the upper crust, West's books may have given a voice to her concerns about the plight of those less fortunate than her. West may, initially, have encouraged her to get involved. Then again, it may be that her experiences as a volunteer social worker simply confirmed a belief she held, like West, that the American Dream was a fiction, for most. 

She certainly abandoned the path of volunteerism after Tom Bradley's failed May 1969 mayoral campaign. After that she seems to have increased her level of 'self-medication' while at the same time she was seeing a therapist five days a week. And those facts, I believe, reveal the depths of her internal struggles and is evidence she suffered from depression.

Pax vobiscum


Monday, October 22, 2018

Charles Manson's Mother

Ada Kathleen Maddox was born January 11, 1918 in Morehead, Rowan County, Kentucky to Charles Milles Maddox and Nancy (Nannie) Lorraine (Ingraham).  Kathleen, as she was known to family and friends, had two older sisters, Glenna and Aileene, and an older brother, Luther.  Aileene died at age 20 in 1933.  Charles Milles Maddox was a conductor for the railroad.

In 1933 the Maddox family minus Kathleen's father, who died in 1931, were living in a home located at 2105 Hilton Avenue in Ashland Kentucky.  The home as it looks today....

Kathleen and her siblings had a typical 1920/30's era Kentucky working class family upbringing complete with her mother's staunch belief in the Nazarene Church.  The religion disapproved of movies, dancing, swearing, drinking alcohol and fooling around with the opposite sex.  You know, the kind of thing that just sends some people directly in the opposite direction.  Kathleen and her brother Luther were two of those people.

Kathleen, as a young teen, began sneaking out across the Ohio River to Ironton OH from her home in Ashland Kentucky.  Ironton had a dance hall and drinking establishment named Ritzy Ray Rainbow Room where she could enjoy all the forbidden activities she craved, away from the wagging tongues of Ashland and her mother's ears.  It was there that Kathleen met Colonel Walker Scott.
(Appalachian Murders and Mysteries compiled and edited by James M. Gifford and Edwina Pendarvis 2016 page 231)

Thus began what was to become one of the most enduring true crime murder stories in our life times.

Ritzy Ray Rainbow Room still stands today but it has been remodeled and turned into a bowling alley and skating rink.

Perhaps if you are ever in that neck of the woods you can go by Spare Time Bowling and Skating and ponder for a few minutes what quite possibly took place in the parking lot 83+ years ago.

The story of Kathleen and her amateurish attempt at motherhood is probably best told by posting the only interview she ever gave regarding her son Charles.  The interview was conducted by Los Angeles Times staff reporter Dave Smith and ran on the front page of the January 26 1971 edition of the newspaper.  The article will be broken up with commentary and documentation.


Let Others, 'Usually Women,' Do His Work, She Remembers

She looks older than her 53 years and feels 90, she says. Thin and slightly hunched from emphysema that keeps her from working, she still smokes heavily.

Sometimes, when fear keeps her sitting up all night, tiredness the next day knocks her mind off-guard. Then the constant tension catches her in spasms, making her shake so badly she can hardly pick up a tea- cup or light her cigarets.

She is the mother of Charles Manson.

Since his arrest , in November, 1969, for the slayings of actress Sharon Tate and six others, she has heard herself described as the worst kind of tramp and bad mother, whose son went wrong because he was so cruelly deprived.

If anything, it was just the opposite, she knows. But she kept silent and hidden, thinking back over the past and realizing, she says now, that her worst mistake with her infamous son was an overindulgence that became a law of life, even a necessity, to Charles Manson.

Never Worked or Fought

In the Charles Manson who sent his disciples out to kill, she can recognize one strong trait in the little boy she remembers—the charming boy who never worked or fought for what he wanted, but let others, usually women, do it for him.

Married five years to her third husband and mother of a little girl from her second marriage, she lives today virtually in hiding, known only to her husband, a few relatives and one woman friend.

Located by The Times, she consented to an interview—the first she has ever given—with a plea that her name, even the state where she lives, not be identified. We will call her Mrs. Manson.

"They'd pick me to pieces, and I could take that," she says, "but it's for my little girl's sake. She doesn't know any of this, and I've hoped I could keep it quiet until she's older. If I can just have three more years, then it'll be blown over a little, and she'll be 12, more able to understand. Then my husband and I will tell her."

