Monday, August 5, 2019

Revisiting Fillipo Tenerelli

Part one     Part two

Another Manson murder? Debra Tate, victim's sister, fights to reopen probe into 1969 suspicious death

Hollie McKay/Fox News                                                                            Original Article

Fifty years after her tragic murder at the hands of Charles Manson’s cult followers, actress Sharon Tate is in the limelight again – her innocent and playful persona embodied by Margot Robbie in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.”

But also five decades on, one California family is still grappling with the notion that one beloved member was possibly slain by followers of the satanic hippie “family,” yet it was swept under the rug.

His name was Filippo Tenerelli.

“It is absolutely frustrating, there is no doubt in my mind that Filippo was murdered. The evidence is undeniable and facts are facts,” Debra Tate, 66, the younger sister of the late Sharon, told Fox News. “This absolutely warrants another look.”

It was Tate who, in 2007, reached out to the Bishop Police Department in California’s Eastern Sierra and urged them to re-open the case, which they did at the beginning of 2008.

“It was a meager attempt for me to try to do the right thing and have them take a second look. Instead my plea was met with more cover-ups and sweeping it under the rug," Tate claimed. "This still warrants being looked into properly at the very least. This has amounted to extreme pain for Filippo’s family. I don’t know how these people can live with themselves.”

Author and investigator Tom O’Neill has shed uncomfortable light on the Tenerelli case in a chapter of his new book “Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA and the Secret History of the Sixties” – a 550-page profound dive, 20 years in the making, into the plethora of inconsistencies and glaring holes punctuating the formal Manson narratives to date.

As the story goes, in late September of 1969, 23-year-old Italian immigrant Tenerelli left the family home in Culver City, Los Angeles in his '69 blue Volkswagen Beetle, bound for Death Valley National Park. The official theory at the time was that he intended to kill himself at an outlook, but his vehicle got wedged on boulders and in frustration he tipped it off the cliff. Then, he supposedly trudged down the rugged 400-feet terrain to retrieve his belongings, and somehow over the next couple of days wound up 100 miles away in Bishop, a city of 3,000 in California’s Inyo County, where he checked into the local Sportsman Lodge motel as “John Doe” before heading out to buy a shotgun.

The next morning, October 1, a maid tried to enter the room, which was barricaded from the inside. The son of motel owner Bea Greer pushed it in and found a body with a shotgun blast to the front of the head – having allegedly pulled the trigger with his toe. His pubic hair was shaved and a copy of “Playboy” between his legs.

The “suicide victim” was identified as the missing Culver City man a month later.

“But the case was soon pushed from the local papers by an even wilder story: in a remote area of Death Valley, a band of nomadic hippies had been arrested for destroying government property and operating an auto-theft ring,” O’Neill wrote. “In the coming weeks, they’d be charged with the grisly murders of Sharon Tate and seven others in Los Angeles.”

In addition to taking over the infamous Spahn Ranch outside of Los Angeles, Manson and his vicious band also spread themselves more than 200 miles east to the primitive Barker Ranch, inside Death Valley National Park.

A 1970 Rolling stone article detailing the grim Manson murder trail makes mention of Tenerelli’s suspicious “suicide,” and how some authorities were “not so sure” that was indeed the cause of death. But any internal investigations, O’Neill’s book shows, seemingly dissolved.

“The story got even murkier when I tracked down the original Bishop Police Department investigative report, which suggested a far more sinister ending and a cover-up of that,” O’Neill wrote, highlighting that his efforts since 2007 to pinpoint that ending have been dismissed and denied by an array of authorities.

He pointed out that, in spite of the bureaucratic account that the windows of the room would have been too small for a person to climb out of, he tracked down the relocated property at a nearby ranch and argued that even two people could fit through, which was backed up by the now 81-year-old motel owner.

Greer, according to O’Neill, also claimed that she would never have checked someone in without ID and gave registration records to police at the time – but the authorities’ “refused to believe that the victim had shown an ID or even a wallet.”

Although the customer always fills out their own form, Tenerelli’s name was allegedly spelled wrong – with his sister later affirming that it wasn’t his handwriting – O’Neill observed, with another red flag raised by the claim that the person who checked in under the name allegedly had no accent and paid a month in advance “to ensure that the body wouldn’t be discovered right away.”

O’Neill further points out that the police reports “contained no photographs of the crime scene and made no mention of forensics” even though they were commonplace in 1969, and the autopsy showed at the time of death, the body's blood alcohol was .03 percent – not even qualifying as under the influence – but a bottle of whiskey was found in the trash by his body and a second bottle only half full.

“If Tenerelli didn’t drink all that whiskey, who did?” O’Neill speculated.

