Monday, March 30, 2020

The Unanswered Questions of the Spahn Ranch mini-raid of July 28, 1969

In the early hours of July 28th, about three or four Los Angeles Sheriff's patrol cars, at least one from the LAPD, and possibly two more from the California Highway Patrol showed up at Spahn Ranch, investigating stolen cars.  Only ranch hand Johnny Swartz was arrested--for having false license plate on his car.


There are a number of unusual things about this raid, leaving questions which were never answered.



--Was Charlie tipped off to the raid?

He was right there to greet the cops before they even entered the property.  From Sanders' The Family, pg250:

"He(Manson) had concealed himself and his dune buggy in underbrush near the turnoff from Topanga Canyon Boulevard onto Santa Susanna Pass Road, awaiting the invasion of hostile forces."


--How did Charlie get away with threatening the cops without getting his ass beat?

http://www.cielodrive.com/manson-case-files/BOX-30.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3X_Jd5u7Wyd1RIL6JfmGX0YkmzWJ6ERH2NhpQxLV767nS8aivttzhmZWU
Box 30  pg112of738
Appellant Manson further said that he respected the police and due to this respect, he could kill Deputy Olmstead at any time he wanted.  He also said that all he had to do was to drive up next to Deputy Olmstead at a stop sign, stick a shotgun out of the window and blow his head off. ...  Appellant Manson said .. that there were guns trained on the deputies from the hills around them and that, at appellant Manson's command, they could be wiped out.


--How and why did the LAPD get involved?

SPAHN RANCH RAID REPORT
"On August 1, 1969, your affiant received information from Deputy Samuel J. Olmstead, #2504, LASO, that at approximately 1:10 a.m. on July 28, 1969, he had received a call from LAPD Dispatcher reporting one of their units requests a Sheriff's unit on Topanga Canyon just north of Chatsworth Street regarding possible stolen vehicles. At approximately 2:30 a.m., Car 102 requested assistance from 100-5, 101, and CID units in the area. Unit arrived at location at approximately 3:15 a.m. and Deputy E.A. Loobey, #2585, advised that LAPD had run two vehicles at the Spahn Ranch, and both had come back as stolen.

murdersofaugust69.freeforums.net/thread/634/laso-spahn-ranch-report-august
Officer Williams, #13814, LAPD, Devonshire Division. Officer Williams stated that within the last two weeks(on July 28th) he and his partner were on duty at the Spahn Ranch in a marked police vehicle.

The LAPD admits they were at that time investigating the Ranch:

murdersofaugust69.freeforums.net/thread/634/laso-spahn-ranch-report-august
Your affiant has also learned that the Los Angeles Police Department Headquarters Auto Theft is also conducting an investigation at the ranch.


--Why did the LAPD only 'run' the plates on two of the cars there?  Did cops come back the next day to continue their investigation?


--Which two cars were they talking about? 

One is tempted to think at least one of them was Hinman's Fiat or VW van.





--Why would Bugliosi claim it was the Fiat that was seen at the ranch?

Bugs addresses the July 28 mini-raid on Spahn in a brief footnote(Helter Skelter, pg139), which says:

"...on July 28, two LASO deputies--Olmstead and Grap--visited Spahn Ranch on another matter. While there they saw the Fiat, ran a spot check on the license, and learned that it belonged to Gary Hinman."


  The Fiat
















Every other account of the raid claims it was the VW minibus that the Deputies found at Spahn. But if Bugs had said that, he would have had to explain why they didn't notice that this car had been hot-wired.  Which would of course have been evidence that this was a stolen car, and would have been quickly connected to a murder victim.

It is probably not coincidental that Manson quickly got rid of the VW after this raid:

www.mansonblog.com/search?q=Arneson
Mark Arneson got the bus for free from Manson in late July or early Aug. "Manson.... showed Arneson how to hot-wire the car and started it."

                                                        Mark Arneson



--Did Sheriff's Deputies Grap and Olmstead really fail to connect the discovery of Gary Hinman's VW van with the discovery of Hinman's body three days later?

Helter Skelter, pg139
"Grap knew Hinman; he also knew he was a friend of the people at Spahn Ranch, and therefore didn't feel there was anything suspicious about the station wagon's being there. At this time, although Hinman was dead, his body had not yet been discovered.
After the discovery of the body on July 31, LASO put out a "want" on Hinman's vehicles. Grap didn't learn of it, or Hinman's death, until much later. If he had known, of course, he could have directed the investigation to Spahn Ranch, and the Manson Family months before Kitty Lutesinger implicated Atkins and the others."

