Monday, December 27, 2021

Ivor Davis

Davis/Harrison 1964. Express Newspapers photo credit. 

Last week, I read Manson Exposed: A Reporter's 50 Year Journey into Madness and Murder by Ivor Davis. Nearly five hundred pages in length with sources, author notes, and etc, the Kindle version of Davis' book set me back five bucks. Davis also accompanied the Beatles on their first American tour and wrote about their adventures together. His links are at the bottom of this page.  

I'm feeling Joan Didion's passing a bit more than I would've imagined. I love Didion's version of the Sixties and search for her thoughts on this or that often while digging through the times. Slouching Toward Bethlehem should be on every Manson syllabus. Didion is cheap on Amazon if you're interested and likely free online if you spend a moment searching. Kindle readers are in luck. Didion's collected essays are available for the price of a small latte. 

Born after the 1960's, I rely on others to fill in the blanks for me on this stuff. Bo Emerson. Youtube. The Internet in general. I always say the comments sections here and elsewhere taught me as much as the posts. And I'm usually down to check out any Youtube discussion on the subject. This interview from Christmas week was an easy watch and the foundation of my post today. The quotes at the bottom of the post are from the interview and not the book. 

Ivor Davis first entered our study with Five to Die in 1970. The following is from Davis' Amazon page. 

At the time, I was the West Coast correspondent for one of Britain's largest circulating newspapers and my editors immediately assigned me to find out everything I could about this senseless massacre that was instant front page news around the world. What happened that balmy Summer's night became one of the most infamous chapters in the history of brutal murder in America. 

Eventually Charles Manson and his band of pitiful souls were arrested not only for the Tate murders but also for those of Los Angeles businessman Leno LaBianca, 44, and his 38-year-old wife Rosemary, whose bodies were found one day after the Beverly Hills killings in a house in Silver Lake some 13 miles from the first murder scene. 

A colleague, Jerry LeBlanc, and I wrote a fast book about the Manson murders called Five to Die. We had an early start on the case. As soon as the story broke that Manson, who had been taken into custody at the remote Barker Ranch in Death Valley on October 12, l969 more than two months after the murders, was a key suspect in the case, we began to dig into his background and that of his "family." Remarkably, as we progressed, we seemed to be several steps ahead of police investigators. 

Our book was rushed out in paperback in January 1970, seven months before the trial began. It was the very first book to catalogue the bizarre story of life with Charlie Manson. Several years later, long after I had covered the trials which resulted in first degree murder convictions for Manson and four of his acolytes, Charles "Tex" Watson, Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel, I met former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Aaron Stovitz. He had been head of the DA's trial division and the lead prosecutor in the case before he was removed by the District Attorney for contravening the Judge's gag order. 

Much to my astonishment Stovitz dropped a bombshell. "Your book was the blueprint for our prosecution," he said. "It was all there for us to follow." Five to Die had not been a best seller and it received scant attention at the time it was swiftly overtaken by new developments as the sensational trial unfolded.

You can pay a lot for Five to Die online. It's also out there gratis. Either way, Stovitz's bombshell got Davis moving on Manson Exposed...

To this crowd, Davis' book will resemble a long magazine piece. Some of that has to do with your inquisitive nature and lifetime spent peeking behind curtains. The remainder comes from the author's lack of desire to stray far from center these days as far as I can tell. Davis says he thought Helter Skelter was laughable but also recognized others like Lynette Fromme believed Manson was innocent and should be released. 

Davis also claims in his book that Fromme threatened him outside the courthouse and asked if knew how a sharp knife shoved down a throat felt or something along those lines. 

Yikes but also what are you doing tonight after court? 

Apologies. I made quick decisions on women for an embarrassing number of years and some of that is still inside me even though I'm old. Let's get back to it. 

Charlie was in court over dune buggy shenanigans in Independence, California, on December 3, 1969. Davis and Steve Dunleavy were there. This was Manson's first court date after Barker. Even though the charge was Receiving Stolen Property, guards brought him in with an extra security chain around his waist. I could not find any evidence Manson acted out in jail during his seven-ish week incarceration before the court date and even found contradictory evidence.


"Manson is most definitely still the leader of the three other guys,” an officer said. “He gives them orders and they obey him. 

“We find Manson a model prisoner. He should be. He’s been in and out of jail since he was 15 years old. He seems to be very intelligent and well-read with a good vocabulary.”

The deputy continued, “Manson is cooperative and talkative to a point, but careful not to implicate himself in anything.”

This is the beginning of the jail stint where Charlie complains they won't let him shave or visit a jailhouse barber. Newspaper, tv, and radio hopped right on Manson's shaggy appearance and chains. According to Davis, the LA dicks took Manson to Los Angeles following his plea of Not Guilty.  

