Monday, October 14, 2019

Shoshone - The Caliche Mud Caves

A video that blog reader Chris did in Shoshone. The cave seen in this video are where Little Paul Watkins and Paul Crocket stayed after leaving Barker Ranch in fear.

These caves are mentioned in My Life with Charles Manson by Paul Watkins and Guillermo Soledad (1979):
"...I continued to work with Crockett and Brooks, but I was divided within myself. I can honestly say that no time in my life was more agonizing than the months between Charlie’s capture and his conviction. I walked a mighty thin line. The view from the middle often gives a panorama of all sides. But my balance was precarious at best, and what I paid for that vantage point in suffering was more than I could afford. That I survived at all appears, in retrospect, something of a miracle.

"The hillsides around Shoshone are riddled with manmade caves, dug originally by itinerant miners, prospectors, and other vagabonds, who, over the years, found the town a convenient oasis in the scorching lowlands of the Amargosa Valley. Shoshone was also a water stop on the railroad line and for a time the site of a thriving hobo jungle which centered in and around the tufa caves. Crockett and Poston were broke and living in one of those caves when I arrived on October 9. Don Ward had told them (as he did me) not to leave Shoshone, that the Barker Ranch was about to be busted.

"The following day, just before dawn, while the three of us slept off a reunion celebration on the floor of the cave, officers from the highway patrol, the Inyo county sheriff’s office, and the national park rangers assembled near Golar Wash for a raid on the Barker Ranch—a raid that lasted three days and resulted in the capture of Charlie and most of the Family. All were taken to the Inyo county seat in Independence (just four hours north of Shoshone) and booked for auto theft.

"I didn’t know then, nor did Brooks or Crockett, that during the raid Stephanie (Schram) and Kitty Lutesinger (Bobby Beausoleil’s girlfriend, who was then five months pregnant with his child) had been trying to escape from the Family. They asked the police for protection and were taken to Independence to be interviewed by detectives. When it was learned that Kitty was Bobby’s girlfriend, she was asked what she knew about the Hinman murder. She said she had heard that Manson sent Bobby and a girl named Susan Atkins to Hinman’s house to collect some money and that when he refused to pay, they had killed him."








30 comments:

xreles said...

awesome visuals

Dan S said...

Petra west

Suze said...

Talk about roughing it! Yikes!

StillGrooving said...

Neat place. Are the doors fairly recent?

vettboss said...

I do not know if the doors are recent or not. The first time we visited the caves were about 5 years ago. They have not changed since then.

orwhut said...

Similar to his web site, Chris's Youtube channel is Strange RV Tours. The titles look interesting and I think I saw at least one more that is Manson related.

vettboss said...

I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to visit some of the Manson related sights. The first time I read Helter Skelter and saw the movie, it read like a fiction novel to me. But when I had the chance to visit some of the locations the story and crimes started to become "Real" to me. It opened my eyes to other theories about how and why the crimes were committed. For 11 years I lived only a few miles from where Tex Watson grew up and never realized it. Recently we went back to see Tex's boyhood hometown and even had the chance to meet someone who went to high school with him. She and her family told me that Tex was a model citizen and to this day they have a hard time believing he could have been involved in the murders. The town of Copeville where Tex grew-up is one of the most peaceful places I have ever been. As I was videotaping Tex's boyhood home a small dog started to bark at me from the backyard. Small things like that make the manson family story come to life. I wonder just what happened to this young man that caused him to become so animalistic and uncaring for human life. Strange, just really strange.

orwhut said...


vettboss said...
snip/ I wonder just what happened to this young man that caused him to become so animalistic and uncaring for human life. Strange, just really strange.

According to the new edition of The Garbage People, I can't recall the new title, Tex answered that question himself. It was drugs.

vettboss said...

Funny you should mention the new edition of The Garbage People, I just started reading my "Old" edition again last night. I am sure drugs was a major player in the transformation of Tex.

grimtraveller said...

orwhut said...

the new edition of The Garbage People, I can't recall the new title

Manson: The Unholy Trail of Charlie and the Family.

In my opinion, a really stupid title. The original was much better in every way. The same thing happened with "Trial by your peers" by William Zamora, which was rebranded as "Blood Family." What a crock of a title. "Trial by your peers" isn't great as a title but it's a way better title than than what it's called now.

orwhut said...

Grim,
Thank you. I have both of those books under the new titles and in both cases liked the old titles better.

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

vettboss,
Vettboss,
I picked up Manson: The Unholy Trail of Charlie and the Family, twice recently without looking at the title and read a while before realizing which of two similar looking books I was reading. Both times, I went to a turned down page and read about Tex telling a friend that the changes in his personality were because of drugs so when you pondered the question I had to chime in.

vettboss said...