So Deputies Grap and Olmstead, of the Malibu Sheriff's substation, didn't know the name of a recent murder victim killed in the territory covered by the Malibu Sheriff's substation.  And didn't know anything about a BOLO/'Want' on the victim's two distinctive automobiles.  Which is no ordinary BOLO on a stolen car, but that of a murder victim--a murder victim that Grap knew personally.

And how exactly did Grap "know" Hinman?   Was it through official Sheriff's business?

The other seven to nine officers there participating in the raid didn't make the connection either.  Maybe the Malibu area at that time was a hotbed of murder activity, and the Hinman name got lost in the shuffle.

I find all this hard to believe.  To me this is just another example of Charlie using his 'Get out of Jail Free' card.



--Is the mini-raid the reason Charlie had Bobby go back to the Hinman crime scene to make sure they left no traces of their involvement, including removing the bloody writing on the wall?  Is that why Beausoleil, Manson, and Davis suddenly left town?  (All three were caught in the raid on July 28th.)

The raid occurred just hours after the murder of  Hinman.  Having cops show up asking about Gary must have seriously freaked out the killers.










29 comments:

ColScott said...


--Is the mini-raid the reason Charlie had Bobby go back to the Hinman crime scene to make sure they left no traces of their involvement, including removing the bloody writing on the wall?

-------------
two weeks in quarantine and now we are just writing random words?

orwhut said...

Thanks for the photos, Star. I've been curious as to how the Fiat's radiator was attached since reading that it stuck out of the engine compartment.

cielodrivecom said...

LAPD wouldn't have seen the VW bus at the ranch because it was taken elsewhere and hidden as soon as they came back from Hinman's

grimtraveller said...

Starviego said...

Is that why Beausoleil, Manson, and Davis suddenly left town? (All three were caught in the raid on July 28th)

Did Bruce leave soon after ? Where did he go to ?

Charlie skipped 5 or 6 days after the police came. That's not exactly "suddenly."

Bobby left 8 or 9 days later. Not exactly "suddenly" either. And when one considers that his first child {he concurrently was expecting children from 3 women} was born the day he killed Gary and was in San Francisco and he was on his way to see her, it's not so unusual that with the pressure of a murder on his back, he might want to be getting away from Spahn. He's always felt that Charlie manipulated him into killing Gary so Spahn might be somewhere he'd want to get away from for the forseeable. But I think he was intending to return.
Just not so quickly !!

One other thing. You refer to it as a raid, but who was actually arrested ? Was Bruce ? Was Bobby ?

And how exactly did Grap "know" Hinman? Was it through official Sheriff's business?

Do you know any cops ?

starviego said...

grimtraveller said...
"Did Bruce leave soon after ? Where did he go to ?"

His whereabouts for the first week of Aug are unknown. There is little to no mention of him being at Spahn at the time, so I think he skipped.

Unknown said...

Gary Hinman died on July 28th, so how could a cop know to check the plate? As for Charlie bragging to the police that he could easily kill them, and they leave? This story is absolute lunacy if you think it is to be believed.

orwhut said...

The story about Charlie telling the police there were guns trained on them sounds like what he's supposed to have told the Straight Satans.
Could the stories have been confused?

GreenWhite said...

It seems inconceivable that Charlie could tell the police he had guns trained on them, especially at 5'7 or 5'3 or whatever and not get his head slapped off. However, they did rough him up a bit during the August raid so who knows. Charlie and his not family did and said a lot of stupid shit.

Matthew said...

If he had known, of course, he could have directed the investigation to Spahn Ranch, and the Manson Family months before Kitty Lutesinger implicated Atkins and the others."

I have always found it strange how Kitty snitched on the family so many times and still kept vigil on the street corner with the others. She snitched on Bobby and Sadie even before August 69. Surprised that she was never treated to an LSD burger.

cielodrivecom said...

Olmstead's testimony regarding this incident starts on page 11,177

Gorodish said...

Matthew typed:

I have always found it strange how Kitty snitched on the family so many times and still kept vigil on the street corner with the others. She snitched on Bobby and Sadie even before August 69. Surprised that she was never treated to an LSD burger.