A trove of further questions have also been unearthed – including allegations that a Culver City hospital radiologist had determined that the “John Doe's” x-rays were “similar or identical” to a patient – Tenerelli – who had been brought in after a motorcycle accident five years earlier, weeks before a formal police identification.

Moreover, O’Neill asserts that the surgeon who conducted the autopsy told him that he never believed it was a suicide and called it that “under pressure” while California Highway Patrol officers who found the abandoned car on October 5 believed it could not have been there for more than two days – but the body was found on October 1.

Inside the vehicle, O’Neill writes, were other items indicating that the driver “might not have been alone in the car” such as a Brentwood Hospital laundry sheet, where Tenerelli had not been known to visit, and a Santa Monica bus schedule which “he wouldn’t have needed because he owned a car and a motorcycle.”

Deepening the deluge of questions, two hunters allegedly spotted someone “coming up from the wreck” of the car and there was a copious amount of blood – implying far more wounds than those believed to have been on the man when he showed up at the motel.

Meanwhile, the hippie car thieves had been taken into custody around October 1 – earlier, highway patrolmen were reported to have pulled over a “late model” blue Volkswagen a day prior to Tenerelli’s death, with three “hippie types” in the car, the patrolman later linking at least one member to a Manson follower. Both officers, O’Neill reported, also refuted the suicide avowal and instead surmised that the car was possibly dumped after the death.

Furthermore, there was the issue of the shaved pubic hair.

The Manson Family’s Bill Vance had a ‘magic vest’ he liked to wear that was ‘made of pubic hair,’ per a report from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, O’Neill underscored.

“I can only speculate as to what happened in Bishop (with the police) in 1969,” O’Neill told Fox News, indicating that perhaps they did not want their town linked to the Manson family or that some may have had teen relatives loosely connected to the family, or maybe it was simple incompetence or just that it was far easier to declare a suicide than a homicide.

Manson members were subsequently arrested in separate raids across California on October 10 and 12.

A spokesperson for the Bishop Police Department declined to comment on O’Neill’s book or whether any further action will be taken to investigate the Tenerelli case, other than to say that the information brought forward was “interesting” but that everyone initially involved was no longer there.

Cosimo Giovine, the southern California-based nephew of Tenerelli and the representative for the family, told Fox News that as deeply Catholic Italians, the suicide ruling had left a tremendous black scar on the family.

“Our family felt very ashamed, and couldn’t go back to Italy. My grandmother, even in her 90’s, always said she knew Filippo didn’t commit suicide,” he said. “But there is so much misinformation out there; we just want to know the truth.”

The Bishop Police Department confirmed to Fox News that the case, which was re-opened more than eleven years ago, has since been closed once again.

A letter viewed by Fox News from Inyo County District Attorney Thomas Hardy in May, 2016 to Giovine – who had submitted to his office a plethora of documents and testimonies gathered by O’Neill – stated that there was “simply not much” that they could do after 46 years and that “there is nothing in the material provided that suggests that there was any culpability on the part of the Department which would justify a criminal investigation” by the DA’s office.

Hardy did acknowledge that while “Mr. O’Neill’s work raises questions, it doesn’t point toward any answers that could hold up in court” and a new investigation could not be justified at that point.

Giovine then attempted in November 2016 to obtain copies from the Los Angeles Police Department of the tape recordings and transcripts of the conversation between Bill Boyd and Charles “Tex” Watson along with “confirmation or denial that the name Filippo Tenerelli is mentioned in the tapes” – but to no avail, with the tapes in question still under seal. The tapes contain the first recorded account of how and why the murders took place, and unconfirmed claims have been made that Tenerelli’s name is raised by Watson. At 73, he remains behind bars in Texas.

Moreover, the nephew’s efforts in 2017 for a request for an investigation by the Inyo County Grand Jury were rejected, with Foreman John Harris writing “we feel that the 48-year-old events are beyond our ability to adequately investigate and report on at this time.”

But Tenerelli’s family isn’t ready to walk away. Giovine emphasized to Fox News that his intention is not to ask for money or to file lawsuits, but to have his uncle’s death certificate changed to reflect what he believes to be the true cause-of-death: homicide.

And beyond advocating for the Tenerelli case, Debra – who has dedicated her life to serving as a spokesperson for the families of murder victims – is also still fighting relentlessly to ensure that the Manson murderers aren’t released.

She runs and individual petitions to ensure that the killers – two of who are now facing parole hearings in California – aren’t given the green light to walk the streets again.

“These people are much more prolific killers than anyone knows,” added Tate, whose emotions are still raw despite the passage of time. “There is no one else but me left in our family, the stress of what happened to my sister has killed everyone. But if she can’t live and be free again, then these killers should not be able to either.”

