Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties
The Col recently was able to lay his hands on an ARC (advanced reading copy) of the above long awaited book (he mentions 20 years at least 100 times, in the part I have at least) by Tom O’Neill.
Before we start I should reference all my interactions with Tom over the last 20 years so I can allow the reader to decide what they will about where I cam coming from.
In 1999 a journalist named Anne Thompson knew I was an expert in all TLB matters and mentioned Tom was doing a piece on Hollywood ties to the murders. She suggested we talk. Back then we were working on our Manson movie that would be destroyed by the financial issues that occurred after 9/11. Tom and I met at my main hang (still today) El Compadre on Sunset for some flaming margaritas. Tom seemed nice and intelligent and reasonable. We shot the shit about TLB.
We shot the shit about TLB several other times after that.
As the internet grew and expanded and the TLB research base grew, the legend of the amazing ColScott grew as well. For reasons I never understood, Tom decided one day "out of a clear blue fucking sky" to doxx me to some people. Doxxing someone is shitty. Only shitty people do it. Tom O’Neill, unbeknownst to me, is a shitty person.
Tom and I would IM on occasion. Max Frost liked Tom. But Max Frost likes pretty much everybody. And he had not been doxxed by shitty person Tom O’Neill. When we communicated, he would be supercilious and I would be condescending.
Sometime in about 2009 he went on a TV show about TLB as an expert (literally having published nothing) and supported standard BUG lies, even going so far as to talk about a Karate school that Charlie ran for the Family that had me mocking him forever. Oh yeah and "unsolved murders." FFS
It is around this time that I learned that when trying to interview Col Tate’s widow (one of the 1000 interviews no doubt from below) he persisted after being told to desist and made her feel threatened. Since Col Tate married this woman AFTER Doris died she literally had no TLB connection, but hey, Tom gonna do Tom.
It was around this time that I received an email to the ONLY Official TLB Blog from Nancy Pitman wherein she talked about her interaction with Tom O’Neill- first she mentioned that he was contacting a movie producer named Brad Wyman to harass him about her involvement with his film although she was NOT involved. Then she wrote the following I quote verbatim "To say that Oneill is a "snob" or an "elitist" is rather generous. Oneill began with harassing my family and my elderly 90 year old parents.. I got his email address off one of the many "business cards" he left and asked him what he wanted. Here is a sample of what Tom Oneill sent me when he felt sure I lived in Bend, Oregon & I have cut and pasted directly from his email: "I will stay another day here and hope you change your mind and agree to meet, or at least speak with me over the phone. I think it will ultimately serve both of our best interests. If you choose not to, then I will have to take a different approach and contact your family members -- since they are referred to in these police interviews -- and vet the information with them. And if they won't speak to me, or if they don't have the answers, then I'll have no choice but to attempt to determine who are the people in your life now that you are close to and may have shared this information with, and then ask them." Then he went to the local newspaper in hopes they would pressure me to talk to him. Had I been working in Oregon he would have gone to my employer. I am sure that is the tactics he employed to ruin Steve's livelihood over in California. Can't get what he wants so he ruins someone's life or livelihood & actually manages to make it look (via you guys) like it was Steve's fault
So Tom is a dick, an unprofessional dick who doxxes people and harasses and threatens those who refuse to talk to him. By the way, I recall asking him about these events and his reply was chilling "I did what I had to do to get people to talk to me." So there’s that.
Sometime in 2015 ICM offered me the book to option. I never would have, but I wanted to read it. Tom had mentioned some stupid rooftop James Bond sounding meeting with Terry Melcher and I was looking for a laugh. But they didn’t have it. Tom stopped them anyway when he heard my name. Max Frost tells me Tom was being pressured to return the advance he was given by the publisher. Who knows why the book took 20 years? But I could guess that Tom is not a very good researcher and was trying to back into conclusions he had already come to.
One thing is for sure- his hatred for BUG is off the charts and he would have had a hard time getting any publisher to print this book with Bug alive. The beginning of the book is all BUG threatening his sorry ass.
Also around 2013 Tom O’Neill went mental about some old Tex Watson cassette tapes in which apparently nothing interesting happened. But yes he went mental, convinced there was a conspiracy to deny him a listen. Six years later the tapes are under lock and key and I do not care. Nothing has been done with him despite Tom's diaper rash.