Even then, it will be a tall order for a 12-year-old to absorb. The girl will learn of a half-brother she was too young to remember, but who spoke proudly of "my baby sister" and then went on to notoriety in one of the most pointless, vicious massacres of the century.
She will hear descriptions-here-to-fore unchallenged—of a mother said to have been a teen-age prostitute who didn't know who fathered Charles Manson; an ex-convict sent to prison with her brother for beating and robbing men she hustled in riverfront bars in Cincinnati, an alcoholic who lived with so many different men that even her son, already delinquent himself, moved out in disgust, and an indifferent, abusive mother whose neglect and cruelty planted seeds of violence in a sensitive and deprived boy.

Frank About Her Past

That is the general picture that until now has been drawn of Manson's early years.

But that is not the way it was, according to his mother.

Mrs. Manson speaks frankly about her past, denying some points and admitting others in a thin, weary voice that retains the country accents of her native Ashland, Kentucky.

"Charles was born out of wedlock," she admits, "but it wasn't just any man. I wasn't a prostitute, I've never been a prostitute. I was just 15 years old and a dumb kid.

"But my mother was a very strict woman, very religious, so when me and my sister got a few years on us. I guess we had a tendency to be a little wild, the way kids will."But I didn't go around with men that way, and when Charles came along, that had happened twice in in my life. And I was really in love with Colonel Scott. He was a lot older than me, 24, and he loved me, too."

Accepted Proposal

Her mother sent her with her sister to Cincinnati, to have the baby away from Ashland and while awaiting the baby she accepted the marriage proposal of William Manson, so the baby would have a name. 

Kathleen and William Manson married August 21 1934 in Newport Kentucky.  Kathleen lied about her age, saying she was 21 years old when she was just 15 years old.  She would have been about six months pregnant.

The baby was born Nov. 11, 1934, and was listed on the birth certificate as "No Name Moddox." after his mother's maiden name. But that was not out of indifference. Mrs. Manson says, but because she was awaiting the arrival of her own mother in Cincinnati.

"I figured I'd already hurt her pretty had, so I wanted to let her name the baby, you see. So she named him after my father." a few weeks later, she had the birth certificate changed to Charles Milles Manson.


A couple of birth certificates for Charles Manson were found.  Neither had "No Name Moddox" listed as the child's name.  The first birth certificate simply states "Manson" in the spot for the baby's name. William Manson is listed as the father.  Kathleen's maiden name is misspelled Moddox.  She states she is 18 years old, she was still 15 years old. The box which asks "Legitimate?" states NO.

The second birth certificate which I could only find with a watermark across the front obscuring the name a bit, gives the baby's name as Charles Milles Moddox, Kathleen's maiden name is still misspelled Moddox.  It is dated December 3 1934.

Kathleen, in the LA times interview, says that Charlie's birthday was November 11th but both of these records say his birthday was November 12th.

Her young husband had said he would try to accept the child, she recalls, but it didn't work out. She left Manson, returned to her mother in Ashland and began divorce proceedings.


Kathleen and William's co-habitation as a couple lasted just four and a half months.  The two lived with William's mother Nellie Manson in Cincinnati and it was not all sunshine and roses.  On January 5, 1935 Kathleen packed up and moved back to Ashland Kentucky to live with her mother according to divorce documents.

A pdf with all the divorce documents is linked below.  It was not Kathleen who began divorce proceedings, it was William who filed for divorce July 9, 1936, as the plaintiff and Kathleen as the defendant.

These are the juicy bits contained within.

  • Defendant refused to cook any meals.
  • Defendant refused do any housework or to help keep things clean.
  • Defendant persistently refused to perform her marital duties during the fall season of 1934.
  • Defendant is guilty of extreme cruelty for constantly nagging and berating her husband over his lack of earnings, the lack of money for dances, the lack of a home of her own, uttered in the presence of others to humiliate him.

Download the PDF:

In the Ashland 1935/36 city directory Mrs. Kathleen Manson is listed as living in the rear unit of a home on Greenup Avenue, about 3/4 of a mile from her mother's home.
She hoped to marry Scott, she says, but her own mother, disapproving because her divorce from Manson wasn't yet final, stymied that by informing Scott of the birth and her marriage. Scott, too furious to wait for the divorce, married another woman a few days later.