Or worse. She's lucky she wasn't buried alongside Shorty.
My guess is that Manson was probably worried about Bobby's reaction in case something happened to her; like co-operating with LE. Welcoming her back into the street corner girls club probably enabled him to keep an eye on her via Squeaky & co.

Gorodish said...

starviego typed:

grimtraveller said...
"Did Bruce leave soon after ? Where did he go to ?"

His whereabouts for the first week of Aug are unknown. There is little to no mention of him being at Spahn at the time, so I think he skipped.


I wouldn't say unknown. According to Ed Sanders "The Family", Bobby testified at his first trial that after Manson took off for Esalen, he felt that people were watching him; that Tex and Bruce seemed to be keeping their eyes on him. Bobby took off on August 5th.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Grim, I didn't know Bobby's child was born on the day he killed Gary. Who was the woman in SF giving birth. And I know Kitty was pregnant by him. But don't recall the third one either.
That is interesting that Kitty may have been safer being Bobby's girlfriend.

Matthew said...

Gorodish said:

My guess is that Manson was probably worried about Bobby's reaction in case something happened to her; like co-operating with LE. Welcoming her back into the street corner girls club probably enabled him to keep an eye on her via Squeaky & co.

That makes perfect sense to me. She must have felt that to be true as well or she would have split. I'd be watching my back with Brenda and Cappy sitting next to me with crochet needles!

bucpaul2812 said...

Matthew said:

"...She must have felt that to be true as well or she would have split. I'd be watching my back with Brenda and Cappy sitting next to me with crochet needles!"

I couldn't agree more. When you look at the footage of them being interviewed on Temple & Broadway, Kitty looks as if she REALLY wanted to be elsewhere.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNv7NopYFUg

DebS said...

Unknown said...
As for Charlie bragging to the police that he could easily kill them, and they leave? This story is absolute lunacy if you think it is to be believed.

----------------

Manson's threats to the officers is documented on page three of the Spahn ranch Raid warrant.

"Mr. Manson told officers that while he was talking to the officers that his friends had rifles trained on the officers; also, Manson indicated this is standard procedure whenever officers approach the ranch."

The implication is clear.

DebS said...

Mr. Humphrat said...
Grim, I didn't know Bobby's child was born on the day he killed Gary. Who was the woman in SF giving birth. And I know Kitty was pregnant by him. But don't recall the third one either.

------------

The woman who had Bobby's baby, July 27 1969, was named Gayle. She was not part of the Family but has been referred to as Bobby's wife in various books. I do not believe they were ever married though.

Sandy Good's son is the third child. Apparently, the three children took DNA tests through Ancestry or one of the other sites that do DNA testing for the public and all three were related.

ColScott said...

DebS- Gayle or Gail? And yeah always referred to as wife. In our OG phone calls he confirmed they were not legally married, she was his "old lady"

Also met Jene, Kitty's daughter (very similar face) back in the day. The Bobby OG interviews indicated that Kitty was MADLY in love with him and hated her folks and wanted to be SOMEWHERE. It was unclear if any of the Family knew she was giving them up at the time. When they learned shit like that you got burned, ala Little Paul.

I think there is an argument to be made that she wasn't really a threat/didn't know that much.

grimtraveller said...

starviego said...

His whereabouts for the first week of Aug are unknown. There is little to no mention of him being at Spahn at the time, so I think he skipped

Did Pat skip too ? Leslie ? Tex ? Clem ? Gypsy ? Danny DeCarlo ? What is actually known about any of the Family's movements that first week ? In the same way that one piece of circumstantial evidence can infer another piece to lead to a reasonable conclusion {eg, a Tex fingerprint on a door + 5 corpses + a statement from a jailbird saying she thinks "this Charles" shot the "boy" in the car" can lead to the conclusion that the guy that left the print is indeed the murderer}, it would appear that one conspiracy theorist's suppositions without evidence can infer more suppositions {which usually have no basis in known fact} which then lead to conclusions.
If you hadn't been called out on it, when would you have explained that
Is that why Beausoleil, Manson, and Davis suddenly left town? is a rather different kettle of fish than His whereabouts for the first week of Aug are unknown. There is little to no mention of him being at Spahn at the time, so I think he skipped ?

ColScott said...