After the 2013 posts ran about Tenerelli I heard from a female relative of Filippo.  She explained that  Filippo's mother was devastated that the authorities found Filippo's cause of death to be suicide.  The Tenerelli family is Catholic and very staunch Catholics at that, having immigrated from Italy in June of 1959.

Catholics are taught that suicide is a mortal sin and that if a person commits suicide their soul is condemned to spend an eternity in hell.  Suicide was believed to be a mortal sin because it is an act against the will of God.  People who committed suicide were denied a Christian burial in consecrated ground.  That was the feeling of the church until 1992 when they relented somewhat and took into consideration that a person committing suicide could be suffering from mental illness and might not be able to make rational decisions.  Suicide is still a mortal sin in the eyes of the Catholic church however.

The relative went on to say that male suicide seemed to run in the Tenerelli family.  There were male suicides in previous generations and that Filippo's brother had also committed suicide.

That said, let's continue on with O'Neill's narrative.  Having not seen the police report myself it's difficult to say if what is in the report is as O'Neill relates it.  As far as the window situation goes and whether or not there was a window large enough for a person to climb out of, it's a no brainer.  The postcard of the hotel included in my 2013 post clearly shows that there were windows, large enough for even a big person to crawl out of, next to the doors entering the individual rooms.  Not  saying that this is what happened just pointing out that it should have been a non-issue.

Next is what is labeled in the article as a "hotel receipt".  That certainly does not look like a receipt, rather it looks like a page from the hotel's accounts payable ledger which would have been filled out by an employee.  Yes, the name is misspelled but so is the name in the newspaper article telling that Tenerelli had been identified and the last name is also misspelled the same way on Tenerelli's death certificate.

It looks like the $156 debt began on October 1st, after Tenerelli was found deceased, and the debt was satisfied November 3rd after Tenerelli was officially identified.  Since the debt is not itemized it's hard to say exactly what the debt was but it could have been for the amount of time the room was tied up and not available for rent during the investigation, any damages incurred and for cleaning.  To assume that 30 days rent was paid in advance is misguided, IMO.  Besides, if this was the hotel receipt, Tenerelli's name is pretty darn clear and it would not have taken a month for him to be identified.  We actually don't know for sure when Tenerelli rented the room but it was before October 1st when he was found dead.

I was able to find two of Tenerelli's signatures.  Both are from his petition for US naturalization.  If I didn't know who the papers were for I, for sure, would not have been able to decipher his handwriting. If Tenerelli filled out his hotel registration in script, it's no wonder it was illegible.

O'Neill states that there were no photographs with the police report he saw but there was a diagram of the hotel room, drawn by the coroner, according to the caption, showing where Tenerelli was found and the rearrangement of some of the things in the room.  It is pictured in his book and it tells us a lot.

First off, the diagram does not show where the front window was which might be why there was some discussion of that.  What it does show is what was in the room itself.  O'Neill claims that there was a Playboy magazine found between Tenerelli's legs.  The diagram shows that the magazine was found on the nightstand which was on the opposite side of the bed from where Tenerelli was found.

The diagram is difficult to read so I will go around the room clockwise starting from the Playboy magazine.  On the bed is the "box for cleaning kit", the "entrance door", a "chair" (which looks as if it had been shoved against the door knob, making the door hard to open), "dresser", "rag and bandage", "bathroom", in the bathroom "waste basket, empty bottle", on what appears to be a vanity where a woman could sit down, with the chair found by the front door, and do her make-up it reads, "1-2-3= paper bag, partly empty bottle", "Cleaning kit", "chest drawers taken from here".  A "gun case" was found in the "closet".  The doors to the bathroom and closet are also marked.

Then we get to the heart of the matter.  Two "large chairs" were placed back to back between the bed and closet wall with "large chair cushions", on end, up against the front of the second chair.  Tenerelli's head was up against the cushions.  His right foot appears to be touching the bathroom door with the butt of the shotgun wedged between the door and door jamb.  There seems to be two rectangles between Tenerelli's feet, I don't know what they represent as they are not labeled.  Perhaps they are the drawers taken from the vanity.

Unfortunately, no blood is depicted in the drawing but if there was any blood other than right where Tenerelli died I would hope that it would have been shown.  The positioning of the body looks like something one would do if they were going to commit suicide, to me.  They would have the large chairs behind them to keep from sliding back after the shotgun was wedged in the door jamb with leverage to pull the trigger.  It looks like a took a little knowledge of physics to accomplish the set-up. Tenerelli was a tool and die maker.

Would a murderer, specifically members of the Manson Family, be able to think far enough ahead to come up with placing Tenerelli in that position to kill him?  Wouldn't Tenerelli have tried to fight off his attackers and not allow himself to be killed right where he was found?  I don't think that his body was arranged after death.