"All that stuff you read about Charles not knowing who his father was, that's not so. Scott used to come and pick up Charles and take him home for weekends with his own child. He just loved him," she says.

Scott died in 1954 of cancer, Mrs. Manson says.

It's not known whether or not Charles really did spend time with Colonel Scott.  It seems doubtful though.  Charlie was just shy of two months old when Kathleen left William and moved back to Ashland at the beginning of January 1935.  Colonel Scott married Dorothy Davis on July 21, 1935 in Kentucky. Dorothy was 16 years old. Their first son Colonel Scott Jr. was born January 16, 1936.

According to Jeff Guinn, Kathleen filed a bastardy suit against Colonel Scott two weeks before her divorce from William Manson was final.
Manson: The Life And Times Of Charles Manson (2013) page 18

Records show that William and Kathleen's divorce was finalized April 30, 1937 and the bastardy suit was finalized April 19, 1937.  So, the bastardy suit would have been filed prior, sometime in 1936.  Guinn says that Colonel Scott came to visit the toddler a few times after the court ruled Scott the father.

However, according to the later divorce of Colonel Scott and his wife Dorothy there is absolutely no mention of Charles Manson being the son of Colonel Scott nor does the child support show up as a debt in the finances of the Scott's.  Dorothy was the one who kept the books for her family. It leads me to believe that Dorothy Scott knew nothing about Colonel's bastard child.  Also, Colonel Scott Jr. would have been an infant during the time that Kathleen says Colonel Scott took little Charlie home for weekends with his own child.  I think Dorothy would have noticed another child in the house!

Even though Kathleen had a baby at home to support she still seemed to be able to get out and have a little fun with friends.  On June 5, 1936 Kathleen and another girl were taken into custody for investigation after a car accident in Eaton, Ohio.  They had been hitchhiking in Ohio and the car they were riding in struck a culvert.  Eaton is a whopping 176 miles from Ashland where she lived at the time.  The girls had told the officer who responded to the accident that they were 25 years old.  The officer wisely thought the girls were more like 16 years old.

When Charles was 4, Mrs. Manson left Ashland for McMeehen, W.Va., and the boy's contact with his real father was broken. But always he was surrounded by family—his mother, his grandmother, an aunt and an uncle. 
It was during this time that Mrs. Manson and her older brother went to prison for two years, when Charles was 6. She was 22. She and her brother and an older woman who later married her brother robbed a man, she admits, and she went to prison instead of her future sister-in-law because the woman and her brother persuaded her that the other woman could do more to secure their release if she remained free. Charles was 8 when she got out. 
But throughout those early years, she says, Charles was not only not neglected, he was even pampered by all the women who surrounded him. 
"Maybe it was because my own mother had been so strict, but if Charles wanted anything, I'd give it to him. My mother did, too; she eased up a bit as she got older.

As you will read in the original police report the "sand filled" catsup bottle was filled with salt, not sand.  The catsup bottle was used at a restaurant, they all had been to that night, as a salt shaker.  It was taken by Luther in anticipation of knocking out and robbing Martin. The future sister-in-law was not charged and sent to prison because although she had been with the party that night, she was not seen by witnesses as being in the car when Luther hit Frank Martin over the head with the bottle.  Only Kathleen was seen in the car.

Download the PDF:

Didn't Have to Work

"He never had to do a thing to earn what he wanted. Those stories about him earning his own living selling newspapers when he was 7 or 8. Those aren't true. He didn't even have to do things around the house, like rake leaves or mow lawns."

Charles had a wonderful personality. Mrs. Manson recalls, and always charmed people at first meeting. " He always had a way with people. Even later, when he was in prison, he was able to get special treatment, so I don't believe any of that stuff about his hypnotizing those girls in his family. I think it was just his personality, and the effects of dope they all took.

"But he always had charm. He was real musical and had a real nice voice, so I gave him singing lessons. But then he got so conceited about his music that I made him stop the lessons, but he still sang special solos in church, and people always talked about how good he sang.

"I think that made him over-confident. He never had to take a fall, not till he was a grown man. Everything just was handed to him, I admit."

