Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Col Presents: The Last Word on JAY SEBRING... CUTTING TO THE TRUTH

In 1985 I came to California to get a graduate degree from USC.  I knew absolutely no one and had only enough money to get a small room in a roach infested “graduate” apartment building eight blocks from the campus.  I didn’t mind, I was away from home pursuing my dreams.

 

I didn’t have a car yet and, after orientation, school would start in another week.  Plenty of time to read large books, go to the cinema and explore the area.  Although then as now the area near USC is shit.

 

Hell, I thought one day, I am going to the Cinema School and there is a Cinema Library and I am in fucking LA, Hollywood adjacent.  Let’s check it out.Alabama born celebrity hairdresser died defending Sharon Tate from Manson  Family - al.com

 

At the time it was a small space.  It had lots of cool movie star bios and other things along that line.   Good reference materials for film students.  I quickly learned that they had “files” on many subjects.  Like if you asked for the Errol Flynn file they had several folders filled with clippings of articles and photos.   Thus you could read about Flynn’s abuse of underage girls, his movie stardom- or even learn that he had once been an actual slave trader!

 

Even in 1985, learning these files existed, I only wanted to ask about one- Manson, TLB. Tate.  Years before founding the ONLY official TLB Blog I was still obsessively bothered by the case.  I had not learned that BUG had committed perjury during a capital murder case, and was in fact a sociopathic liar.  But I knew something was wrong.  No way this Helter Skelter shit was the motive.

 

I spent several hours going over the files and learning nothing new, although as Deb will tell you primary sources are the most accurate and fascinating, being up close time wise to the events occurring.   As I was set to go probably eat a shitty cheeseburger, a fellow student, undergraduate, came up and said “I understand you have the Manson files”.  I said yes, I was finished. I handed them to him.  He was younger than me, but equally new.

 

“Thank you.   What is your interest?” he asked.  I said “Obsessed since the TV film.  Still seeking facts.  You?”  “ Jay Sebring was my uncle”.

 

Awkward.   Although weird juxtapositions would come regularly in the future as effortlessly, I was three days in LA and without trying met one of the victims relatives.  I quickly did the math, was uncertain, but doubted the guy really knew his Uncle before he was slaughtered.

 

As Patty will attest, I do have a habit of sticking my foot in my mouth and then was no different.  “Yes, he was one of the victims with Tate.  I guess he was into tying women up and beating them.  He apparently loved Sharon till the very end.”  DUMB.   I don’t even know this guy.  I gave him the files and left.

 

Circa 2011, DiMaria became one of the sad people showing up at Parole Hearings to make sure the killers stay put.  I say sad, because it has been clear since the 90s that all the Mansonites in prison are dying in prison. Not even a chance.  Not even LVH who “only” stabbed a dead body (eye roll).  So when you show up it feels to me pretty sad.  You spend hours driving to a remote prison and reliving shit that happened decades ago and why?   They were not getting out anyway.  And people like Orca Tate, showing up at hearings of people who didn’t kill anyone she knew, after her own mother specifically did not WANT her to take up the mantle I mean wtf?  If it isn’t some sad attention seeking what is it?  It feels like a fake mailbox explosion, like why did you do this, who cares?

 

I recall saying all this, either here or on the Official TLB Blog, and meaning it.  Yuck.

 

A year or so after, I was at Musso and Franks the legendary restaurant in Hollywood and a guy came up to me.  Anthony DiMaria.  Maybe he was with a mutual friend.  I was awkward again, like how does he know who I am?  Is he upset at my opinions?  He was nice and gracious and I reminded him of the USC library and that’s that.

 

I think back story is important so the reader can judge.  I never, unlike Nelson/Molesto, inserted myself into the story but often I became inserted into it.  So in the same way you needed to know that Tom O’Neil was an assclown as far back as 15 years ago, I passingly met DiMaria 35 years ago last month.

 

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

JAY SEBRING….CUTTING TO THE TRUTH is a strong documentary look at a mostly forgotten and tragic figure, Jay Sebring, arguably one of the early fathers of modern men’s hairstyling.  It is told from the point of view of his nephew, who was a toddler when Sebring was viciously murdered by Tex Watson and his comrades.

 

Unlike say HBO’s The Vow, the director does not have access to a lot of primary footage.  The main footage used seems to be a Sebring International hair cut training video.  (I did wonder, with so little footage available, why the sequence from MONDO HOLLYWOOD was omitted- they could not have asked a large fee ffs).  He relies on the usual talking heads along with some home pictures and, certainly unusual for the genre, a lot of footage of himself on the phone.   That sounds boring but it isn’t.

 

The film gives a clear, for the first time, view of Jay:The Early Years.   His upbringing and military service and family life gets more attention here than anywhere I have seen.   It really is not enough, and the director struggles to connect cause and effect several times but it does portray a three dimensional picture of a real human being.