The one thing that bothers me is that none of Tenerelli's personal belongings are shown in the diagram.  They could have been there but were not considered germane to the death so not noted but that seems a little lackadaisical, to me.

I feel terrible for the Tenerelli family.  Suicide is a big deal in the Catholic religion and can certainly understand why they would want to get the cause of death changed.

I can't let this post end without mention of the alleged pubic hair vest that Bill Vance supposedly wore.  Seriously?  A pubic hair vest, how would one go about constructing such a thing?  Have any of you ever heard of this vest?  And, O'Neill weaving it into the Tenerelli story..... He says that Tenerelli's pubic hair was shaved off.  Is the vest comprised of Tenerelli's hairs?  Is he implying that there was a vest made of murder victims pubic hairs?  It would take more than one person's pubes to come up with a whole vest if you managed to figure out how to do it.

I do recall that the girls on the courthouse corner after shaving their heads incorporated some of that hair into their embroidery but that was well after Tenerelli's death.



Jeff Harper said...

In the immortal words of Johnnie Cochran...Release the tapes!

orwhut said...

Deb S
Are you the SMH who's initials are at the bottom of the post?

Patty is Dead said...

Hey means "shaking my head"

orwhut said...

Thank you Deb. I'm a dumb old country boy and not up on things like that. (-:

orwhut said...

Ooooh.... that comment was from my pal Panamint Patty. Thank you, Patty.
It's good to see you're commenting. (-:)

Matthew said...

When they are talking about the tapes from Watson, it says " At 73, he remains in prison in Texas". That was in 2016. To my knowledge, Tex has been in California since he was extradited from Texas in the early 70's.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Shaved pubic hair makes for an unusual suicide note. Er... statement. Er... whatever.

Doug said...

We're almost in Ed Gein territory with this SUPER CREEPY vest...Surely it would have been discussed at some point over the past 50yrs...YIKES

FrankM said...

I was intrigued about the idea of clothing made of pubic hair, not least the issues of how much is needed and how it was collected. But it is possible (see although in this case I think doubtful.

Matthew said...

I really don't see much evidence of this death linking it to the Manson family. I am sure even back then there were men that enjoyed a good manscape. Was there any evidence that the pubes were shaved in that room? Any evidence that Phillipo had any contact with the family? Any proof of the pube vest? Not saying that it is not possible but not any evidence to bring it back up.

Peter said...

Doug said...


AustinAnn74 said...

As much as I have always thought some members of the Manson Family murdered more than they got caught for, I don't think this is one of them. Tom O'Neill is simply inserting things from his imagination. If the victim was murdered, then the crime scene staged to look like a suicide, it surely wasn't done by the Family. Sophisticated criminals they were not.
On a different note, I've never heard of the pubey vest in all of Manson Family lore. I shudder to think about how horrible that would've smelled. . . . . . . What next, a necklace made of toenails?

AstroCreep said...

Peter is that the Manson Family meets the Partridge Family video? If yes- holy amazing!

Mon Durphy said...

I always had Tenerelli pictured as a big heavy bearded biker, he was a Straight Satan wasn't he?

orwhut said...

If anyone reading this has ever heard the pubic hair vest story before please say so.

Peter said...

Sounds like it would be really itchy.

Gorodish said...

The Manson gang did not kill this guy. Do you really think they would have pushed a precious new VW beetle that could be stripped and converted to a dune buggy off a cliff? The only reason suspicions were naturally raised was the proximity of Bishop to Barker Ranch in the fall of 1969...and even then it's not that close; over 100 miles away. The "pubic hair vest" of Bill Vance was most likely an exaggeration of Manson's "witchy" vest made from swatches of the girl's hair that got retold one too many times. O'Neill and Debra Tate are really reaching on this one.

DebS said...

Gorodish, well said, all of it!

Mon, Tenerelli was not associated with any bikers. Period. Sanders said he was a Gypsy Joker but I contacted Phil Cross the president of the Gypsy Jokers until they patched over to the HA. Read the link to part two at the top of the article, I got the best email from Phil Cross.

I think that the Tex Tapes are a lost cause. If there was anything on them that could shed light on any other murders there would have been some action by now and there hasn't been.

starviego said...

Did they talk to the guy who sold him the shotgun? Did he sell him the ammo too?

Did the shotgun have his fingerprints on it?

Was gunshot residue found on his hands or legs?

Too many loose ends here.

DebS said...

Vera, I am either naive or correct and I expect it's something we won't know the answer to in our life time.

DebS said...