When Charles was 10, Mrs. Manson marred Jack Thomas — not his real name — to whom she stayed married for 21 depressing years. She describes Thomas as "a drunk."

Separated Often

She and Thomas separated frequently over the years, once for 12 years, but she was always vulnerable to his promises to reform- until their divorce about six years ago.

Meanwhile, she admits, Thomas was an unstable man for Charles to model himself after, even though they got along well.

By the time Charles was 10, he had already begun running away from home. Mrs. Manson doesn't know why, but he did it repeatedly, when he was living with her, when he was with his aunt and uncle, and, later, from correctional institutions.


The man that Kathleen married was named Lewis Cavender.  She did not lie about her age but she did lie about her marital status, she said she had never been married.  She gave her father's name as, get this, Charles Manson!  Neat trick, Charlie was his mother's father.  It's possible that Kathleen did not know she was legally divorced from William Manson, since she did not file for the divorce, so fudged a bit on the marriage application to Cavender.

Kathleen's assertion that Charlie never had to do a lick of work as a child and that he kept running away but she didn't know why seems to fall flat.  At least for a period of time, when Charlie was 14 years old. he did work at odd jobs and paid rent for a room in downtown Indianapolis IN away from his mother and her then boyfriend.

There were articles in two Indianapolis newspapers saying that Ada Cavender and Lloyd Deer were arrested for adultery in the first week of January 1949.  Ada being Kathleen's given first name.  Kathleen was released on her own recognizance with assurances from a businessman that she would show up for her court date in February.  Deer was also released.  When the February court date rolled around neither Kathleen nor Deer were to be found.  She had decamped after her arrest and left town without Charlie, leaving him to fend for himself.

The reason Kathleen was arrested in the first place was because Charlie had been up to a bit of mischief, stealing, and when police went to Kathleen's looking for Charlie she told them where he could be found.  Much to her surprise she was arrested on the adultery charge.  An article in the Indianapolis News written March 7 1949 recounts the story.

Of course, we know that Charlie blew that opportunity, he escaped or fled Boys Town within the week and embarked on a series of crimes beginning with the robbery of $1,700. from a Peoria IL market for which he was arrested March 25 1949.  Over the next few years Charlie was sentenced to various juvenile facilities, escaping from them and committing crimes.
By the time Charles was 21, he had served in several reformatories and finally, a prison term for car theft. Paroled, he came home, where he took menial jobs that he always lost through lateness, absence or general neglect, and his mother, or grandmother, or aunt always came through with the money he needed.

In January, 1955, Charles married a waitress from McMechen. Rosalie Jean Willis. By the end of that year, he was back in custody, this time in Terminal Island Federal Prison in San Pedro, for transporting stolen cars across state lines.

Rosalie, in California to be near Charles, bore their son, Charles Jr., while Manson was in prison, and before he got out. In 1958, she had divorced him, married another man and moved back east.

Mrs. Manson, who also came to California to help Rosalie and Charles eke out a living, stayed on, sharing an apartment with him in Culver City.

"I think the business with Rosalie really hurt Charles," she says. "I think Rose was the only woman he ever really loved, and from then on, he never respected women."

And it was during this time, she says, that she began to feel he needed psychiatric treatment, though it was far beyond their means.

Not long after, they went their separate ways, Mrs. Manson leaving Los Angeles, Charles drifting on to his bizarre future. For a few years, Mrs. Manson was in touch, even after Charles went back to prison on bad check charges.

And still she gave him everything he asked for, anything within her means, and as fast as possible.

"I'm' awfully upset," she said Monday, after the guilty verdict was read. "I still believe that if those jurors would just talk to Charles for 15 minutes, they could see he's mentally ill. He needs treatment, has for years. I don't know what, to do now. Just start worrying again, I guess"

Kathleen continued her on again off again relationship with Lewis Cavender moving around the US.  Cavender may have been a drunk, I don't know, but he did work for the railroad long enough to get a pension from them.  They spent some time in Los Angeles before moving up to Spokane WA.  In 1961 Kathleen gave birth to Charlie's half-sister, Lewis Cavender was her father.

Divorce records for the two could not be found but by 1965 both of them remarried.  Kathleen married Gale Bower in Spokane WA, where both were living, on October 21 1965.  Cavender had married his second wife August 4 1965 in Coeur d'Alene ID, although both were residents of Spokane.

