He did because people want to know ‘why’ something happened and juries are made up of people.
They also teach you this, your first year in law school: A motive makes a defendant…. ‘more, guilty’ ....and the lack of a motive makes him…. ‘less, guilty’. It is that simple.
So, Bugliosi chose a motive that doesn’t sit well with many, maybe the majority and everyone spends years trying to prove a different motive, because, well, Bugliosi’s motive is…goofy.
If, say, 20% of the readers of this blog accept the Healter Skelter [sic] motive (it was just repeated on TV on a recent Saturday night) the rest favor one of the other motives: drugs, copycat, revenge and now we can add the ‘deep state’ motive.
[Aside: I’m somewhere out in left field, all by myself, on the motive. But this post isn’t about the motive.]
Three of the alternative motives either consciously or unconsciously exonerate Manson or minimize, if not justify, what happened. At least two of them also have the tendency to ‘shift the blame’ making the victims or a third entity at least partially responsible for the deaths. In fact, that is part of the goal of some of those who support the alternative motives whether they are willing to admit it or not.
So, with the drug motive three of the victims deserve what they got. You can add Gary Hinman to that list making it four out of nine and if you dispense with reality you can make it six of nine. Shorty Shea was a snitch and thus got what he deserved. That leaves Sharon Tate and Steven Parent. I even once heard or read one proponent of this motive explain that the reason why Sharon Tate lived as long as she did was because she was not part of the drug deal and wasn’t supposed to be there. That, by the way, is an attempt to explain her murder as ‘collateral damage’ surrounding what was otherwise justifiable ‘pay back’. Think about that a moment.
More recently we have the deep state motive. I admit I don’t quite understand this motive because it trips all over itself too much and thus has to keep adding layers and explanations offered as questions instead of answers. But I think the gist is that Manson was either groomed or brainwashed in prison to be an agent to destroy the new left and the peace movement. I think we can thank Joan Didion as the sort of 'godmother' of this motive and I guess it doesn't matter that it didn't work as both continued for several years.
Manson's trainers are either the FBI, Esalen, the CIA or the someone else or maybe all of them. I think I am supposed to believe he used his training, then, to train the Family creating little Charlie Manchurian Candidates like Charlie was a CIA Manchurian Candidate. We are told, he had a lot of protection by someone because he never went to jail until he went to the gas chamber. After that happened Manson refused to disclose the conspiracy because Manson is a righteous dude. Or maybe it was the Black Panthers he was supposed to undermine and destroy by actually triggering a race war?
In any event, everyone is exonerated from at least some moral culpability because they were not acting under free will and the real criminals are still at large wearing grey flannel suits and Florsheim shoes. Most would be dead today which seems to be the hallmark of this motive: quoting dead people. The victims, at least, in this one, remain victims but Obama or Clinton or someone is actually responsible because no one picked up Manson from his early release from prison for smoking grass with underage girls. Shorty was a snitch and Gary ripped them off over some drugs.
The revenge motive is really just a motive used by Bugliosi to try to explain Atkins' early statements about the motive and why they went to Cielo Drive looking for Terry Melcher when they knew he wasn’t there. Of course the current media loves this one because celebrities are involved. Bugliosi also probably threw it in there because, like you and me, he was worried that Helter Skelter was too goofy to convince a jury. The revenge stuff is simple: anti-social/sociopath.
Regardless of which alternative motive you choose it is generally accepted in those motive-cliques that Bugliosi is an unethical, lying, villainous worm. Was he a good guy…no. Was he unethical….that’s a tough one. I don’t know….. maybe? Do these facts and the others thrown at him have anything to do with why Manson et al rotted away in jail? Sorry….no, they do not. But, again, it draws the focus away from the killers and their charismatic, Christ-leader, Charles Man’s Son, and creates that little scintilla of evidence that the trial wasn’t ‘fair’ and that Bugliosi made it up and covered it up.
Missing, of course, from all of these motives is any concern for the victims, who become like the table under my laptop where I write this crap: they become decor in horrific crime scene photos.
The Family, meanwhile, doesn't care who the victims were. Under their favorite motive they were expendable to 'get a brother out of jail'. Alternatively, they ignore the victims completely. They simply have no feelings at all for them. I mean, none.
One Family member wrote a book suggesting that her time in the Family was all peace, love, brotherhood, flowers and music punctuated now and again by a little group grope and a nice Indica high. The murders, to her, were ‘inexplicable’ (even though she was present while the orchestration went down). They were likely motivated, if she were pushed on the subject, 'to get a brother out of jail’.
See, that one comes closest to exonerating Manson as long as you can get him out of the car night number two. But the available 'testimony' of the Family suggests something different than the reflections of that old Family member. There is a reason the victims don't exist.
Here is the Manson Family in their own words. Some, perhaps, most, of these quotes may be familiar to some or all of you. I chose not to identify the speaker or the source but some are obvious. Read them aloud. Think about them. Notice what is missing.
[Aside: Wasn’t Brad Pitt’s response to that, great.]
“The world of sanity is a little box. The world of insanity is endless, perfect. Charles Manson is the universal mind.”
“You are all next!”