Starviego, according to O'Neill's book the police report for Tenerelli's death was purged years ago. The only thing left is the coroner's report.

Unknown said...

A shotgun-"posed" suicide?
... and no "stabby-Stabby-STABBY?"
Doesn't sound like a family-style killing to me.

Not buyin' it, counselor.

orwhut said...

If Maury Terry was still alive he could write a chapter on the similarities between the deaths of this young man and John Carr. Ooo eee ooo

Chris Till said...

Interesting post. For more on Fillmore Raymond "Phil" Cross, Jr., he was #403 on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List. Some of his background and alleged crimes are described in Sablak's and Greenberg's 1990 book "Most Wanted: A History of the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List." Coincidentally, Cross made the List exactly 33 years ago today, on August 8, 1986.

For readers of this blog, the most interesting parts of that book are those on the so-called "political" fugitives from 1969-1982: Pun Plamondon, Rap Brown, Angela Davis, Madison, Wisconsin's New Year's Gang, Bernardine Dohrn, Katherine Power, Elizabeth Saxe, Herman Bell, Twymon Myers, Tom Manning, Mutulu Shakur, etc. Like the Mansonistas, they thought some kind of revolution was imminent in the USA and sought to be the vanguard in sparking said revolution. Many, if not all, also thought said revolution would be led, begun, or significantly contributed to by African-Americans.

The absolute classic book on the deluded pseudo-revolutionaries of that era is Bryan Burrough's 2016 instant classic "Days of Rage: America's Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence." Though Burrough's prose sometimes edges into the purple, and though it is a bit of a notebook dump, it is utterly fascinating and is the only serious book yet written on the subject. The research he put into it is staggering. It's a must read for those trying to understand the most detestable threads of 1960s/1970s American counterculture.

Peace, Chris

Ajerseydevil said...

For the record John Carr was killed with a 30/30 riffle the original hardback copy of the ultimate evil actually had the crime scene photo his head exploded like a ballon
ReelZ channel new 2hr special tonight truth & lies the family Manson also a repeat of Sharon Tate to young to die

Peter said...

So, tonight's the night, huh.

sheisalocal said...

Speaking of other potential murders, I just came across this interesting article

Robert C said...

Off topic interruption.

You've seen this youTube interview with Brunner's son ?

Sounds like he's feeling little more sympathetic with dad (CM) than before.

orwhut said...

Blogger Peter said...
So, tonight's the night, huh.

Is it the eighth already?
Thank you, Peter.

Torque said...

This will be rather off topic to the current post, but it is, in fact, 50 years ago tonight, that that car set out from the ranch on its way to Cielo Drive.

As I write this, it will be just after 7pm in Los Angeles. At this time on that terrible night 50 years ago, according to Bugliosi, Dennis Hurst had just delivered a bicycle to the Cielo house for Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring accepting the bike. Meanwhile, William Garretson was probably contemplating hitching down to the store to purchase a TV dinner.

Although Voytek and Abigail may not have been there at that moment--and Steve Parent would not arrive for a few hours--we of course know the rest.

24 hours later, Leno and Rosemary Labianca would also die at the hands of the killers. All of this will be remembered this weekend after a half century.

To be sure, these murders (as well as those of Gary Hinman and Shorty Shea) have fuelled discussions on a great number of topics surrounding this case, but let us not forget the most important of these: several people lost their lives, and their families had to suffer this terrible tragedy ever since.

In rememberance:

Sharon Tate-Polanski, 26. She would be 76 today.
Abigail Folger, 25. She would be 75 today.
Steven Parent, 18. He would be 68 today.
Jay Sebring, 35. He would be 85 today.
Voytek Frykowski, 32. He would be 82 today.
Gary Hinman, 34. He would be 84 today.
Leno Labianca, 44. He would be 94 today.
Rosemary Labianca, 38. She would be 88 today.
Shorty Shea, 36. He would be 86 today.

Zelda Formaldehyde said...

Blogger Pete said...
So, tonight's the night, huh.

Yes, Pete, it is.

Pete, I want you to do something. Take a couple of the girls and go up to Col. Scott's house. Bring a paper bag full of dog poop. Put it on the doorstep and light it on fire. Make it as gruesome as you can. Have the girls leave a sign .... something witchy. Got it?

David said...

Amen Torque. They are all that matters, especially this night.

Dan S said...

Lol... hang the shit from the rafters!

Unknown said...

Tonight is the night

Peter said...

Did you see the colonel' s maid running down the driveway this morning yelling "poop, poop, pooooooop! ..."

Matthew said...

Peter said...

Did you see the colonel' s maid running down the driveway this morning yelling "poop, poop, pooooooop! ..."

That was too funny. You made me spit my coffee out.

Mon Durphy said...