Kathleen died not too much longer after she gave this interview.  She passed July 31 1973 at the age of 55, cause of death was a cerebral hemorrhage (stroke).

Gale Bower didn't seem to know much about Kathleen, personal information on the death certificate is either wrong or missing.

It has been said that Gale Bower adopted Kathleen's daughter.  She did go by the last name Bower in school.  There is no way to find if and when the adoption took place because adoption records are sealed.  However, when Lewis Cavender died in 1979, six years after Kathleen, the daughter is named in his obituary with the last name of Cavender.

                                            Charlie's half-sister when she was 16 years old.

Nature or nurture?  It's hard to say why Charlie turned out like he did.  His mother certainly was immature as a parent but she was only 15 years old when she gave birth.  It doesn't sound like she ever put the needs of her child before her own wants though, even when she got older and more mature.

Plenty of kids endure a much more violent childhood than Charlie and most turn out pretty good in the end.  Charlie's childhood seemed to be more about neglect and indifference but in the end, he turned to violence.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

1959 Ford

I have to say, I am impressed with Quentin Tarantino's recreation of SPAHN RANCH for his upcoming movie. Attention was put into making it look authentic.  I kinda wish I could of gotten in contact with Tarantino, but I don't know how to go about that. I wanted to let him know about my car, in case he wanted to use it in his movie. It would be a blank canvas for him to make it look as authentic as he wanted, and it would be the same kind of car that was used on August 8-10, 1969.

I wasn't going to say anything because it doesn't look like it's going to happen but...

One of the times (probably 1980) when I saw the 2 part, made for television, 1976 HELTER SKELTER movie, the 1959 Ford really caught my eye! The double headlights, the front grill, just the whole shape & style of the car looked neat to me.

Fast forward to the end of 2016, I spotted a 1959 Ford for sale on Craigslist. I sent a message to the seller, but no reply.  I messaged the seller again after 2 weeks, still no reply. Another 2 weeks I messaged the seller again and finally got a response, the car was still available.

The seller had it listed for $1,500 and it was going to need a ton of work.

I'm in Arizona and the car was in California, in the Los Angeles area. So February of 2017, my sister & brother-in-law took me to California to go see the car. It had rust holes along the back & sides of the roof, more than I could see in the picture posted in the craigslist ad. And I would need to have other things fixed that I couldn't see.

I told the seller to let me think about it, $1,500 is a bunch of money for a car that doesn't actually run. The seller told me he would be willing to work on the price because he knew the car was going to need a lot of TLC.

I went back home to Arizona and kept in contact with the seller like once a month, just to make sure he still had the car.  After making a couple of offers the seller finally said the lowest he would go is $800 for the car so I accepted his offer.  This was in July 2017.  I asked my sister & brother-in-law if they could help me bring the car back, whenever they had time.  My brother-in-law was going to be starting a new job soon so we had to go at the beginning of August.  I didn't realize until weeks later, that on the day that we went and picked up the car, I paid the seller & the seller wrote out the bill of sale, it was August 8, 2017.

I tried to save money by going to this guy who didn't have a steady job but worked on & fixed cars. He was recommended by my brother's friend. I've had quite a bit of work done on the car here at the house by this "shade-tree" mechanic but the last few times he came to work on the car, he acted like it was a bother. After he put the new generator in the car, I couldn't get it to start anymore,  and trying to get the guy over here to find out what is going on with the car & why it won't start was like pulling teeth.

Funny but true story...
While the car was parked in the driveway, I tried out the gears on the car, because the seller had told me the car didn't go in REVERSE.  I put the car in REVERSE and it went backwards. I put the car in DRIVE, and it went forward. So the guy drained the transmission and put a new filter, gasket, and we filled it with new transmission fluid. We opened up the gate to take it for a test drive but while backing out, the engine quit on me. He said he needed to adjust the carburetor better because he had just rebuilt it. So the guy came back a few days later, adjusted the carburetor, and we set out to take the car out for a test drive. I back out of the yard and onto the street, put it in DRIVE to pull up to the curb, but the car doesn't move FORWARD. He tells me to put the great shift in all gears and try to pull forward, so I do and still, no go. Only moves in REVERSE! So I had to drive it to the corner, make a U-turn, and pull it into the backyard, all in REVERSE!
I thought about naming the car

The younger guy who was working on the car for me, told his mechanic friend about the transmission. He came & took the transmission home to rebuild it for me. After about 2 months, he brought the transmission back and I paid him $1,000 for rebuildingit. The younger guy came over the next day and put the rebuilt transmission in the car. We tried out the different gears, but it still didn't work. It was doing the same thing.

