Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Did Charlie really believe in his Helter Skelter Theory?

Did Charlie really believe in his Helter Skelter Theory 


Some feel that Charlie never actually believed in all that Helter Skelter stuff, and that he was only using it to get his followers to kill, killings that were really ordered for other reasons.

Snapping by Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman, c.1978  pg201-3
LVH:  "To this day(1977), I don't know if he really believed what he was saying, or if everything he did was just to get even with the world."

In one of his last interviews, Bugliosi—who passed on in 2015—said he did not think Manson believed the Helter Skelter concept.

--Anonymous said...
  I sincerely believe the murderers among this group had completely bought the HS story, hook, line and sinker. But I'm unsure of Manson's REAL motive. He manipulated the family into doing his bidding through the HS bullshit, but I think his reasons were more complex.
--AustinAnn74 said...
  I have always thought the so-called "Helter Skelter" motive was the reason behind why Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel, & Susan Atkins went to the Tate & LaBianca homes, terrorized and murdered innocent people. Manson's motive was different, but his instructions were to go to those homes and destroy whoever and whatever was in them. I have never doubted for one moment that it was any other reason. Manson didn't believe that bullshit, but some of the people he indoctrinated on a daily basis sure believed it.

But I think the evidence is good that yes, Charlie really did believe it:

Member of the Family by Dianne Lake  Chapter 12 
"...even in the beginning(1967?), he was indoctrinating us to believe that black people were going to rise up collectively against white people. While he wasn't necessarily framing it as an armed conflict initially, he talked to us in the Family about the blacks and whites and the coming insurrection."

After the Beatles’ “White Album” came out in November 1968, Lake felt that Manson was starting to become ever more delusional, announcing that the music was speaking directly to him and telling him to prepare for a race war he called Helter Skelter.

Manson's Right Hand Man Speaks Out by Charles "Tex" Watson c. 2012  pg34
Tex:  "The spontaneous songs he sang in the confines of the family spewed forth this hatred, different from what he later released for public consumption. ... Helter Skelter became the theme of every song he wrote; a violent revolution, a bloody conflict between whites and blacks." 

Will You Die For Me?  Tex Watson  pg16of120
People are bound to ask at some point if Manson actually believed we would find the Bottomless Pit, or if it was a delusion he merely fostered among his followers. I will never know for certain, but I'm convinced he believed it as much as we did. He was absolutely sure he was Jesus Christ. It had been revealed to him three years before on an LSD trip in San Francisco, so why shouldn't he lead us first into the Pit and then back out of it to rule the world? He shared the madness he created in us; he was finally its most ardent disciple.

Charles Manson - 1992 Parole Hearing  Steven Kay on HS:  "Now I know this sounds bizarre, but the problem is that Manson and his followers believed in this motive enough to kill innocent people. At the trial we showed that Manson was so serious about this that he went to a sporting goods store in Santa Monica and bought expensive golden rope that he was going to lower himself into the bottomless pit. He rented scuba equipment because he thought the entrance to the bottomless pit was under some underground river in Death Valley and he was looking for the entrance."

Gregg Jakobson at the TLB trial:
Jakobson said Manson, whom he first met in the spring of 1968, often talked of “Helter Skelter” – which the hippie chief described as a black-white bloodbath in which the Negroes were to emerge victorious and take over the United States.  ...
“He firmly believed there was a bottomless pit in the Death Valley that could be inhabited,” Jakobson noted.   ...   Jakobson testified that Manson...  even acquired a record player for the Spahn Ranch near Chatsworth, stronghold of the family, so he could play the (White)album over and over again.

LADA files  Box 22  Van Houten retrial  April-June 1977 vol9033  Gregg Jakobson pg23of85 
Q:  ...did Charlie talk about Helter Skelter in front of the Family? ..
A:  It became pretty hard-core gospel for Charlie.  ...
Q:  Did you believe Charlie believed in Helter Skelter?
A:  Yes.

"Sympathy for the Devil, the Greening of Charles Manson" is the title of a chapter in a book called No Success Like Failure, by Ivan Solotaroff,  c.1994   pg177
Gregg Jakobson: "See, Charlie really believed what he believed in, he never faked it. His reality was bizarre, but so is prison and that's where Charlie came from."