Wasn't he the guy involved in some way with David Berkowitz and the dogs he said talked to him?

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

John Carr was the son of Sam Car the owner of the dog in question.
All I can say about Terry's book, The Ultimate Evil, is that it held my interest.

beauders said...

I guess ol Pooh Bear figured out there is money to be made this anniversary.

Mon Durphy said...

I read it as a teenager and it scared the shit out of me, as a 48 year old currently I think I'd probably laugh at most of it lol

Dan S said...

Was it this morning or tonight?

Mon Durphy said...

Late Thursday night/early Friday morning, Labianca would be in about 4 hrs from now

starviego said...

DebS said:
"Besides, if this was the hotel receipt, Tenerelli's name is pretty darn clear and it would not have taken a month for him to be identified."

That's what bothers me. If he signed the hotel register they should have ID'ed the body right away.

Great Post, btw.

Peter said...

I read that book and when I finished I actually threw away because I felt dirty having it in the house. Besides, the opening story upon which the whole book is premised has been disproved. I'm reading Ed Sanders book now. What is it with this obsession with the Process?

Ajerseydevil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ajerseydevil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ajerseydevil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
starviego said...

Matthew Record said...
"Any evidence that Phillipo had any contact with the family?"

Yes, according to the book:

Chaos, by Tom O'Neill pg419
"After the Manson Family was arrested for their auto-theft ring, one of the girls told investigators that she was "involved" with Tenerelli, and that he'd been with the Family in Death Valley before his death."

"In Bishop... a highway patrolman had stopped a "late model" blue Volkswagen... The patrolman questioned the driver, who, like his two male passengers, was a "hippie" type. Later, investigators showed the patrolman a photograph of the Family, including Manson, Steve Grogan, and Danny DeCarlo. He "was sure" that DeCarlo was the driver of the car ."

DebS said...

starviego said...
Matthew Record said...
"Any evidence that Phillipo had any contact with the family?"

Yes, according to the book:

Chaos, by Tom O'Neill pg419
"After the Manson Family was arrested for their auto-theft ring, one of the girls told investigators that she was "involved" with Tenerelli, and that he'd been with the Family in Death Valley before his death."

"In Bishop... a highway patrolman had stopped a "late model" blue Volkswagen... The patrolman questioned the driver, who, like his two male passengers, was a "hippie" type. Later, investigators showed the patrolman a photograph of the Family, including Manson, Steve Grogan, and Danny DeCarlo. He "was sure" that DeCarlo was the driver of the car ."

Since we don't know the timing of when he left Culver City it's hard to recreate an exact timeline. Tenerelli left his home on the 29th of September and apparently headed northeast to Inyo County. If he headed straight to Father Crowley Point and attempted suicide, which was a failed attempt, he then would have gathered his belongings and made his way to Bishop.

Say he left midday and arrived at Father Crowley Point in the late afternoon/early evening. He contemplated the suicide and then made the failed attempt. But we don't know if Tenerelli attempted that suicide on the 29th or 30th. He could have arrived at Father Crowley Point on the 29th and spent the night in his car before the attempt, for all we know. I'm not seeing a big opening for Tenerelli to have gone to Death Valley and become involved with one of the girls.

O'Neill then says Tenerelli "wound up in Bishop" on the evening of the 30th. So, it might have taken him all day to hitch a ride to Bishop. Then O'Neill says that Tenerelli on October 1st went to a sporting goods store and bought the shotgun. (This is on page 411 of Chaos) On the following page it says, the next day the maid tried to get in the room but the door was barricaded. This would have been on October 2nd. going by O'Neill's timeline.

What is wrong with that is Tenerelli's death certificate says he was pronounced dead at approximately 9 PM on October 1st. Usually a persons death certificate gives the time of death when the victim was found, not by guessing when the victim could possibly have died.

For instance, Shorty Shea's death certificate says that he died in 1977, when his remains were found. Gary Hinman's death record says he died July 31, when he was found, but we know that he was killed before then because his body was found in a state of decomposition.

So, did Inyo County deviate from the standard of placing a deceased time of death as the time they were found?

As for Manson Grogan and DeCarlo being seen in Tenerelli's car, well, all hippies looked alike to most people back then. If the car was stopped by the CHP standard procedure would have been to run the plate on the car to see if it was stolen so CHP should have had a record of that plate being run and known for sure whether or not it was Tenerelli's car. While the car may not have come up stolen the record of it having been stopped should have still existed.

Tenerelli's family reported him missing on October 3rd. A missing persons bulletin would have gone out and included the make and model and probably license plate number of the car. The car, according to O'Neill, was found at Father Crowley Point on October 4th.