 

As he moves to the second act of the film I feel like the director struggles because of one simple fact- HAD Jay lived he was on his way to worldwide fame and fortune.  He would have been a millionaire and his salons would be in every state.  Instead he was murdered.  So the film tries to make an argument that Jay WAS what he probably would become, if that makes sense to you all.  When Jay died he was a jet set playboy with money and star access, who was on his way to the top.   But to argue that he somehow already WAS there is silly.   $100 Steve McQueen haircuts were great, but that would not make him remembered today had he not been killed.

 

The filmmaker also struggles with who would show up.  Jay’s pretty ex wife is there and does the obligatory “I still love him today” dance  But the person you really want to hear from is Sharon Tate and yeah, well, she’s dead too.

 

Despite these struggles the second act works for me because of how thorough the director is.   He glosses over things- I really do not think a guy who moved to LA and changed his name should be portrayed as close to his family, and his dad does not sound like fun.  There is some weird obsession with BUG.  Unusual for BUG who will show up for a supermarket opening, he refused to be interviewed by Di Maria, saying he never knew Jay.  He didn’t.  Why did DiMaria want him?  No clue but he tried hard to get him.

 

If I was impressed by Act 1 and enjoyed the massive data dump of Act 2 I felt Act 3/Denoument goes off the rails a bit.   There are still many people not named Orca who knew Roman and Sharon around in Hollywood.  No one is interviewed.   Would Beatty not come and speak for his fallen friend?  Hell he could have set the ground rules- talk only about Jay, not the TLB stuff.   Act 3 is where everything needs to come together.  DiMaria tries but he does not quite get there.  He’s stuck with the fact that he’s said everything he really can about Uncle Jay.  You see, because JAY didn’t get to his third act.

 

Instead we get DiMaria showing up at one of the Parole Hearings.  Remember, he’s a toddler when Jay is killed, he doesn’t know the guy.  No one from the immediate family showed up through the 70s and 80s when, conceivably, some of the girls could have been released.  Yes, DiMaria has the right to show up, but is he there to “make sure’ these old people stay put – or for a “movie moment”?

 

He also falters in the “bring the film together section”.  To tie my above story to the review, much is made about Jay’s s/m peccadillos.  Now in 2020 there is a thriving community of s/m fans on the internet, Reddit, where have you.  In 1969 less so.  But DiMaria brings up the accusations AS accusations and makes a big deal about portraying these and accusations, more or less saying “Can you believe this shit?”.  You sit there waiting for him to show us that it was bullshit.  But he just moves on.

 

 

DiMaria spends some time finessing an ending making his Uncle a hero for standing up to the hippie psychos and defending Sharon.  I didn’t get why.  All versions of the story have him trying to tell these killers that the lady was pregnant and stop being assholes, which leads to his death spiral.  It is surely brave if not heroic (I mean, he fails).  The problem was that Jay had no reason to believe they would not all get out of there alive because this kind of shit DIDN’T HAPPEN.

 

Look, I am being picky, probably because this is likely to be the only profile of Sebring we will ever see.  As such, OVERALL, it is very good.  It TRIES to be excellent and doesn’t quite get there.  DiMaria is too much a fan of his Uncle to make a warts and all film. (Look at the photos from the last day that we have thanks to Statman lifting that roll of film off the puke LAPD cop- tell me Sharon and Jay weren’t still fucking.)  But he obviously worked on this for ages and I get the full rounded sad story.

 Jay Sebring

I didn’t expect to like this film, and bought it just because.  But if you are on this blog you care about the TLB victims.  Had she lived I think Sharon possibly might not have acted again.  She wasn’t good and she didn’t love it.  Had Jay lived he would have been a big deal. The fact that none of the five made it is the tragedy.

 

Hollywood being Hollywood, I am certain I will see DiMaria again somewhere.  I will tell him that he did his Uncle proud and buy him a Musso’s Martini.

 

The rest of you check it out- Amazon has it for $5.99 and it is worth it.

53 comments:

CarolMR said...

Thanks so much for this, ColScott.

ColScott said...

Yeah. Welcome. There have been a lot of docs the past three years. A lot. The Epix one was 6 hours of whatever. The TV one with Aquarius was hilariously stupid. This stood out because DiMaria cared about his subject. I mean it was the guy's first and only movie and I would watch it again.

CarolMR said...

Col, I'm so glad you believe DiMaria cares about his uncle. Some people don't understand his love for Jay because DiMaria couldn't possibly remember him. I know someone who cries at every holiday gathering for a grandfather she never even met. It's because she saw how his death at a fairly young age forever affected her relatives' lives.

Peter said...

I found this interview with the director to be very insightful.

https://losangeleno.com/people/jay-sebring-documentary/

St. Circumstance said...

Thanks Col. I plan to check it out this weekend. Great to hear your take on it. Always count on you to be real ...

AstroCreep said...

The pic of Sharon and Jay is from their last day? Is there a link to more of them somewhere?

D. said...

I'm surprised they romanticize his drug use. With the cool footage of joints burning and lines of coke being snorted. Especially since at the hearings for the killers, they are still using terms like "marijuana cigarette" like it's the 50s and drug use is always a factor taken into consideration.