Juan Flynn interview
"But no matter what the cult leader did, he said he knew he was right, Flynn added, because "he felt he had the seal of God in his forehead." "When he called himself Jesus Christ, he believed it." "

https://www.lamag.com/longform/manson-an-oral-history1/?fbclid=IwAR3BenJqV3ar7xDtUHjploVtaNAUlN8LKuDFnGwgio0wrtwV4Hgu7DcUpKo                      Gypsy Share:  "Charlie talked about Helter Skelter every night ... I think Charlie really believed his own hype."

www.thedailybeast.com/ex-manson-family-member-dianne-lake-reviews-quentin-tarantinos-once-upon-a-time-in-hollywood   Dianne Lake:
“That(the racial war) had been part of our existence,” Lake said. “I know that there’s a lot of people out there that say that’s BS, but I was there. He had been talking about this race war for a long time. Then once The White Album came out, it was Helter Skelter. .... Charlie thought he was this Messiah. He thought he was Christ, coming again. It was just crazy.”

LADA files  Box 17 Vol6024  pg5of193
Tex Watson trial, 9-2-71  Paul Crockett testimony
Q:  Who would do the talking about helter-skelter, all of them, or Manson, primarily?
A:  ...I never heard Tex voice much opinion about anything; but Manson spoke continuously of it and the other members did, too.

Charlie believed in Helter Skelter so much that even as he was being dragged away in cuffs from the Barker Ranch he is still trying to win converts:

Charlie to police at the time of the Barker arrests:
"Charlie told us(arresting officers) that his group was out there looking for a place to hide because there was an impending race war. He told us that the blacks were going to win. He told us that because we were number one, cops, and number two, white, we should stop right there, let them loose, and flee for our lives."

                                     [photo taken at California Medical Facility, Vacaville, July 1982]

IF Charlie really believed in HS, this of course diminishes the case for the drug burn or copycat motive theories.   Perhaps we should then move on to asking questions like:

--Was Charlie just plain batshit crazy to believe the more far-out aspects of the HS theory?

--What caused Charlie to move in the direction of believing in the spring and summer of  '69 that he and the Family would have to be ones to kick it off ?

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Strange RV Tours: The Escape Truck

Friday, September 4, 2020

Irving Kanarek, Lawyer Who Defended Charles Manson, Dies at 100

 The national spotlight that focused on Mr. Kanarek made his disruptive circus of courtroom tactics almost as fascinating as his bizarre clients.

Irving Kanarek, right, in 1970 with Charles
Manson, whom he defended in the macabre killings
of the actress Sharon Tate and six other people.
Credit...Associated Press

By Robert D. McFadden

Sept. 3, 2020

Irving Kanarek, a Los Angeles lawyer who defended Charles Manson in the cult killings of the actress Sharon Tate and six other people, and Jimmy Smith, whose murder of a police officer was chillingly retold in Joseph Wambaugh's 1973 best seller "The Onion Field," died on Wednesday in Garden Grove, Calif. He was 100.

His nephew Kany Levine confirmed the death.

Those killings were among the most notorious crimes of the 1960s, and the national spotlight that focused on their trials made Mr. Kanarek's disruptive circus of courtroom tactics almost as fascinating as his bizarre clients — Mr. Manson, the cult leader with a "family" of young drifters, and Mr. Smith, a petty thief who did not quite know how to operate the automatic pistol he carried.

For Mr. Kanarek, the trials were high points in a three-decade practice given to a more routine caseload of personal injury and damage claims. The law was not even his first calling. He had been an aerospace engineer for North American Aviation, but had lost his Air Force security clearance and his job after being falsely accused of Communist associations in the 1950s. He cleared his name, but the experience had soured him on science.

His first major case arose in Los Angeles on a March night in 1963 with a routine traffic stop for a broken taillight on a car carrying Mr. Smith and Gregory Powell. As two officers, Ian Campbell and Karl Hettinger, approached, Mr. Smith and Mr. Powell drew guns, disarmed the officers and drove them 90 miles north to a remote onion farm near Bakersfield, Calif.

Mr. Wambaugh's novelistic treatment described Mr. Campbell's killing:

"Gregory Powell raised his arm and shot Ian in the mouth," he wrote. "For a few white-hot seconds the three watched him being lifted up by the blinding fireball and slammed down on his back, eyes open, watching the stars. He probably never saw the shadow in the leather jacket looming over him, and never really felt the four bullets flaming down into his chest."