The first Barker Ranch Raid was on the 10th of October. It seems to me that if there was any inkling that the Manson Family was involved in Tenerelli's death they would have been looked at much sooner. The CHP was the agency that busted the Family in the Barker Ranch Raids. They were well aware that Tenerelli's car was found the previous week because they were the ones that took the report.

starviego said...

DebS said...
"The first Barker Ranch Raid was on the 10th of October. It seems to me that if there was any inkling that the Manson Family was involved in Tenerelli's death they would have been looked at much sooner."

Maybe Charlie's surveillers and/or handlers hear(or know) about the killing, and think to themselves "Shit, he's gone and done it again." But that presents a big problem, because if the podunk Inyo County Sheriff or Bishop PD arrest Charlie/Family for murder, they are going to steal all the glory from the LAPD. Even worse, Inyo County may then legally have the right to try them all FIRST on the Tenerelli murder, and who knows what damaging or unapproved info would come out in that trial re TLB or the Family as a whole?

So they once again give Charlie a pass, just like in the Crowe shooting and Hinman murder, ensuring the Family will be brought back to the controlled environment of LA, where the covert operators face a much more cooperative environment in the Sheriff's Office, in the LAPD, and in the DA's office.

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

Official Felippo Tenerelli(FT) Timeline, according to O'Neill's book:

Monday, Sept 29
FT, 23, drives up to Crowley Point from Culver City. He attempts to drive his car off the edge but it gets stuck on the rocks. He uses a pick ax and shovel to jimmy it over the edge, but it takes off before he can get back in. He then hikes down to the wreck for whatever reason(carrying the pick ax and shovel with him), leaves blood at the scene, and climbs back up.

Tuesday, Sept 30, evening
FT checks into the Sportman's Lodge in Bishop, 100 miles away, using another name but without any ID. He tries to cut his wrists, but can't complete the job.

Wedesday, Oct 1
Buys shotgun, ammo, a case, and a gun cleaning kit at a gun store in town. Elsewhere, he buys two bottles of Whiskey, two pairs of underwear, a shaving razor, and a Playboy mag. In the evening he is seen by motel owner Bee Greer. Between 9:30pm and 10:30pm, FT shoots himself in the face.

Thurday, Oct 2 noon
FT's dead body discovered in his room, he is listed as a John Doe by the Coroner's Office.

Friday, Oct 3
FT's family files missing persons report.

Saturday, Oct 4
The blue VW is spotted by Hunters at the bottom of the ravine at Crowley Point, CHP notified. A "cache of unused shotgun shells" found amongst other items in the vehicle. Investigators say it had been dumped no more than two days before. (Oct 2 at the earliest)

Oct 18
Inyo Coroners Office learn that their John Doe is likely Tenerelli.

Oct 30
Local media says FT finally identified as the dead person discovered in the motel room a month before.

starviego said...

DebS said...
"I'm not seeing a big opening for Tenerelli to have gone to Death Valley and become involved with one of the girls."

Let's assume that FT wasn't suicidal. Why would he have gone to the desert? Was he a desert person, who had been to the area before? Or maybe he was going to visit the Family at Barker, like many before him. His relationship to the Family may have begun back in LA.

Linsycar said...

I just watched “Manson Women” on the Oxygen channel. Sandra Good is a freak. She said that killing people doesn’t mean that you’re evil. You do what you have to do.... during war you do what you have to do. Man! She talks like she is one crazy old lady and if she was asked to go and kill some one today she probably would... just tell the old woman it’s for the war effort! The show also had Lynette Fromme, Diane Lake, and Catherine Share interviews. Lynette was also a little weird but Diane and Catherine were regretful that they had gotten involved with the “family”. It’s interesting to hear them talk after all these years about how gullible and naive they were.

Patty is Dead said...

You're mistaken.

Gorodish said...

starviego typed :

Let's assume that FT wasn't suicidal.

As DebS wrote in the post : The relative went on to say that male suicide seemed to run in the Tenerelli family. There were male suicides in previous generations and that Filippo's brother had also committed suicide.

So why would anyone assume Tenerelli wasn't suicidal?

Mon Durphy said...

Because this is Aug 2019 so of course since there's a chance Tenerelli told Watson to fuck off someplace they must have killed him, kind of like the Stubb's murder, 4 hippies laughing as they kicked the old man to death then show the pics of Tex, Winkelkren, Van Leslie Hout and At Susankins and "YEAH THOSE ARE THE FREAKS I SAW!!!!!

AstroCreep said...

I feel like Diane Lake was young enough to be de-programed and normalized herself into society. The others, I’ve not seen anything recent enough to say one way or the other. Squeaky serviced an 80 year old man for Charlie and attempted to assassinate a President. Kinda hard to believe she could be a normal person after being that devoted to Charlie.

starviego said...