Orwhut,
Thank you for the info...

cindyfromphilly said...

Long term lurker.
This is the first time I've believed anything from tex's mouth. Speed freaks are the worst of the worst in drug land. They'd cut their own mother's throat in their addiction.

cindyfromphilly said...

Loved the video.

orwhut said...

Blogger vettboss said...
Orwhut,
Thank you for the info...

You're quite welcome.

grimtraveller said...

vettboss said...

I am sure drugs was a major player in the transformation of Tex

I think that's the best way to put it, "a major player." It was without a doubt a major player, but it was one of a few major players as opposed to the defining player. I don't think there was one defining player although it will always be a debate to get stuck into as to whether he would actually have committed murder {let alone 9 of them if you include baby Paul and Shorty} if he'd not been in thrall to Charlie.

cindyfromphilly said...

Speed freaks are the worst of the worst in drug land. They'd cut their own mother's throat in their addiction

Paradoxically, I think drugs did not play as big a part in the actual murders on the nights in question as Tex would like us all to believe.

Bobby said...

I think amphetamines were a big aid in what Tec did, what Decarlo did , and what CM did inspite of his ban on them to the family. I think he did methamphetamine and tried to keep the family away from them although I also suspect he have it to them without telling them he was. Unfortunately I have experienced the drug and have some practable experience in the scenario which brings me to my belief. Of course this is just my belief.

orwhut said...

I have MANSON THE UNHOLY TRAIL OF CHARLIE AND THE FAMILY in my lap right now and Tex is quoted as having said 'Dope is getting into me.'
I don't know that it makes any difference that I said 'drugs' and I apologize if it does. The quote is in Chapter 10, page 68, last paragraph.

vettboss said...

cindyfromphilly said...
Loved the video.

Thank You! We really enjoyed making it. The entire area around the caves has a very surreal feel to it.

Tim A. said...

Very interesting video, vettboss.

I am mostly a lurker, but I have commented a few times. I arrived in California today for the first time, and I was able to drive to Benedict Canyon and Cielo Drive among other destinations.
I wasn't sure where the exact location of the house was but, I had a general idea. I didn't stay there long because I know the locals are not thrilled to have outsiders there on the narrow drive. Anyway, I'm glad to be in LA for a few days.

vettboss said...

Tim A. said...
Very interesting video, vettboss.

Thank You. The locals on Cielo Dr. have gotten used to people looking at the house. I suggest you park at the bottom of the hill and walk up, that way you inconvenience the residents as little as possible. It is difficult to turn around on Cielo. I have only been approached by a resident once. He yelled at me and asked why I cared about murders that took place so long ago. To make a long story short, he and I became friends and I have even been inside his home just a few doors down from the Tate property.

AstroCreep said...

Grim, my personal belief is that drug use as it pertains to this case, have no bearing other than how Charlie utilized them to administer his mantra and become Christ-like. That’s it.

AstroCreep said...

**has

vettboss said...

No curse words, but I have to admit it was intimidating. Anytime I visit a location like Cielo I get a little nervous. I always feel as though I am intruding....

Unknown said...

👍

vettboss said...

It is as narrow as it looks.... It is a steep incline as well. Another reason to park down the hill. Some people like to visit Cielo late at night and when they try to turn around their headlight shine directly into the neighbors windows.

Panamint Patty said...

Remember when the grump sent us photos of himself here, insisting that he looked just like Bobby b? Good times.

cindyfromphilly said...

Grimtravler,

Clearly there was something wrong with them other than drugs. But with most murders alcohol and or drugs plays a role. I'm a true crime follower also and the list goes on with that. Their are so many factors that play into criminal behavior. James Fallon's work clearly shows the physical anomalies psychopaths have. Regardless of genetics, pathology, social environments, abuse, etc it still comes down to personal choice. And for that they are accountable. I don't know if they the "killers" even understand the level of inhumanity they showed themselves to be capable of. We just had a 2 yr old killed and a 10 month old in 24 hrs shot here from drug related violence. Just innocent bystanders. But that's impersonal killing that comes with drugs in all cities. As horrible as it is home invasion's are a kind of violence. And stabbing another human the amount of times they did is a whole other level of violence. I also have mixed feelings about their parole. I do believe their notoriety has not helped them. But again their fault. And who cares if they are rehabilitated and found Jesus, they still willingly took lives and shouldn't be here.

But then again I'm weird, the 2 blogs I lurk are this one and a real housewives..and the real housewives have been winning lately. Though I really enjoyed the video. Nature is beautiful.