As of right now, for the past 7 months or so it's been sitting on jack-stands in the yard, so I'm going to have a mechanic who has his own shop go through everything to make sure things were "fixed" right. To me, it seems like everything that was worked on was put back loose!
We'll see what happens...

Quick update:
I just talked with the mechanic who has his own auto shop.  He said he'll be coming over next week to work on the car, so hopefully the car will be road-ready in a few months.


William Marshall's Mini Metals pics:

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Reflexion by Lynette Fromme; Part Five: pp. 366 - End

The final 111 pages...

On Manson controlling the group:
When we were out of money, bikers offered us stolen credit cards, but we didn't want them. Paul suggested that we could sell something. "Well, we don't sell anything..." Charlie maintained seriously. His eyebrows rose, and he popped a grin. "...but we could trade it for money." It was a joke. We really didn't have a thing worth selling. Bill knew a club where girls who were so inclined might dance topless, but I don't know if anybody did. Despite what was later said to the contrary, we were a democracy, jokingly called an "Orwecouldjust." ("We could..." "Or we could..." "Or we could just..."). It was a consensus style government, everyone adding to the pool of thought. Charlie was both credited and blamed for having the most input, but anyone with ideas was welcome to toss them into the circle. 
On Charlene Cafritz who - to refresh your memory -  was Carter Cafritz's (the son of Morris Cafritz who was a real estate developer, one of Washington’s leading commercial and residential builders from the early 1920's to the mid-60's) wealthy ex-wife who was reported to apparently be a heroin addict and died of an overdose in 1970:
When it came to getting money Charlie went for what he knew. Her name was Charlene, a boot and whip-style girl with a curvy body. I read later that she was some kind of heiress, but he never mentioned it. He had met her at a party in Beverly Hills and invited her to The Ranch. She didn't come. She had invited him to her ranch in Nevada, and instead of going alone, he asked Sandy, Brenda, Paul, and me to go with him.  
Charlene's Nevada ranch had an old-time hotel with a cowboy cafe at the front. Tired and hungry from the overnight drive, we went in for breakfast. Charlie sent one of the workers to let Charlene know that he had arrived. I almost missed seeing her. She was coming toward Charlie, but, after seeing the rest of us, she wheeled on her high heeled boots and let the screen door slam behind her. He went out to talk to her, and pretty soon an employee showed the rest of us to a bare rustic room with two beds, no telephone, and no TV. I don't know what gave me the impression that this ranch was more about women than horses, but I knew about Nevada's Mustang Ranch and I was beginning to think that Charlene might be running such an establishment. In any case, it was not an entertaining trip for us - we slept most of the time - and the next day Charlie returned to say we were leaving. As we drove away, he said that he had offered Charlene a place with us, but she didn't want it. I found out later that she had offered him a Cadillac, but he refused it. Apparently, this wasn't about stuff or money.
A letter from Sandy says that Gary Hinman was homosexual and had a thing for Bobby. Either I never heard this or I just forgot it. Either way it adds a new sland to that part of the story.

One night during the time they operated a "nightclub" in the saloon, Charlie got into a tangle with a biker over the biker's treatment of one of the girls. Once the fight started "Charlie ducked under his arm and behind him, reached between his legs, took a grip, and escorted that guy out the door by the collar of his shirt and his balls".

On corn chips:
Brenda read aloud to herself the list of ingredients in a small bag of corn chips, including the then commonly added chemical preservatives BHA and BHT. In typical understatement with just a touch of amazement, she said, "Wow, now they embalm you before you die."
This made me laugh because as teens my friends and I used to joke that there should be a warning label that said something like, "If you eat this and then you die, you won't rot!"