I did notice that in his Medium article Tom considers Orca to be a good friend of his. Printing Bug’s alleged statement that Polanski filmed her sister’s rape may change that. I do hope Little Brown’s lawyers are prepared- Bug is dead, the conversation is not recorded so all you have is Tom O’Neill’s stunning revelation.
ONE WEIRD NOTE before we start our journey boys and girls: the Col likely got his first ARC in 1980 when he reviewed things for the Georgetown Hoya. Safe to say, 39 years later he has probably seen close to 2000 ARCS. HE HAS NEVER SEEN AN ARC that was the first 80 pages of the book only. Never. Since the purpose of an ARC is to gather early publicity what would be the point? They cannot review 1/6th of book can they? Yet this is what was sent out. Is it because the book isn’t finished yet? Or are they scared of reviews like this that point out the sloppiness of this epic? So sloppy that one of the pictures included of Charlie with Dennis Wilson is a fucking fotoshop collage?
Our Journey- Since I cannot review the book that doesn’t exist I have pulled passages that jumped out at me as troublesome and commented after them. I look forward to your insights in the comments.
It was a sunny day in February, 2006 and we were in the kitchen of his Pasadena home.
BUG invites Tom into his lair and shit is gonna get real
Among many other things, I had evidence in Vince’s own handwriting that one of his lead witnesses had lied under oath.
In this 80 page teaser we do not get to see what this evidence is. My current suspicion is that he wrote "Wrangle that bitch Linda to talk about the toilet in Sylmar better". Joking but who could have been forced to testify according to BUG’s whim more than Yana? Hell, he was controlling her on Larry King a few years ago.
I’d interviewed more than a thousand people by then.
Seriously if Tom interviewed MORE than a 1000 people by then I have to conclude that he was interviewing strangers at the Greyhound station who just got off the bus. I would have a very hard time to name 100 people in this case who might have information that matters in this case. And later he’s gonna whine how many people refused to talk to his needy ass.
I’ve never been a Manson apologist. I think he was every bit as evil as the media made him out to be.
Think. He still to this day believes the BUG. Karate Schools baby.
The point, as I saw it, was that an act of perjury called the whole motive for the murders into question.
Fucking BUG lied under oath about the newspaper coming in, you really are shocked he suborned perjury? REALLY?
One of them, Mary Neiswender of the Long Beach Press Telegram and Independant, told me that Vince had threatened her back in the eighties, when she was preparing an expose on him. He knew where her kids went to school, "and it would be very easy to plant narcotics in their lockers". Actually, I didn’t even need other sources-Vince himself had told me mere minutes ago that he had no compunction about hurting people to "exact justice or get revenge"
Snidely Whiplash step right up.
There are at least four versions of what happened that weekend in August, each with its own account of who stabbed whom, with which knives, who said what, who was standing where.
No there really are not.
More than anything, they lived according to the whims of their leader, the thirty-four year-old Charles Milles Manson, who had commanded them to take their trip that night.
Jesus this doesn’t look good. They lived according to Charlie’s WHIMS!
Watson scaled a pole to sever the phone lines to the house. He’d been here the before, and he knew where to find them right away.
Tom wants you to believe that having been to the house once before Tex knew the telephonic and electrical layout by heart. Think about that
At the top of the driveway they found Steven Parent, an eighteen-year-old who’d been visiting the caretaker in the guesthouse to sell him a clock radio.
Tom believes that Steven was selling clock radios to strangers at midnight in Benedict Canyon, rather than getting blow jobs. Tom is wrong.
Frykowski was coming off a ten-day mescaline trip at the time
Tom had a stopwatch and a clock
She peered into a second bedroom, where a man sat on the edge of a bed, talking to a pregnant woman who lay there in just her bra and underwear.
Tom doesn’t like the word panties nor the word blow job
On the bed with him was his ex-girlfriend, Sharon Tate, then twenty-six and eight months pregnant with her first child wearing only lingerie.
He repeats this within the same page- seems obsessed with Sharon’s undies.
Atkins had remained in the house with Tate, who was whimpering sitting on the floor still in only lingerie, and still bound by the neck to the dead body of her former lover Sebring.
Again with the panties hang up, third time in two pages. And if Jay is dead then of course he is former.
"Woman I have no Mercy for you" Atkins responded, locking her arm around Tate’s neck from behind.