Anyway, the documentary also confirms he was a dope dealer. Sorry, but you don't carry guns and get body guards because of Shampoon debt collectors.

Tragical History Tour said...

My view of this doesn't deviate much from the Col's here.

A lot of ancestor worship and skipping over less savory aspects from DiMaria but what else could you expect from a family member. Er, not THAT family. If he went too far into the more sordid aspects of Jay's life we would probably be wondering what the hell he was trying to do. He has seen plenty of others do that.

Maybe part of it is some kind of therapy for him. I don't think his age at the time of Jay's death matters that much. He would have grown up with the tragedy as a constant backdrop to his life. Who are we to judge how people get through their lives when these kind of events are so close to them, as distinct from being an interesting case we can endlessly muse over from a position of relative emotional safety.

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said:

DiMaria spends some time finessing an ending making his Uncle a hero for standing up to the hippie psychos and defending Sharon. I didn’t get why. All versions of the story have him trying to tell these killers that the lady was pregnant and stop being assholes, which leads to his death spiral

And all versions have only ever come from the killers.
It is kind of interesting that none of them ever ascribed any kind of bravery to their victims. Even in the years of regret afterwards. In fact, their opinions of their victims' actions and responses have been notably absent over the years. Sure, they've acknowledged that what went down was awful ~ because they've had to. But no real independent unprompted viewpoints of the individual people.

It is surely brave if not heroic (I mean, he fails). The problem was that Jay had no reason to believe they would not all get out of there alive because this kind of shit DIDN’T HAPPEN

An unpopular notion...but a true one. I don't know if this is true of America but here in England, the word or notion of the hero has been played to death, going right back to both the Falklands war in the early 80s and in particular, the Gulf war. It's applied to all and sundry from nurses to roadsweeps during the pandemic. Was Jay a hero ? It wasn't until after he'd been shot that the remaining trio were informed that they were going to die and the fights and escape attempts began. As uncomfortable a thought as it may be, when Jay challenged Tex re: Sharon, he had no reason to believe that what was ensuing was anything more than a robbery.

Tragical History Tour said:

A lot of ancestor worship and skipping over less savory aspects from DiMaria but what else could you expect from a family member

I don't know. Ask Mary Trump.

I don't think his age at the time of Jay's death matters that much. He would have grown up with the tragedy as a constant backdrop to his life

True, but I sometimes wonder about this. Many of us have had awful things happen in our families or to family members either before we were born or when we were too young to have really known the person or be truly cognisant of the details. I suspect that it's the 50 year residue of this case that is primarily responsible both for the documentary and the recent spate of oppositional parole appearances. Most of the traffic has been one way and DiMaria is attempting to build a two lane highway. His response has been the polar opposite to that of Abigail Folger's parents and I don't think either are wrong.

Who are we to judge how people get through their lives when these kind of events are so close to them, as distinct from being an interesting case we can endlessly muse over from a position of relative emotional safety

I'd say the moment someone makes a tragedy in their life public, it becomes your business too and as such, you have the freedom to express an informed opinion. There's a subtle difference between 'judging' and making a judgement.

Peter said...

On an unrelated note. I watched the 1980s TV movie about the marine surgeon that killed his family and try to blame it on a Manson-type cult last night. The one with Carl Malden. I never realized that the husband, the guy that did it, was played by Lumberg from Office Space. Peeeterrrrr.

Tragical History Tour said...

"I'd say the moment someone makes a tragedy in their life public..."

Yeah, because it was a pretty unknown crime before DiMaria made a movie.

brownrice said...

Good review, Col. Thanks. Now, weren't you also gonna write something about Hendrickson? :-)

AstroCreep said...

Peter- it was Captain Jeffrey MacDonald who was an army special forces doctor. It happened on Ft. Bragg. Fatal Vision- was a great movie and even better book. He even wrote PIG and had a copy of the Life magazine featuring Manson on his staged and overturned coffee table or something along those lines.

They tore down those housing building on post while I was stationed there.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wral.com/news/local/story/2580647/%3fversion=amp

Doug said...

https://youtu.be/YHECHk1zV3k

"Acid is groovy!"
- Helena Stoekley


Doug said...

JFC!

Another lunatic who moved to British Columbia! Donkey Dan and Simi Valley Sherri end up in Langley BC (about a 45 minute drive from me) and, "The Girl In The Floppy Hat" allegedly chanting "Acid is groovy" while walking through Jeffrey Macdonald's home ends up in freakin Salmon Arm BC!

Didn't know about this freak. She died in 1983.

Interview with 60 Minutes conducted in Salmon Arm

https://youtu.be/0-iPjrtlxKA

orwhut said...

Doug,
Were Sherry and Dan in BC when they gave that spaced out interview that's floating around the internet? It's the interview where they talk about stealing credit cards and eating pheasant under glass.

From some movies I've seen, you live in a beautiful place.

grimtraveller said...

Blogger Tragical History Tour said...

Yeah, because it was a pretty unknown crime before DiMaria made a movie

Irrelevant. Anthony appropriates matters publicly, it opens the door to thoughts and opinions on him and all the whys and wherefores. For better or worse {which of course is subjective depending on how each person feels about it}.