So far in this section she reminisces about different Family members. I won't ruin it. Buy the book. This bit about Clem I found interesting. It brought back to mind one of the first questions I asked Robert Hendrickson about him.:
Clem was actually classic as a country brother. He once gifted Sandy and me with a beautiful china teapot. Inside it was a beautiful live tarantula. The surprise was not left to chance. He stood by to supervise the discovery. Another time, he woke Ouisch and me, telling us tp "be still and just watch" the snake he was putting into bed with us. His mischief and adept handling of creatures were parts of his charm, but Clem was no hick. Like Bobby, he came from a smart suburban family, and in some ways was a typical teenager, rejecting the past to form a world of his own.
And this about Clem from a letter from Sandy.
Like Sadie and Brenda, Clem would turn a question back at the questioner, or give pat answers as a way of "reprogramming" himself. In reply to "How are you?" Clem would say "perfect." If asked when his birthday was, he'd say "today." I understood his meanings and reasons, but his refusal to give a straight answer could be exasperating. I sensed his rebelling at the conventionalities that hung on in my speech, but he was never sarcastic or mean-spirited.
Charlie had been urging Gregg Jakobson to arrange the meeting with Terry Melcher, not because he wanted a recording contract - he had walked away from contracts - because when we went to the desert, we wanted to leave behind a message.
The iconic crow photo:

"There exists a fuzzy photo of Charlie by the boardwalk with the raven on his forearm. I believe Pearl took it. He's wearing his embroidered vest, and his oddly cocked brown felt hat, and his upper lip is swollen, cut by a shard of wood that splintered off some project he was working on. The raven was a wonder to him and he spent a lot of time with it." 
From a letter from Manson: 
"That bird got into my head as if I was part of it. I didn't want it to be raised dependent on humans so I would take it far away and let it go. I'd drive miles back to the ranch and that bird would be sitting there. Part of me wanted to keep it but I wanted it to be free from humans because I wanted it to be free from them also. You got to be careful for the wildlife. If you make friends with them, they run to other humans who are not friends. The raven flew to land on a guy's shoulder and he thought Alfred Hitchcock's bird movie was after him. He almost knocked the bird's head off before I got between them."
On Bug's assertion that they were attempting to steal Spahn Ranch:
For a long time George had been trying to swallow a heart burning expression someone - he thought a city assessor - had used to describe The Ranch. They'd called it "an eyesore." Since he couldn't trust his own eyes or depend upon the hands, he felt helpless and enraged. He told me he felt "cornered" because if they were to leave him for even a day, the horses would go hungry, and the business would be lost. The humiliation of needing people he often despised was enough to make him wish to be done with it, to have the satisfaction of wielding the final stroke rather than succumbing to impotence. He could sell. I thought it would take years to get a buyer, and meanwhile something would work out.

In my mind, The Ranch would always be ours. In revolutionary times, it would be a safe place to rest and refuel before moving on. The Fountain of the World would be another. A prosecutor would allege that we were leveraging George for the deed, but who needs a deed in the midst of lawlessness.
Sandy, on parental neglect (Sandy is spot on here regarding abuse & illness, IMO):
My mother didn't have a maternal bone in her body. On my first day of kindergarten she dropped me off at the school and drove away. If she'd stayed long enough to see that I found the right classroom, she would have seen that the school wasn't even open. She had brought me on the wrong day. A policeman found me wandering around, totally disoriented and crying hysterically.