"Woman, I have no mercy for you."
“What we did was necessary . . . to start a revolution against pollution! We made a statement and we wrote it in blood in the Tate house and in the LaBianca house: ‘This death you look at? This is your children. Tate-LaBianca is the house of the future.’ We were little kids, trying to save the sheep from the wolves—and I don’t mean, you know, to put down wolves! And where are Abbie Hoffman and Bernardine Dohrn and Jerry Rubin and all you liberal humanitarians now? Crying about Nelson Mandela? About jobs for the homeless? Jobs that destroy air, trees, water, animals? About some guy in a fur coat who left home without his rubbers . . . and got AIDS?! Excuse me, but that is just white-liberal-guilt-fear, the same that can’t forget nine little murders, and yet will ask me to lay down for a black man . . . and commit genocide?!”
“She was killed, that was war.”
“[Cutting down those trees] is worse than Tate-LaBianca.” [Reported to me by a witness.]
"I got no feelings for you bitch, we're doing you a favor, we're releasing you from this earth."
"Well it felt so good the first time that I stabbed her."
“I don’t even know what the word [remorse] means.”
“In war people die, Patty.”
“All those kids that did all those things in the 60’s- I never directed traffic, but I did influence a lot of people in a lot of ways- and I don’t think they were bad guys. I think they were perfect.”
Q: “Do you have any sorrow?”
Q: “Why did you kill her?”
A: “It was just there to do.”
“Your fear is your love.” [About the fear that precedes being murdered.]
Q: “What did you feel after you stabbed her?”
A: “Nothing. It was just there and like it was just right.”
A: “And Sharon went through a few changes, (laugh), quite a few changes.
Q: “What do you mean by changes?”
A: “Oh, her facial expressions – she said “Oh my God, no.” Miss Folger didn’t say anything, she just stood there.”
“By doing a murder that had no sense behind it, and by putting words that would make people scared.”
“Because the more fearful the people get, the more frantic it will get, and the faster it will happen.”
“People are being killed every day.”
“You know, in other words, we didn’t want to go out and actually like do somebody in, but it had, it had to be done; and we were the only ones that saw that it had to be done.”
Q: “Seven dead bodies are no big thing, right Sadie?
A: “Are they? With millions of people all over the world that are having napalm dropped on them in the name of your justice, is that a big thing? It doesn’t seem to be too big a thing to you all. If you all believes it’s right, it’s right, and what I believed was right was right.”
“You won’t be sending your son to war.”
“Q: And then the next night?
A: Well, I was feeling bad, to tell you the truth. Because Sadie — because Katie was my best friend. And to think that she was strong enough in her believing not — you know, to be able to go kill, I wanted to, too.”
“To get a brother out of jail, I would kill. I would have killed that night if I had gone along.”
“And almost it was like it would make myself stronger to know that I could kill somebody, because at the moment I’m killing them I have to be that willing to die.”
“Well, in order to create fear it had to be — look like an obvious, just an obvious murder; that there was no robbery, nothing behind it; just flat out to do it, to start this paranoia going.
And so, we had been told that this was the best time to use our witchcraft.”
Q: Was the actual stabbing of the woman — did that — was that unusual to you; did it feel different than you thought it might have felt?
A: “It felt so weird that I blew my mind behind it; if you understand what I mean by blow my mind.
I mean, I lost control. I went completely nuts that moment. It was —
Do you want me to explain?
It was hard to get it through. Like when I thought of stabbing, I didn’t really have any idea in my mind, but it’s a real feeling. It’s — it’s not even like cutting a piece of meat. It’s much tougher. And it was — I had to use both hands and all my pressure, all my strength behind it to get it in.
And so once I started, the feeling was so weird that I just kept doing it.
Like I say, I did it about ten times, I think.”
Q: “Now, when we sat down here before I actually turned on the tape recorder I asked you if you know what the word “remorse” meant; and you said “No.”
And I told you it meant feeling sorry.
Could you tell us how you feel now about what happened to the LaBiancas and all the other people that were killed?
A: “Well, I can’t really feel sorry, because I did it, and I did it with every intention of it being right.”
“I thought it was perfectly right, and I thought it was perfectly right.”
“So in other words, if the clock could be put back, if I saw that this is the way it was coming down, again, I’d do it again.”
“I didn’t relate to Sharon Tate as being anything but a store mannekin[sic].”
“She kept begging and pleading and begging and pleading and begging and pleading, and I got sick of listening to her, so I stabbed her.”
“Sorry never meant anything. It is just a five-letter word people use.”
“I don’t feel bad about anything that happened.”
Q: “She begged?
A: “Yes. So?”
Q: “Why were these seven murders committed?”
A: “It seemed like a good idea at the time. It just happened. And it was right. My brother was in jail for something that I did.”
“Once it [the knife] went in, it just kept going in and in and in.”
“Are you willing and ready to die or kill? When you aren’t ready or willing to kill it’s because you are notready or willing to be killed.”