Doug said...

I believe that was immediately prior to them moving out west and, to Langley BC. They were likely in Toronto still at that time. They'd been pulling a lot if credit card fraud and, needed to lie low

Speculator said...

Grim - you say that none of the killers have given their views on their victims actions or responses. But of course Watson did refer to the victims running around like headless chickens in one of his psychiatric interviews shortly after capture. Didn’t the psychiatrist note that he smirked/laughed whilst stating this. I think that tells you all you need to know about the callous and inhuman nature of his views towards them. And given that he brutally murdered them all i doubt very much that them as individuals have ever much crossed his mind.

orwhut said...

Thanks Doug,
I remembered the interview as being done in the eastern part of Canada but wasn't sure.

grimtraveller said...

Speculator said...

you say that none of the killers have given their views on their victims actions or responses. But of course Watson did refer to the victims running around like headless chickens

Granted, but I specifically meant as people. I don't ever recall hearing or reading any of them saying what they actually thought of their victims as people, even subsequently in the endless days of regret. Like, Tex has never said what actually went through his mind when Jay Sebring stood up for Sharon. I do agree that in the killing moments, the people in the house were just 'pigs' to the killers. But we've never gotten an insight as to what any of them thinks, subsequently. We do have little windows of insight from Leslie back in '69 how she and Pat felt after Waverly. But nothing since the times in which they've expressed regret for their actions.
I just wonder about that, sometimes.

Hippiedoll said...

Grim said:
"We do have little windows of insight from Leslie back in '69 how she and Pat felt after Waverly."

I don't remember reading anything about how they felt after the Labiancas? Can share what you've read?
Thank you Grim.

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

Grim, you are on point.

As a kid, I had confused, counter culture parents, but they were cool enough to teach me how they wanted to be. While we didn't have a lot of money or consistency, I learned we are all connected and to predict how your actions may affect others. I grew to have more empathy in my little finger than most people have in their entire bodies.

My mother dug the Manson case, so I learned about Manson at a very young age. She's gone now, but I keep coming back to these blogs and still have a hard time connecting the behavior of Tex, Sadie, and Katie to what I learned from my parents was honorable.

I am waiting for Tex and the others to "feel into" their crimes. Twenty five years ago, I would have blamed drugs making a person more susceptible to influence. Thing is, in the 80s I was much like those kids, rebelling, wanting to make a difference. My drug of choice was coke because it make me feel like I could do anything. Without my familys help,I often worry that I could have been a Susan, Katie or Leslie. But, even as bad as it got for me, which was probably way worse than the killers,I would have never killed. Those people actively took precious life. Bug got it absolutely correct. If Tex wants parole, he should be living, feeling, and constantly honoring his victims. But he cannot because he is not wired that way. He is a sociopath. This documentary about Jay was lovely. And sad. Tex, Leslie and Pat will watch it and won't care an iota. That bothers me. And keeps making me come back to see if they change. Glad Jay was honored by DiMaria and pissed that his killers don't give a flip. We do,though. Happy we have this forum.

ReplyDelete

Speculator said...

Grim / you say that you just wonder about that sometimes. But what do you wonder? Do you wonder like me that the killers silence over the years about their victims shows them up entirely for what they truly are. Or do you mean something different?

ColScott said...


Grim

I recall the Diane Sawyer where Katie talks about how "Mrs LaBianca was younger than I am now" or something. She seemed pretty tortured by it. But what do I know?

I feel that IF the killers all realized that they were never getting out they could have pulled their lives together and done their time better. I think they thought they would be out in the 80s- hell BUG did! And this was bad for their lives. But you live in hope

Tragical History Tour said...

Too many of the killers stories and parole arguments over the years have intimated regret for how their OWN lives ended up for me to ever give one damn about them still being in prison. And with good luck, dying there.

If they had centred their remorse on the victims from day one instead of themselves, I would have some sympathy.

Yes Pat, Rosemary did die younger than you are now. That's because you never gave her a chance to get old.

orwhut said...

ColScott said...
snip "you live in hope"

I think those four words answer explain a great number of criticisms that come up after every parole hearing. That doesn't mean I think ANY of the killers should ever be released or any of the other murders who've made parole, either.

grimtraveller said...

Speculator said:

you say that you just wonder about that sometimes. But what do you wonder? Do you wonder like me that the killers silence over the years about their victims shows them up entirely for what they truly are. Or do you mean something different?