Mr. Hettinger fled into the darkness and escaped. Mr. Powell and Mr. Smith were caught, tried for murder, convicted and sentenced to death.

But the case became a seven-year marathon of appeals, mistrials, reversals and reinstatements. Mr. Kanarek won Mr. Smith's first reversal and defended him in other proceedings, but he was eventually fired by Mr. Smith, who threw a chair at him.

Those death sentences were commuted to life in prison in 1972 by a California Supreme Court ruling that temporarily invalided the state's death penalty. Mr. Smith was paroled in 1982, but was in and out of prison for the rest of his life on parole violations. He and Mr. Powell both died in prison in their late 70s.

Mr. Kanarek with reporters outside
a Los Angeles courtroom in 1970 during
Mr. Manson's murder trial. He was
known for his disruptive courtroom tactics.
Credit...Associated Press

Mr. Kanarek's next — and last — famous client was Mr. Manson. On Aug. 9, 1969, a cleaning lady entering a Benedict Canyon home in North Beverly Hills, Calif., found the mutilated bodies of Ms. Tate, 26, the pregnant wife of the director Roman Polanski, as well as three friends and a chance visitor. All had been stabbed and shot many times, and Ms. Tate had been hung from a rafter.

A day later, the bodies of a grocery magnate, Leno LaBianca, and his wife, Rosemary, were found in their Los Angeles home. They had been killed in ferocious attacks that left little doubt they had been slain by the same people who killed Ms. Tate and her companions.

Within months, Mr. Manson and four followers were arrested and implicated by Linda Kasabian, an accomplice who admitted her role in the crimes. Ms. Kasabian was granted immunity and became the state's star witness in a trial that began in July 1970 and lasted six months. (Charles Watson, a cult member who joined in the killings, was committed to a mental institution and not tried with the others.)

Mr. Kanarek's courtroom tactics — a Niagara of objections, interruptions, shouting matches with the judge and witnesses, shoving incidents with two prosecutors and a scuffle with his client, who repeatedly tried to fire him — made him an outcast in some legal circles, but in others an exemplar of legal tenacity. He was jailed twice for contempt of court and vilified by much of the press and public.

The state called 84 witnesses and adduced that Mr. Manson, hoping to trigger an apocalyptic race war in America, had planned and ordered the killings, which were executed by his co-defendants, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel, and by Mr. Watson. The defense rested without calling a single witness because, Mr. Kanarek said, the three women wanted to confess on the stand to "save" Mr. Manson.

In 1971, all four defendants were convicted of murder and conspiracy and sentenced to die in the gas chamber. Mr. Kanarek scoffed at the rulings and the trial.

"It was entertainment for the public," he said.

A year later, when California's death penalty was temporarily invalidated, the sentences were commuted to life in prison. Mr. Manson was never released. He died in 2017 at 83.

Mr. Manson's crimes generated books, plays, television dramas, documentaries and feature films — most recently Quentin Tarantino's Oscar-nominated "Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood." After the trial, Mr. Kanarek prospered for a few years, but he never again made national headlines.

In 1989, he was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct and hospitalized for a psychiatric evaluation. In 1990, he lost his law license over unpaid debts. He later lived in motel rooms.

Irving Allen Kanarek was born in Seattle on May 12, 1920, to Meyer and Beatrice (Prupis) Kanarek. His father was an insurance salesman.

Irving and his sister, Zillah, grew up in Seattle and attended Garfield High School. Irving graduated from the University of Washington in 1941 with a chemistry degree.

In the 1940s and early '50s, he was an engineer for North American Aviation, working on aerospace projects in California, and held a patent for work on rocket fuels. After losing his security clearance and his job, he won a suit for reinstatement and back pay.

But he had already decided on a new career. He earned a degree in 1956 at Loyola Law School and began his practice in 1957.

His marriage to Sally Nava ended in divorce. He is survived by their two daughters, Irvina and Walesa Kanarek.

Long retired from law practice, Mr. Kanarek in recent years had resided at an assisted-living facility in Garden Grove.

Robert D. McFadden is a senior writer on the Obituaries desk and the winner of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for spot news reporting. He joined The Times in May 1961 and is also the co-author of two books. 

A version of this article appears in print on Sept. 4, 2020, Section A, Page 25 of the New York edition with the headline: Irving Kanarek, Lawyer Who Defended Charles Manson, Dies at 100. Order Reprints | Today's Paper | Subscribe