I think that I began to feel the tensions of my parents' relationship even before I was born, and later to show the extreme physical effects of a child who had formed no attachment with the mother. Mostly it played out in respiratory issues. In infancy I had two tracheotomies and in childhood countless painful exploratory procedures. Doctors back then did not know much about the correlation between parental neglect and abuse and childhood and adult illness. I was in and out of the hospital and oxygen tents. When I was ten a surgeon removed most of my right lung. I still wonder if that was really necessary.
The Bikers:
Outlaw bikers demonstrated both traditional patriotism and insolent rebellion. Some members of the Oakland chapter of the Hell's Angels once barged into a crowd of anti-war marchers to stomp heads, their president, a military veteran, offering the U.S. president their service as guerrilla fighters in Vietnam. Some of the same guys wore German helmets, swastikas, Iron Crosses, and death's heads because they were imbued with a warrior spirit, because they looked "cool," and because they obviously made conventional U.S. citizens feel uncomfortable. Charlie was not the only one to think these rebels could be a force in protection of life. The Merry Pranksters, Grateful Dead, and Rolling Stones, among others, strategized them as allies; the U.S. government did not. 
Charlie took bikers on some wild dune buggy rides. He composed a song with them in mind, and interact-ed as if he lived in them, but despite their outlaw leanings many of them were traditional in their thinking. Our ideas were new and strange to them, and if they saw a revolution coming, they didn't envision hiding in the desert. They seemed to be more about illicit ways to make money.
This sure did pique my interest:
Two weeks after the ranch raid, Frank Retz called police to arrest Charlie for trespassing. They found him asleep in the farmhouse, a marijuana roach and one of the girls nearby. I think it was Gypsy because she went to the station and claimed the roach. She was not charged, and Charlie was released. Frank said he thought the police raid had taken care of the job he wanted done, but now he would have to do it himself. He openly announced that he would hire and arm a man to watch over the property. Pearl suggested Shorty Shea, and he made no secret of his intention to take the job.
Cappy describes the burning of the Michigan Loader:
Headed for refreshment from a hot desert day - a day spent close to the ground motionless as lizards, motionless as the air that let the Sun's heat turn the earth's crumbled rock to blazing dust, the same dust we had all become - two dune buggies of nude night bodies flew over the hills along the ridges and down the banks into the beds of forgotten rivers. This night had no moon but freedom was a-rise. The dune buggy engines hummed into the vast darkness. We neared the opening to a canyon that gave birth to a hot spring. Our heavenly hot springs popped into view - but SOMETHING of huge and grotesque proportions loomed out of the darkness beside it. A ruthless monster had invaded our unblemished desert home, a thing that had leveled a nearby hill and had stopped just short of shoving it into the pool of steaming water. A U.S. Government monster. Ouish's loud exclamations rebounded off the mountain walls. Then sparks lit within our eyes. We all laughed and charged to the dune buggies, lugging out gasoline and all the match-es we had stashed. What a beautiful picture it would make exploding in huge tongues of flame to return to the earth it was trying to destroy! We doused the tires and the seat with gasoline. Lit matches found their places. POOF! POOF! POOF! THE FLAMES WERE TITANIC. THE WHOLE MACHINE WAS ON FIRE... until the gas evaporated. Just how much of a Michi-gan loader burns? More gasoline - everything saturated once more - more matches - ah! And finally the seat caught a-blaze.

We slid into our pool beside the fire. And after a long bath, dawn came creeping. Goosepimply and wet we stood in the chill air, viewing the remains of the monster. There it stood unscathed - only a few patches of blistered paint and a gorged seat on melted rubber feet. We left our mark and sped off laughing into the morning. 
Sandy on Sadie and Katie telling her in September about the murders:
... I asked them if others knew about this. They told me they didn't know. Their move was for Bobby and there was really no need to say anything to anyone. After the girls left the trailer, I thought about what they told me, I could not judge them.
Paul Watkins was only called Little Paul after the Family made the final move to Golar Wash. It was to distinguish him from Paul Crockett.


The book ends with the Barker Ranch Raid. Very little is mentioned about the murders or the motives. What Fromme has presented us with is her experiences with Manson and the group. In my opinion she did an excellent job of helping me see things through her eyes.

We all have our reasons why this little piece of history reels us in. My fascination with the whole story has always had less to do with the crimes and more to do with the communal/tribal aspects of The Family. I've been waiting decades for a core member to write a book like this one. I devoured it. I'll likely devour it again and again.

Some of her descriptions of leaving home and learning to commune with nature reminded me of the North Pond Hermit, Christopher Thomas Knight, who lived almost without human contact for 27 years in the woods in the North Pond area of Maine. I'll never forget something he later said:
"Solitude bestows an increase in something valuable, perception. But...when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. There was no audience, no one to perform for...To put it romantically, I was completely free."
My reasons for reviewing in the fashion I did were (again) to bring to the fore things that either I did not know previous to reading this work, things that I found either uber-fascinating or just plain amusing. If she had gone through a major publishing house the book would have been much different. I'm appreciative of her choice.

If you haven's ordered Reflexion yet, you are missing out. It is a must read.