I guess I'm curious about how people regard each other in various situations. Like say, when a sportsperson is looking back on their career, I'm interested in what they thought of their team mates at various points or what they thought of various opponents. How they co~existed with colleagues they didn't get on with. What they thought of certain plays or tactics. The same with musicians, people in films, politicians etc. And criminals. Whatever one may think of Dianne Lake's book, one thing I really liked about it is that you got a good insight into what she thought of the people around her {I mean pretty much everyone she mentions}, her opinions of their actions and what it meant to her.
So I think of someone like Tex and what thoughts he might have towards Jay trying to reason with him at gunpoint or what Susan might have thought of Wojiciech's running for his life. Even in Nuel Emmons' book, "Charlie" gives some opinions as to what he thinks of some of Leno's responses.
It's not just the TLB murderers; plenty of people in life never think much if at all about other people's responses in particular situations. But as it's this case we're focusing on, it just struck me that I'd not heard much from any of the killers what they actually thought about what their victims did or said. Did they think they were brave ? Chancing their arm ? Daft to even try to flee ? Logical ? We've heard a lot how the killers felt but I'm not really getting at that or what one might think of as standard responses to what a victim might feel in the midst of an attack. A description of what happens isn't the same as saying "I thought such and such about so and so." We do get tiny snippets from Leslie in the Marvin Part interview of Dec '69. Tiny fragments pop out from the women during the penalty phase of the trial. But these are times when they were still in Charlie's orbit.

Tragical History Tour said...

If they had centred their remorse on the victims from day one instead of themselves, I would have some sympathy

Funny thing is, although it didn't happen from day one and has been gradual depending on which inmate one is/was referring to, I do think there has been victim centred remorse. Real remorse can't help but put the victim centre stage at some point or all that is there is a regret at being caught or "doing something bad."

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said...

I recall the Diane Sawyer where Katie talks about how "Mrs LaBianca was younger than I am now" or something. She seemed pretty tortured by it

If what Leslie told Marvin Part is true and what Pat told Claude Brown in Alabama was true, I think Pat was always pretty tortured by it.


Hippiedoll said...

I don't remember reading anything about how they felt after the Labiancas? Can share what you've read?

In this interview with her then lawyer, she lays out in pretty graphic detail a series of things, including the murders, who was involved and how she and Pat felt afterwards.
It's no wonder Marvin Part thought she was insane. But she was adamant she wasn't and I agree with her.

Donna said...

I was only 7 when the Tate- Labianca murders occurred. Going into the 1970s, I became aware of the murders through the original Helter Skelter movie. From that point on - I became fascinated. Up until several years after the murders, there wasn't much written about the victims other than news reports and old magazine articles. With the book about Sharon - I think it was called Sharon Tate and the Manson murders - this was the first time you got a glimpse into Sharon as a person and not just a murder victim. I also enjoyed Starman's book which gave an even more glimpse into not only Sharon as a person but her family as well. I have always thought Sharon was an exquisite beauty whose life was tragically ended: and was fascinated by her. I was glad to see the documentary on Jay as well to see him as more than a victim. I get that in particular Jay's nephew and Sharon's sister Debra grew up with the pain they themselves experienced and the pain of their families. I think however while their motives for attending parole hearings to this day, doing books, and making documentaries are in part altruistic- I think they are also in part an attempt to ride their family's fame. Particularly Debra who I think has classic middle child syndrome. Lastly, I read a parole hearing during which Tex stated that Jay told him "I know Karate" and then came toward him. Jay has his faults but I believe in all that horror he thought of Sharon.

grimtraveller said...

Donna said...

I read a parole hearing during which Tex stated that Jay told him "I know Karate" and then came toward him. Jay has his faults but I believe in all that horror he thought of Sharon

Yes, I think he was thinking of Sharon as the killers' accounts all mesh on that point of him making a comment about Sharon's pregnancy when told to lie down. But as the Col pointed out, at that point there was no talk of people dying and things like mass murder in residential Beverley Hills houses just didn't happen back then. So it's fair to have a slightly alternate view of Jay's actions at the time. Had he known that the killers were there to kill, it might have been a different story.
I'm also a little suspicious of Tex's recollection. He has good form over 47 years for barely remembering anything; so many of his recollections came after they had already appeared in print elsewhere, even to the extent that some of them carried the inaccuracy of the lies that were told that formed part of the court record {eg, Manson being at Spahn on the morning of 8th August} or rumours that have never been verified {he believed Charlie went to Cielo after the murders} but which kind of passed into folklore or things that couldn't possibly have happened at the dates he claimed {Charlie going to Cielo the night before the murders and getting poorly treated} or things that didn't happen {eg, hearing a news report of a Black Panther being killed the day after Lotsapoppa was shot and conflating the two}. So by him saying all these years later that Jay claimed to know karate and came at him, it sounds almost like he's trying to provide a kind of self defence mitigation even though he claims to accept full responsibility for his actions. Charlie did almost the same thing with Hinman {claiming Gary held a gun on him}, Lotsapoppa and Shorty.
Me say 'hmmmm....'

AstroCreep said...

Jay’s actions weren’t brave. I’m not saying that to be negative about him in any way- his speaking out was chivalry, not bravery. As mentioned by the Colonel, his fight or flight response hadn’t been triggered.

Take Voytek’s and Abigail’s response as an example- full fight or flight mode. They both ran to get away from the assault which is 100% typical when someone is stabbing, hitting, shooting a person. They didn’t stop to argue about Sharon being pregnant or stick around to find out what happened to her which doesn’t make them cowards in any way- if Jay had actually used some of his karate skills pre murder fest I’d say differently- but his was an act of chivalry.