Gayle or Gail?

Flammable or imflammable ? It's all Moroccan roll.

It was unclear if any of the Family knew she was giving them up at the time

7 days before your BFF Bugliosi was even on the case, Susan Atkins knew that she'd been given up by Kitty....apparently, she remarked to Virginia Graham that Kitty's life wasn't worth anything.

When they learned shit like that you got burned, ala Little Paul

Danny DeCarlo ? Juan Flynn ? Stephanie Schram ?
As with much with the Family, there seemed little logical sense about some of their decisions. Kitty in many ways was the loose bit of thread that ended up being unpicked that led the Family garment to fall to pieces. That she is alive isn't particularly unusual ~ that she hung out with them after what she did is.
Kitty was the kind of daughter many parents would have feared to have.

I think there is an argument to be made that she wasn't really a threat/didn't know that much

Is that why Clem and Randy Morglea were after her and Stephanie Schram with a sawn off shotgun as the girls escaped Barker Ranch ?

grimtraveller said...

Cue the Col cuss ?

ColScott said...

Grim you ignorant slut

I always thought Clem was after them because if one ran they all would run

Little Paul came back and tried to take over.

Anything Susan Atkins ever said should only be quoted by ignorant sluts like you.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Thanks Deb

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said...

Grim you ignorant slut

Good to know !

I always thought Clem was after them because if one ran they all would run

Sure. And what would have been the problem with a whole heap of young people {whom as history went on to show, couldn't keep their mouths closed} running off ? Might it have been because of what some of them, like Kitty, actually knew or might have known ? When you consider that of those that left in the aftermath of the month of murders, Ella, Kitty, Stephanie and Babs Hoyt played a significant part in the events that eventually landed a whole slew of people in prison.

Anything Susan Atkins ever said should only be quoted by ignorant sluts like you

As soccer fans all over the country would sing of you,
"You're Mon Durphy in disguise !"
to the melody of the 2nd last line of the verses in "Guide me O thou great Jehovah." For you show a remarkable ability to frequently miss the point.
{No offence, Dave/SAG/Lou/Mon ~ if you're watching}.

It matters not if Atkins was unreliable to the extreme. What matters is that before your bosom buddy Bugliosi was even on the case, she knew of Kitty's penchant for helping out the prosecution, thus rendering your point null, void and moot.

Mr. Humphrat said...

I didn't know Bobby's child was born on the day he killed Gary

I wonder which event he has tended to remember more whenever that date comes around...

Gorodish said...

My guess is that Manson was probably worried about Bobby's reaction in case something happened to her; like co-operating with LE

Ironically, Bobby fingered Charlie as Gary's killer at his second trial anyway. It had little to do with Kitty because what she said at his first trial was pretty worthless to LE. By April '70 it must have occurred to him that there wasn't likely to be any hung jury this time around with Mary Brunner on the side of the prosecution to dole out the hardware. He had earlier stated that everything depended on whether or not the Family stayed together in their heads and didn't start testifying against itself then in the spirit of brotherhood {read: "every man for himself !"} did just that although with Mary getting immunity and having seen Susan testify for the Grand Jury and by then knowing Linda was now state's evidence, it's understandable that he could see the writing on the wall {and I don't mean 'political piggy'}.

grimtraveller said...

Gorodish said...

Or worse. She's lucky she wasn't buried alongside Shorty

In retrospect, I agree. Although interestingly, in the days before LE took the Family seriously in the murder stakes, they weren't into offing their own. Just threats and beats. And mind games with Kitty.

Doug said...

I looked for this interview with Ed Sanders from 1974 on our home page via the entries under "ED SANDERS" and, I didn't notice it being posted.

https://youtu.be/3euMK-RuKrE

Apologies for being redundant if posted elsewhere. Feel free to delete it if it is already up here somewhere.

It is video from 1974 and, is quite lengthy.

Cheers

orwhut said...

I drove all over trying to find a used VW van similar to Gary's in the early eighties. Finally talked myself out of it.

LH said...

Still waiting (albeit, impatiently) to read The Last Word on Robert Hendrickson. Just sayin' Col...

Terrapin said...

Me too...

beauders said...

CieloDrive I am looking for the Tate/LaBianca Trial Transcripts. Do you have them on your site or know where I can find them? I know you have Watson's and Olmstead's testimony above.