“We were left to die in prison because we were white, man. And where were your liberal humanitarians when we were facing the gas chamber for trying to save Earth from people . . . getting drunk on the blood of children! Even child murderers get to point the finger at Charlie, accuse us of killing children. Peck, peck, peck, peck down the order. Sharon Tate’s baby dying? A baby that would grow up to be a fat fucking hamburger-eating, Earth-destroying . . . soul-destroying piece of shit?!”
The first thing we have to do with these statements is accept them as their truth: the group truth of The Manson Family. When the comments were made, they believed what they said. We could spend time debating ‘why’ this was their truth. It may be, perhaps, that Manson ‘brainwashed’ them. Perhaps. I don't think so.
The root of their extraordinary lack of empathy probably lies somewhere else. It may, as Charlie said, have had something to do with the ‘programming' of their parents. More accurately, whatever he did or they did to themselves, eliminated the parental 'programing'.
More likely, each one had narcissistic or sociopathic aspects of their personalities that were somehow released. That may have been Manson’s work, the CIA or the impact of LSD and/or speed. Or it may have been who they were and why they were drawn to him. They became unable to feel, unable to empathize with what they experienced; what they had done or what they knew had been done. The horror they inflicted or what they saw or learned after the fact had no impact on them. They were and remained, through the years covered by these comments, devoid of human feelings for the victims. By ‘feelings’, of course, I mean they were unable to see the suffering of their victims or even recognize that they suffered at all. Or maybe that is who they really were and they were simply drawn to a 'leader' who was like them.
Some of these quotes date back to the time. Some are more current. These are their words. There is no peace, love and flowers mentioned, here. There is no anger at the corporate machine or the Vietnam war (save a couple comments). There certainly are no statements in support of the environment. That is just revisionist history, created years after the events.
They killed because they wanted to kill. That is the scary part. Motive didn't matter.
All we learn from their words is that whether you are a conservative or a liberal, white, black or brown, gay or straight, man or women, rich or poor you were expendable. You didn’t matter. You and me, like Sharon Tate's unborn child, are earth destroying, soul destroying pieces of shit, especially if we like burgers.
In the years that followed these crimes most of those not in prison ran from their past or disappeared into irrelevancy, living on the public dole in some small town, unfortunately, frequently, in my home state. They never contributed anything to society I have ever been able to find. Nothing. Not one that I am aware of ever attempted to make amends or do some good deed for the victims. I see no profits going to victims assistance or anything else for that matter including the environment. Instead they likely live on the social security checks we members of the establishment, those they were willing to kill, worked to provide.
At least one hired a plastic surgeon to remove the “X” she so boldly carved in her forehead years before.Many have changed their names and ‘disappeared’. Few want to talk about those days, unless they get a paycheck, and then they get the facts wrong, timing their books or appearances to profit from the anniversary of that horrible night. Pause and reflect on that a moment.
So why did I title this post “Channeling Saint”?
Saint Circumstance used to write posts, here. He wrote from his heart, not the dry history and evidence based, crap, I used to write. His posts were filled with opinions that always made me think, especially about the victims.
I was reminded of that just recently having read a comment by him, here. This happened a couple days after I was having a glass of wine watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. I suddenly realized it was the anniversary of that first horrible night. I had forgotten.
I also had one of those moments. I realized those nine people never were able to experience watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean again after August 1969. But those responsible for at least doing nothing, write books and appear on talk shows. That, and Saint's comment a couple days later, made me channel Saint. I hope I did a good job.
There is a tendency among the members of this odd little hobby to worry about offending those who were there because they might, just might, give us a kernel in their latest fictional account of the Family. We support motives that blame the victims or exonerate the guilty. In our effort to prove a conspiracy we forget they were brothers, sisters, uncles, lovers and friends.
Many here respect that Kumbaya reminiscence and its author who still thinks Charlie was ‘love’.
Maybe we do that because we want her and others who were there in those days to ‘share’.
Share what, exactly? More bullshit?
I want her to dispense with the propaganda and share her truth.
I want them to explain those quotes up there. Explain why you all believed that. Tell us what you heard and saw on the evening of August 8-9-10, 1969 and share why you stood by and did nothing. Explain why those words up there were your truth and why you don’t care about the murdered. Why do the victims not even merit a footnote in your story? Explain why you are so mad at them. They did nothing to you.
Explain to us, please, why any of us should care about any part of a man or his ideas who taught one ofyour sisters that Sharon Tate’s unborn baby, repeat 'unborn baby', “would grow up to be a fat fucking hamburger-eating, Earth-destroying . . . soul-destroying piece of shit?!” and therefore deserved to die.
I don’t think you can explain it without revealing a very disturbing truth about who you are.
I don’t have any interest in hearing anymore propaganda about the halcyon days at Spahn Ranch. I want to know why you all believed the things you said. I want to know why something inside of you died. What made you do these things (or watch them happen from afar and do...... nothing) and why you laughed.
Tell me what was so important that these nine people were, to you, collateral damage, nothing but objects that needed to die? Convince me this somehow furthered some grand cause and tell me what on earth that cause might have been. Tell me why you did nothing to stop it. More importantly, tell me why you felt nothing after it happened.
Somehow these people get lost in all the motive searching and they disappear when we listen to Family members.
In the end, the people behind these names are all that matters.