Post killing (I’ve been there many times) the killers acted pretty normally which is telling to me. Even when fully justified in killing, I’ve had trouble eating and sleeping. It’s hard to turn the visuals off. It’s hard to turn the audial part off too. It just keeps replaying until over time, it fades and is livable.

Linda seems to have felt those emotions whereas the others did not. That speaks volumes to me. I feel Linda’s desire to turn herself in and face the music (regardless of outcome) is the most normal. She couldn’t turn it off.

St. Circumstance said...

I think that Jay was VERY brave.

I can see the point of view about Chivalry versus bravery and I get it. I just don’t agree personally

Jay could have said nothing. He could have tried to stay under the radar and looked for a way out. He could have tried to talk his way out. He could have caused a distraction and ran. He could have done a few things...

But what he did do was draw attention to himself. He took an agressive attitude towards a hopper up psycho with a gun. He put himself in harms way. He was attacked first as a result. I don’t think the fact that this was a once in a lifetime crime made any of them feel the danger was any lesser that night. They might have been a little confused, but I think they were also pretty scared. Only one of them spoke up and that was Jay.

I don’t think there is ever a time when people feel safe as three walked out zombies walk into their house at night with guns and knives. It may not happen often but it happened that night. I hardly think any of them were thinking to themselves it was all in fun or not really serious.

I think he was brave for stepping up in the face of obvious trouble but I respect all who disagree 😀

Holding the door open or letting the lady go first is chivalrous. Drawing attention to yourself to scary looking Tex Watson who is holding a gun to try and help sharon goes a little further to me...

Speculator said...

Astro - you say Linda couldn’t turn it off?? Well she did a pretty good job of doing that by going out again on the second night! And if her more recent revelation is to be believed, she also did a good job of ignoring it close up when she went through Parent’s pockets after he’d been killed. I guess people will say she was trapped within Spahn and gad no choice but to go out again on the second night but night one didn’t seem to deter her did it.

Peter said...

Which one of the "blobs" that Tex massacred did he say told him they knew karate?

Speculator said...

Donna and Grim talk about Watson claiming Sebring told him he knew karate. Whenever I’ve read anything from Watson (post conviction), be that parole boards or his books it’s like he’s just memorised the official narrative and regurgitates it, sometimes word for word. Almost trying too hard to do that. Yes, he throws in trivial tidbits like this karate line to try to embellish his story and make it look like he’s giving something new up. But it’s all with his own interests at heart. If he fillled in some of the yawning gaps from these nights like how the fence at Cielo got damaged, why they didn’t just let Parent go and stay hidden, why the different blood types were found on the porch, why they didn’t properly check the guest house, why they were so confident to first drive up and down Cielo and then walk up and then down before and after the murders without worrying about detection from neighbours or passing vehicles. Imagine if Parent had left minutes earlier and passed them on the road as they walked back up. Watson could tell a lot more about those nights but he won’t.

grimtraveller said...

Speculator said:

Watson claiming Sebring told him he knew karate

It's there in his last parole hearing ¬>"And I had a gun in my hand and Jay told me, he said I know karate, and I don't think I've ever told anybody this, but he said I know karate, just for your sake....And I got afraid so I shot him with a .22 pistol. He went to the ground and I stabbed him."

I will say this though; sometimes, little fragments of memory can swing into one's head years afterwards, even having not given those memories any thought for years. I'm not saying that's what happened with Tex but it's happened to me many a time.

Whenever I’ve read anything from Watson (post conviction), be that parole boards or his books it’s like he’s just memorised the official narrative and regurgitates it, sometimes word for word. Almost trying too hard to do that

I've made this point for many a year. On the other hand, it is in equal parts frustrating and amusing when reading things people say about their lives {mainly in autobiographies} and they get things wrong about their own lives that some fact checking could have alleviated. Fairly recently I read Margaret Thatcher's memoirs about her time as the UK's first female prime minister and in the intro she gives thanks to certain people that kept her informed of facts during the writing that she had obviously forgotten. But every part of her tale is as though she recalls it all. When I read footballers' stories, I cringe when I see them getting results wrong of games that they played in that I can remember !

But it’s all with his own interests at heart...Watson could tell a lot more about those nights but he won’t

I think because of the nature of events that night, there are some things he simply cannot remember, things he didn't actually see, notice or was aware of and things that he has long steered clear of mentioning for reasons only he could fathom. Of course, what those things may be, we'll never know.