I believe the word was "Bitch" and I believe there are multiple versions of who held whom.
With a welter of his followers
I tried three dictionaries and do not believe the word "welter" means what Tom thinks it means.
"He has no plans for release", one report said "as he has nowhere to go "
Tom be accurate – this is what Charlie said as he was leaving Terminal Island it is not from a report.
Melcher had flirted with the idea of recording Manson who had dreams of rock stardom, but he decided against it. Sometime in the spring before the murders, Manson had gone looking for Melcher at the house hoping to change his mind, but a friend of the tenants told him that Melcher didn’t live there. Manson didn’t like the guy’s brusque attitude. Consequently, the house on Cielo Drive came to represent the "establishment" that had rejected him.
There is so much inaccurate with this quote. Suffice to say, Melcher NEVER intended to record Charlie, was just humoring some of his major clients.
For a Family novitiate, the goal was to burn yourself out, to take so much LSD and listen to so much of Charlie’s music that you returned "to a purity and nothingness" resembling a new birth.
This goal was literally never mentioned ever by anyone.
Even my most reliable sources were shaky on the details. As for the unreliable sources, I kept reminding myself that many of them were washed-up Hollywood personalities, often in their dotage.
One thing that resonates throughout the excerpt is Tom’s reliance on "sources." He is like other bad journalists I have met throughout my career- if you speak to him then you are at least credible. If you don’t you have something to hide. He seriously reprints nonsense in this book so far that is mind boggling. But hey they spoke to him on the record!
Were the police aware of Manson’s crimes much earlier than it seemed-had they delayed arresting the family to protect the victims, or Melcher and his circle, from scrutiny?
The problem with any conspiracy is that it is so unlikely that you can get 2 people to agree on anything, much less 20 plus. Look at the Russiagate mess now. Tom is wondering if the police delayed arresting Manson to appease a music producer, Doris Day’s son. The answer, obviously is that Tom has gone deep in the rabbit hole
Almost right away, I felt the kind of cognitive dissonance that followed me through my reporting. I’d meet my sources at a fancy restaurant of their choice-in this case, Le Petit Four, a sunny sidewalk cafe in Beverly Hills-and within minutes, as the conversation turned towards violence the plush setting would feel totally incongruous.
Le Petit Four, which has amazing onion soup, is over a mile outside Beverly Hills. But hey, as above, fuck facts.
In 1999, apparently, that fear was still alive and well, at least among Hollywood’s A-list, many of whom declined to speak to me, even though thirty years had passed. I was rebuffed by the intimates of the Tate Polanski, and Sebring-sometimes with vehemence sometimes with tersely worded emails or phone calls. "No interest.’ "Doesn’t want to be involved". Or just one word: "No". Warren Beatty and Jane Fonda said no. Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper, both reputedly close to Tate and Polanski: no, no. Candice Bergen, Terry Melcher’s girlfriend at the time of the murders, said no, too-as did David Geffen, Mia Farrow, and Anjelica Huston, among others.
"Hi I am a reporter for a puff piece Film magazine and I am getting obsessed with the murder of someone you knew (at least in passing) WHY won’t you talk to me?" I mean what the fuck, the entitlement of this guy.
Plus, by Bugliosi's own account, Manson sent his followers to the Cielo house knowing full well that Melcher did not live there anymore.
Around here Tom starts to get confused. Because either BUG is a dirty rat liar or he isn’t. Either Manson sent everyone. Or he didn’t. Cannot make up his foul mind.
When he’d joined the case, the detectives told him they’d recovered some videotape in the loft at the house on Cielo Drive. The footage, clearly filmed by Polanski, depicted Sharon Tate being forced to have sex with two men. Bugliosi never saw the tape, but he told the detectives, "put it back where you found it. Roman suffered enough. There’s nothing to gain. All it's going to do is hurt her memory and hurt him. They’re both victims"
Tom quotes BUG and starts to attack the victims here. I know Orca reads this and doesn’t like me anymore than I like her but I hope she sends this to Roman. His lawsuit against Vanity Fair was won and this is worse- "New Book Claims Polanski filmed his wife being raped for his own jollies." What has this got to do with motive? Does anyone believe this shit?
That meant that Polanski could walk all over her. One friend who called him "one of the most evil people I ever met," said that he had smashed Sharon’s face into a mirror, and on another occasion forced her to watch a recording of him having sex with another woman. He cheated on her constantly and made sure she knew about it.
