Monday, January 28, 2019

Manson in Mexico

Manson in Mexico

Charlie's life has been extensively researched, and we know where he was month-to-month, especially after he became institutionalized.   But there is a big gap in the Manson timeline from January of 1960 until June 1, 1960, when he is arrested on an outstanding warrant in the south Texas town of Laredo where he had just crossed the border from Mexico. Neither Bugliosi nor Sanders mentions this foray to another country, nor that Charlie had been deported from Mexico.

The only source of information for his sojourn there was Charlie himself, and as usual, it's impossible to make any sense of the various versions he gave, or why exactly he got arrested by the Mexican cops.

--Charlie arrested for drug use?
"From memory, the Indians he'd scored off wound up tying him up mid-trip and calling the federales, who dropped him at Laredo once they spotted his warrant."

--A young girl is assaulted and Manson somehow got caught up in it?

Charles Manson Now by Marlin Marynick, pg27of155
"If you're highway patrol and you're molesting people on the way to school, one of the parents is going to get upset when their little girls come back with blood all over their dresses. That's what I learned in Mexico, In Mexico, if you transgress against another man's family and he comes and he takes your life, they don't take him to trial. They give him an apology for the behavior of an asshole that didn't abide by the rules and regulations that he should have abided by. Then if you come up and you won't snitch, the Mexican cops will beat your motherfuckin ass and make you tell. They'll hook you up to electronics and bury you in shit, if necessary."

--Charlie busted for possession of illegal weapons?

Charles Manson Now by Marlin Marynick, pg65of155
"I stole that from Pasadena in the fifties and took it to Mexico and scared everybody to death down there with something they’d never seen before. They seen that .357 Magnum, they thought I was from outer space. Can you imagine that .357 Magnum coming in a field of .45s and .38s."

--Suspect in a multiple murder case?

Charles Manson - 1992 Parole Hearing
INMATE MANSON: I just was released from McNeil Island and I was in Mexico City prison before that and I was in Terminal Island before that.
PRESIDING BOARD COMMISSIONER KOENIG: Now you said you also spent time in Mexico in a prison.
INMATE MANSON: Yes, I was in Mexico for -
INMATE MANSON: In Mexico City, prison, yes. Immigration prison.
INMATE MANSON: I had been accused of killing some French people and a couple dudes in Acapulco.
PRESIDING BOARD COMMISSIONER KOENIG: And how long were you in prison down there?
INMATE MANSON: I was there a couple different times.

Where and when did Charlie cross the border into Mexico? Why did he go there? Was he carrying a US passport, necessary for any further travel into Mexico(as opposed to merely day-tripping in a border town)? Was the US Embassy in Mexico City notified of Charlie's arrest and detention? Why didn't Bugliosi or the investigators express any interest in what Charlie was doing there?   He attempted to trace Charlie's entire criminal history, yet says nothing about Manson's incarceration in Mexico.  Why didn't Bugs contact the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles for some answers?  Or contact the US Embassy in Mexico City?  Or ask the State Department in Washington about what they knew?  This whole trip seems to be another "area of silence" in the Manson file. I doubt we will ever get any resolution.


Yet another version by Charlie, from Manson In His Own Words by Nuel Emmons:

"I headed south and ended up in Mexico City. ... When I first Mexico City, I had some dollars in my pocket so I partied and mingled with the bull fighters. I met a couple of the lesser-known matadors and spent a few days learning to use the cape and sword. Of course the bulls were only half-grown and the sword was never thrust into the animal, but even half-grown, those suckers weight four- to five- hundred pounds and can send a guy flying. After picking my ass up off the ground a few times, I learned how to handle the cape and could stay as close to the bull without getting touched as some of the matadors. "You good, gringo," they told me. "You got all the moves, but you never be matador. You not tall enough."

[This would be like a foreign tourist to the US, using his pidgin English, falling in with NFL football players.  Not impossible, but highly improbable.  And I don't remember Charlie ever boasting to anybody else about his bullfighting skills.]