If he filled in some of the yawning gaps from these nights like how the fence at Cielo got damaged, why they didn’t just let Parent go and stay hidden, why the different blood types were found on the porch, why they didn’t properly check the guest house, why they were so confident to first drive up and down Cielo and then walk up and then down before and after the murders without worrying about detection from neighbours or passing vehicles

For me, the only thing of significance is the blood on the porch that fitted the types of either Jay or Sharon {or both}. The damaged fence is pretty irrelevant. They didn't let Steve go because they thought he'd seen them. Pat's the one with the explanation about the guest house {she did a remarkably similar thing to Linda re: checking for open windows} and I'd say they drove up Cielo initially to see if there was anything that would cause them to abort mission and as for detection in the aftermath, it was very late at night. They'd not seen anyone around on their drive up or walk up to the house and you'd not exactly expect people to be out on the street half an hour later and while Pat & Susan were looking for Linda, they'd not seen anyone. In fact Susan twice commented on her surprise that no one was roused {when Steve was shot and Wojiciech screamed}. Besides which, they probably just wanted to get the heck out of there. They made mistakes that belied the hurry they were in ¬> Atkins' knife, Tex leaving a bloody print on the gate button, Linda quickly starting up the car...

Speculator said...

Grim - the point I was making is that there are far more significant gaps in the events of those nights that Watson could miraculously “remember” all these years later than an inference about karate that he’s probably read somewhere anyhow. If, that is, he wants to really show some kind of progression at his parole hearings rather than taking the board for fools with a line that he likely just made up. I mean can we seriously imagine Sebring saying I do karate to a guy pointing a loaded gun at him?! Like don’t shoot me or I’ll chop you?! Utter nonsense which to me shows his contempt for the parole process more than anything else.

Hippiedoll said...

Grim,
Thank you for posting the link to Leslie's interview. I think I've listened to it and might have read some parts of it. But I don't think I've made it all the way through the interview either way. It was pretty long, if I'm remembering correctly? I'll have to set aside some time to sit down & listen to this interview.
Thank you again Grim.

grimtraveller said...

Speculator said...

I mean can we seriously imagine Sebring saying I do karate to a guy pointing a loaded gun at him?!

Funnily enough, I can !
I don't believe he did though.

Monica said...
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Monica said...
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Monica said...

I have complete confidence Jay said, in a non threatening way as he stretched his hand out to protect Sharon's baby: "Hey man, take it easy. She's pregnant." No kung fu. No karate chops. That makes him a stand up guy. Think about it. TEX bought and brought the rope for Hanging. Few had drugs in their system and speed or coke do not make a person kill. Maybe they were a charged combination of drugs AND excitement AND Influence AND love for the cause. Then there was killing. I wish I could give Tex truth serum for twenty minutes. Until then he is the most vile person on earth for me. Tex. Not that strung out street con Manson.

ReplyDelete

ColScott said...

Monica

There is no coincidence that Sadie and Tex were there- they both OWED Charlie. I made that clear in the 2001 unmade screenplay. Sadie had ruined the nightclub with her biker whoring and Tex was blamed for Lotsapoppa. Pat came because she was the most desperately seeking affirmation. Linda was boning Tex and had a license. It wasn't drugs, it wasn't love for any cause. It was do what you are supposed to do or you are out.

BUG in his novel does make a good point- folie a deux or in this case four. While Helter Skelter remain bullshit imo, the group dynamic had determined that murder was required and thus it came to be. There is no version of motive ever presented (drugs, copycat, race war etc) in which it wasn't clear that the group NEEDED This to be done. And so it was

Unknown said...

Acid IS groovy!! LOL

grimtraveller said...

Speculator said...

the point I was making is that there are far more significant gaps in the events of those nights that Watson could miraculously “remember” all these years later than an inference about karate that he’s probably read somewhere anyhow

While I partly agree with that, the fact remains that you are not Watson and therefore are not privy to the workings of his mind and what memory may or may not pop into his head at which particular time. I've lost count of the number of times a memory from many decades ago has just jumped into my head and as far as I could tell, I'd never previously given thought to that memory, or certainly not in recent history.

If, that is, he wants to really show some kind of progression at his parole hearings rather than taking the board for fools

He is always going to have a problem with the parole board because, as he did in his last hearing in 2016, he sometimes answers questions by saying "it's in my book." Now, in his book he ascribes a three prong motive for the TLB murders. But in the parole hearing transcripts of his that I've read, he never mentions murdering to free Bobby Beausoleil or to raise bail money for Mary Brunner and Sandy Good. Interestingly, he never raised these at his trial either. So the boards are confronted from the start with a kink in his story. Unlike the HS motive, the Bobby/Mary motives, if true, would show him to be even more complicit and deliberate before embarking on the murders. So he cannot go there. Yet, he's written that they were motives. Yet we know the Mary-Sandy-bail motive cannot be true and the copycat has so much against it as to render it extremely unlikely, despite what George Stimson holds. But he's said that they were motives in his book that he points the board members at as a place where all the correct details are. So he's boxed in at both ends. And that's before we even get to the aspect of his Christianity which may not be dodgy at all, but isn't something tangible that a secular board can grasp and understand, let alone accept. Between the board not getting it and the DDA twisting him in knots with probing, insightful questions that show she's well aware of the contradictions in his book[s] vs what he now says, he's unlikely to be going anywhere soon.

grimtraveller said...

Monica said...

That makes him a stand up guy. Think about it. TEX bought and brought the rope for Hanging

Actually, Charlie bought the rope. Danny DeCarlo was there with him. Charlie admitted it to the world during his trial when he testified. He said he bought it because you need rope on a ranch.