And more victim bashing. Polanski cheated and his wife deserved to be stabbed to death then?
"He would throw a brick in the pool and watch my dog dive for it and try to retrieve it . He stood there laughing. The dog wouldn’t give up."
Oh fuck Roman was mean to Joanna Pettet’s dog! That makes him....what exactly?
So what story do you want to tell? The one about this little prick who left his wife alone... with Jay Sebring and Gibby and Voytek, these wankers, these four tragic losers, or do you want to talk about a poor kid, Roman Polanski?"
I met Bill Tennant once. It was an odd experience back in 1988 and I will share the story with anyone in person if asked. But his alleged quote above doesn’t factor into the trauma that haunted Bill his whole life. It is just more blame the victim bullshit.
So, before a crowd of onlookers, they lowered Doyle’s pants, flogged him and anally raped him.
Tom, obsessed with panties, now spends pages tracking down the possible rape of a drug dealer who did NOT kill these people so who care?
In short, he told the LAPD’s Lieutenant Earl Deemer that he didn’t remember being raped, but he couldn’t be sure; it might’ve happened anyway. He recalled going over to see Frykowski at the Cielo house on the night in question, sometime in early July.
If an ass rape happens in the forest and no one remembers it did it even happen?
In another LAPD officer’s account of that interview, Doyle puts it even more frankly; "i was so freaked out on drugs I wouldn’t know if they’d fucked me or not"
He was also so strung out on drugs he doesn’t know if Stoner Van Houten drew Sharpie dicks on his face but it COULD have happened.
He added that Bugliosi was "an asshole" who’d never interviewed him or Billy. "Vincent Bugliosi knows to keep his mouth shut. I’d’ve got him killed. I didn’t tell him that-I didn’t have to".
Quoting elderly gangster drug dealers – must be one of the 1000 plus interviews
Contradicting what he’d told me on the phone, he said that Frykowski had sold MDA, but only to close friends.
Define close, Tom
Doyle believed that Polanski and Frykowski were Polish spies the former subverting American democracy with his decadent film.
Yes, do go on, you keep quoting this shithead lunatic you must have a reason.
"The community has looked at this as a settled thing until you started talking to us"
The community is Springfield and this guy is Grampa and next we buy a monorail!
Then, after the murders, Little Joe got a call from General Charlie Baron, a casino executive and mobster who told him, "Don’t worry, Little Joe, you’re going to be all right." He presumed that the murders had been a drug deal gone wrong, and that Jay and Frykowski had been targeted.
Even those on the Ponderosa had to be reassured.
"Do you think he sold drugs?" I asked , aware that Frykowski had possibly been doing the same.
"It wouldn’t surprise me."
Here we blame Sebring as if he had violent death coming. Hey Tom, it wouldn’t surprise this shithead if Sebring used to finger his own butthole too.
(this sequence is hilarious as Tom gets the above quotes out of a Beverly Hills barber over the course of MONTHS, Joe Torrenuvea. He literally keeps going to get haircuts to ask him question that denigrate Sebring)
Sebring’s problem had multiplied throughout the sixties. He’d clash with other barbers who wanted to unionize. In 1963, a group of his stylists had defected, en masse, to start their own business. At other times he’d had to hire bodyguards because some guys had come into the shop and "roughed up" several employees, Torrenueva said, for reasons that were never shared with him. Sebring carried a gun and "he shot someone once who came to his house and was giving his father a rough time at the door."
You see where we are? Random vague quotes from fucking barbers are not evidence of anything. Yet here we are, spreading shit about a DEAD VICTIM.
Which meant that in addition to drug dealers and Hollywood’s seedier hangers-on, I had to account for the mobsters, ex-military figures, intelligence agents in my reporting. I was already worried about wandering into the weeds-now I risked veering off the map entirely.
That happened 50 pages ago...
TO BE CLEAR- BUG was a liar, philanderer, horrible human being. Bug bashing is cool, we can't have enough of it. But Tom, sloppy facts are throughout this. Manson is not 5'2'. They did not drive a Ford Falcon the nights of the killings. Bug was not 32 during the trial. And that fotoshop is terrible.
You need an editor after 20 years, old man. Send me the book and MAYBE with the help of real researchers on the Blog we can spare your publisher from too many legal actions.
You have my email. Operators are standing by