Gorodish said...
"So why would anyone assume Tenerelli wasn't suicidal?"

Why would you assume he was? Was there a suicide note? Did his family, friends, co-workers report a pattern of pre-suicidal behavior? Like giving away his property, being unusually sad or happy before the act, etc?


For you fans of the 'suicide' theory, what is with all the anomalies of this case?

"Bee Greer remembered when Tenerelli showed up at the motel. He arrived without a car, she said, which was why he had to show her a driver's license--something the police and the newspapers had explicitly said he didn't do.
"I never would've checked in anyone in who came without a car and a license," she said ... She copied the license information into her register, which she later gave to the police. But the cops... refused to believe that the victim had showed her ID, or even that he had a wallet. "They kept coming back and trying to talk me out of it, she said, still angry all these years later. "It was a wallet with a driver's license--but they didn't want me to say that."

Not having a name would certainly hinder any investigation of the death of Tenerelli. Note he wasn't officially ID'ed until after the Barker arrests.

starviego said...

There may have been a 'doppelganger' pretending to be Tenerelli:

"..Tenerelli had a noticeable Italian accent. The man Greer spoke with had no accent at all. Maybe someone had checked in under Tenerelli's name...."

And if the guy who rented the room wasn't Tenerelli, then maybe it wasn't Tenerelli who bought the shotgun and ammo.


And why would FT bring a shovel and pick-ax with him? Was he anticipating his car getting stuck on the rocks? Note a pick-ax and shovel are exactly what you'd need if you want to bury a body.

starviego said...

Strange how FT suffers the shock of a shotgun blast to his head, yet manages to land on towels with a pillow over his head:

He(FT) was lying on his back... with "two Turkish bath towels under his head, possibly to soak up blood," and "a bed pillow over his head, apparently to muffle the sound.

Robert Denton, the surgeon, who'd conducted Tenerelli's autopsy, told me he'd never believed the case was a suicide; he only called it that under pressure from the coroner's office. ... It appeared to him now, as it probably did then, that Tenerelli had been "in a fight or dragged" before he was shot.


I agree though that, if this was a homicide, it seems way to sophisticated for the Family to have done. I suspect the people who were watching Charlie somehow viewed this guy a big threat to the plan, so he had to go.

EvaniaFlo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Peter said...

That's easy for you to say.

beauders said...

Funny Peter.

HellzBellz said...

@ Torque :
Maybe forgot baby Paul... He would have turned 50 years old the end of the Month...

Torque said...

@ HellzBellz,
Yes, I did somehow forget about Sharon and Roman's baby, Paul Polanski. Don't know how I did that, but thanks--I stand corrected.

Additionally, although I did not list other possible victims of the Family, there may be several of them, and they have been extensively covered on this blog. Thing is, to date, there has been no convincing evidence of the Family in their deaths--at least none that I am aware of. Nevertheless, may we remember them as well.

HellzBellz said...

@ Torque :

No Worries friend , All Good !!

HellzBellz said...

@ EvaniaFlo:

Euuuhhh... You searching for a Date/Future Husband/Green Card who became Miljonair playing On-Line Poker ?? Or You just win a Green Card Online PokerGaming ??
Sorrie I just do not understand this post at all....

DebS said...

That spam comment slipped by me Hellz. I've removed it!

starviego said...

Helter Skelter, pg105
witness Steve Zabriskie: ... a "Charlie" and a 'Clem' had committed both the Tate and LaBianca murders. He had heard this...from Ed Bailey and Vern Plumlee, two hippie types from California... Bailey had told him something else, Zabriskie said: that he had personally seen Charlie shoot a man in the head with a .45 caliber automatic. This had occurred in Death Valley.

Tenerelli, of course, died of a headshot in Death Valley.

starviego said...

Another quote:

Chaos, by Tom O'Neill pg503
Susan Atkins ... told Ronnie Howard... that the Family had killed more people than they'd been held accountable for, including "a guy in the desert--they can't identify him." ...this conversation between Howard and Atkins took place on November 2, 1969, a few days after Tenerellis's body had been identified in Bishop. Evidently the news hadn't reached Atkins yet.

starviego said...

Was staging a suicide really beyond the capabilities of the Mansonoids?

At the trial, a ranch hand told police that Manson had bragged about killing thirty-five people... The bodies had been buried or staged to look like suicides.
[O'Neill cites the deaths of Zero Haught and Lauren Willet(in '72) as murders staged to look like suicides.]

starviego said...

Is Filippo Tenerelli pictured in the 'Family Mugshots' page?

Doug said...

Scroll down. Lotta info, lotta photos