"When my money started running out, some of the things in the homes I was invited to also started disappearing. No one called the federales, but invitations stopped coming my way. ...a hustler and thief manages to find his own kind wherever he goes, and Mexico City has some areas that would make the events on Miami Vice look like choir practice. I ran into some game, chilly dudes down there. ... I earned some respect from that group of people by being so ignorant I didn't know where to stop. I had stolen a .357 Magnum from one of the haciendas I had visited. ... With some jailhouse Spanish and the kind of hand signals I'd seen the scouts use in the movies, I walked into the Yaqui camp like I belonged there. ... Intending to trade the Magnum for mushrooms, I pulled the gun from my pants, pointing it at the guy who was talking. I said, "This buy mushroom?" ..The gun looked threatening, but that wasn't the way I meant to be, so I handed the gun to the one who said he'd give me some mushrooms.

[Anybody ever hear Charlie talking in Spanish?  I sure haven't.  And it's also kind of strange that Charlie would have even known about psychedelic mushrooms as far back as 1960, much less go out of his way to seek them out.  He doesn't seem to have been a big drug user until he got to San Francisco in 1967.]

"As soon as the gun was in his hands, he pointed it at me and said "You loco, now I kill." He stuck the gun in my stomach... and pulled the trigger. When he snapped that there weren't any shells in it, the four of them started laughing...

[Seems suspiciously close to the circumstances of the Crowe shooting.]

"Even the federales heard about the macho gringo who was friend to the Yaqui. They told me all about it, after they arrested me. "Oh Si, Senor Manson, we hear about you before. The United States say send you back to Texas." Two weeks later I was being booked in the Laredo jail."

[In this version, Charlie is arrested solely on a warrant from the US side.]

Charlie says he was trying to score some psilocybin magic mushrooms, which is weird, as drugs have never been Charlie's main thing.  And the existence of those mushrooms was not widely known in 1960, even though they were the subject of a feature in Life magazine:
In May 1957 Life magazine published an article titled "Seeking the Magic Mushroom", which brought knowledge of the existence of psychoactive mushrooms to a wide audience for the first time. ...  The article sparked immense interest in the Mazatec ritual practice among beatniks and hippies, an interest that proved disastrous for the Mazatec community ....    (ethnomycologist Gordon) Wasson's 1956 expedition(to southern Mexico to get the specimens) was funded by the CIA's MK-Ultra subproject 58, as was revealed by documents obtained by John Marks under the Freedom of Information Act.  The documents state that Wasson was an 'unwitting' participant in the project. ...

So was Charlie an 'unwitting' participant in something similar going on?

May 1957 Life magazine - Product Placement, CIA-style?


"I get high with a little help from my friends."
  --The Beatles



This double murder from Sept 13, 1959 that happened in Mexico City has some interesting similarities to TLB:

Mercedes Cassola, 39, and Ycilio Massine, 23, were found stabbed to death in the bedroom of her house in an affluent neighborhood of the city.   The crime remains unsolved.

Cassola, 39, was an heiress born in Spain and Massine, 23. was born in Mexico of Italian parents

--They were stabbed to death in overkill fashion
   (18 deep stab wounds in Cassola, 47 in Massine)

--The male victim was allegedly castrated. (Some early reports from the Tate scene had Jay Sebring being castrated.)

--Some accounts claim that bloody writing was left on the wall

--The phone line was cut

--The ex-husband of Cassolo was initially a suspect but was cleared as he was in Europe at the time.

--Two different weapons used in the killings, of different sizes.

--No signs of forced entry. Mercedes Cassola didn't appear to have any enemies.

--Two maids sleeping in another part of the house did not hear anything.

--The two dogs in the house did not bark at the intruders.

--Victims were vilified in the press, in the Mexican version of "Live freaky, die freaky." (There were allegations Massine was a male prostitute.)

Could there be a connection to Charlie?  The timeline is off, as Charlie didn't get to Mexico until early 1960.  But that's assuming the timeline is accurate.

Even if Manson had nothing to do with it, the cops there may have looked on Charlie as a suspect, and he may have been peppered with questions about bloody writing on the wall, or cut telephone lines, etc--details which stuck in his memory.