Jay wouldn't have known Tex brought the rope along for a hanging. If intruders broke into your house with rope, what would be uppermost in your mind ? Would it be that they were going to hang you by the neck or would it be that they were going to tie you up ? The large amount of rope that they brought would be commensurate with tying up four people while you robbed them, especially as two of the perps were female.
I'm not at all arguing that Jay wasn't a stand up guy or that he wasn't protective of Sharon. But I'm not going to ascribe bravery and heroism to him just because it's Tex with a gun. Things like the rope indicate that from the victims' perspective plus the fact that one of them was pregnant, initially they did not necessarily think in terms of themselves being killed. It was the sudden shooting of Jay that completely changed the dynamic of the inside of that house. Previously, when asked what he was there to do, Tex mouthed off some vague inanity about doing the Devil's work, which could mean anything, something or nothing at all. After Jay was shot, when asked what was going to happen, he got specific and said they were all going to die. Thus, any responses prior to Jay's shooting take on a slightly different hue when there's a good chance you think you're only going to be robbed. To put it another way, if Jay genuinely believed they were going to be killed, what difference would it have made if Sharon did lay on her stomach ?
That's not meant to sound as harsh as it reads.

ColScott said...

Pat came because she was the most desperately seeking affirmation. Linda was boning Tex

Both of those points are rather like the album cover of "Rubber Soul" ~ distorted out of shape. Linda boned Tex twice, possibly thrice and boned every other Family guy on the ranch "except Larry." She even got down with Leslie. Furthermore, Tex boned most women on the ranch. It was the nature of the Family. You didn't refuse the guys sex.
Was Pat the most desperately seeking affirmation ? Susan was of the opinion that most of the females were in that camp and there was a lot of competing for Charlie's attention. And it's pretty clear from their own words and actions that this applied to at least Squeaky, Brenda, Sandy, Cathy, Dianne, Susan, Leslie, Ouisch, Gypsy and others.

orwhut said...

Grim,
Your mentioning the girls not refusing the guys sex has caused me to think of a possible explanation as to why, with so much sex, they had relatively few babies. With the girls outnumbering the guys they might have been draining them of sperm cells nearly as fast as they could be produced. The guys might have simply had a chronically low sperm count. It's the only explanation I can think of.

starviego said...


I shudder to think you might be right, Orwhut:

https://youtu.be/7OovnrkxZww?t=134
Charlie on Sadie: "She'll suck everybody's dick going to the market, and she'll hitchhike back and suck everybody's dick coming back."

orwhut said...

Of course, strictly oral sex would have lowered the sperm count further with no chance of pregnancy.

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said...

There is no coincidence that Sadie and Tex were there- they both OWED Charlie. I made that clear in the 2001 unmade screenplay. Sadie had ruined the nightclub with her biker whoring and Tex was blamed for Lotsapoppa

The "owed" philosophy is not without merit. But it is also riddled with holes.
The nightclub did not close strictly because of Sadie. And why, being involved in the death of Gary Hinman, would she "owe" Charlie ?
As for Tex, let's suppose that he "owed" Charlie for the Lotsapoppa mess. Fair enough. 5 corpses at Cielo takes care of that and settles the debt. In fact it settles the debt over, above and beyond, tooth, fang and claw. But then there's the LaBiancas, Shorty and the rangers that Charlie wanted killed {if you believe Tex}.
Take it further; what did Bruce, Clem, Little Larry and in particular, Bill Vance "owe" Charlie ? What did Mary and Leslie "owe" Charlie ? What did Cathy "owe" Charlie ? What did Ella Jo "owe" Charlie when he tried to get her into the Hinman affair ? What did Bobby "owe" Charlie ?
A common theme in looking back at the Manson episode is the need to try and dispel HS in any which way. And every avenue I've ever seen that tries to do this, whether from Charlie, his supporters, Bugliosi haters, cops and former lawyers still smarting from the chapping they've received for 50 years, intelligent journalists or even ex Family members or even Susan Atkins all end up showing just how improbable and hard to work their alternatives are and just how cohesive HS is after all this time. That it's ridiculous doesn't take away its cohesion.

the group dynamic had determined that murder was required and thus it came to be. There is no version of motive ever presented (drugs, copycat, race war etc) in which it wasn't clear that the group NEEDED This to be done. And so it was

That though misses one fundamental point ~ all of the explanations came afterwards in a milieu where those people were accused of murder. They didn't regard it as murder when they were doing it but they all knew society did. The group dynamic didn't determine that murder needed to happen. Charlie did. And HS was not simply a race war. That tends to be the way some White Americans trivialize it, but it was a lot more than that.
It's kind of ironic that much of the toxicity between the Liberals and Conservatives this year in the USA has coalesced around perceived treatment from one side of the White population towards Black people.
Just like Charlie sort of envisioned all those years ago.
{I say that with my tongue firmly in my cheek}.

Peter said...

Just like Charlie thought it was up to a bunch of mostly privileged white kids to show blackie how to do it. We have the same thing now.