Remembering the trials in Los Angeles, Ivor goes in on Ronald Hughes' then recent UCLA Law School graduation, Hughes' garage office, and Daye Shinn's specialty in helping people apply for green cards. "Inept lawyers."  

On Manson: "He was quite eloquent. He made sense." Davis was present while Charlie testified for an hour with the jury removed. According to Davis, when asked by the bench if he'd repeat everything he'd just said but with the jury present, Manson refused to testify. The girls jumped to their feet and said the same about themselves. 

Expressing shock over the defense strategy, Davis said, "The lawyers all got up and said we have no evidence to present." The author/journalist believes Helter Skelter worked because the jury saw the girls following Charlie's orders in court. 

On Watkins: "Paul looked like a young Clark Gable. Smooth demeanor. Knew how to talk to people." 

On Charlie's ability to conquer female minds: "He had the gift of the gab. Within an hour, these girls had become a disciple." 

Will the book change your life? No. Did I have fun word searching and date hopping for $4.99 even if I forgot for a year and a half that I own the book? Yes. 

If you have thoughts on Ivor Davis and his role in the Manson study, please let me know below. 


In fairness and because I've read his post several times over the past few years, my blog colleague George Stimson had this to say about Davis and Five to Die. 

If I took a Stimsonesque or Schreckian position, or even without taking one, I notice the Ventura photo of Charlie has been filtered, redrawn, whatever'd, and Manson looks apelike on the front cover of the newest Davis book. 

But like an evil, hypnotizing ape amirite? Genius and idiot all rolled into one. +ggw


Stimson books.

Ivor Davis bio at The Authors Guild.

Ivor Davis books on Amazon.

Ivor Davis home. 

A bit on Ivor and The Beatles for Fab Four aficionados and fans. 

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Friday, December 24, 2021

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Book of Manson (1989) Film

The Book Of Manson was released in 1989. The film is available to watch on Youtube but is broken into five sections. Part one is missing. I'd buy a copy if mine were the bank accounts of a university and not a dumb writer but life is what it is and I'll likely die without knowing what happens in part one. 

"The loose plot and bad production make it difficult to watch but it's very rewarding if you can stay on the ride." 

A reviewer named Ruiz wrote that about BoM seven years ago. You won't find many reviews online and Ruiz was succinct. 

Book of Manson is mucho irreverent in spades. Filmmaker Raymond Pettibon has the comedic timing of Roman Polanski. More than once, the thought crossed my mind that I was watching a Polanski treatment of the Manson family. Take that however you like. I went into the Polanski catalog expecting to confirm my dislike for the director but walked away with respect for his films. Not that I'd advise you to send your seventh grader to a pool party at his place. 

Pettibon is also the writer for BoM. His film is huge on dialogue and much of it is solid gold. A nuanced, punk rock, 80's, Manson family? The Marx Brothers crossed my mind several times but only if they were from the dark side or something Idk. 

You've heard for years that a California record label was set to release an album of Charles Manson's music in the 1980's but backed out after receiving threats. Filmmaker Pettibon's brother, Greg Ginn, is the owner of that label. I started asking around about the threats hoping someone would say, "Four huge guys in sweatsuits eating gabagool hopped out of a black Cadillac yelling, 'Bada bing we're the Mafia! Big Tony says no record, capeesh?"  

And if not the mob then who? Phil Kaufman? Doris Day? How would the public even know? The threats were confirmed but downplayed. "Nothing as serious as you might be thinking." 

Got it. Joke threats. So funny you don't put the record out. And don't think I would've either. I was terrified of Charles Manson in the 80's. Everyone "into" him was talking about the Process Church and not  ATWA down at the home place. 

Anyway. A couple of years after threats killed the record, Pettibon made BoM. Gutsy to say the least. 

The scene at Bobby's might be my favorite. Again nuance. Again irreverence. Janet Housden plays Mary Brunner. Gary asks Bobby, Sadie, and Mary if Charlie sent them. Bobby doesn't like Mary's affirmation, flexes on her, and announces he's running things. 

How many Gary arguments have taken place on this blog? Was it the Satans' money or an inheritance? Why did Mary tell Guenther and Whiteley they were after three grand?  

Here's my six degrees. I was pestering Henry Rollins with letters in 1991 while Joe Cole helped with his mail. Thirty years ago today, Cole was murdered by muggers in front of the house he shared with Rollins in the Oakwood neighborhood of Venice Beach, California. Rollins escaped by dodging bullets. 

This is Henry talking about Cole's killing. Rollins was the record label's point man with Manson. Joe Cole also worked at SST Records. I was over the moon when Cole's response showed up at my PO Box, and his awful death shook me. Even after they handed over fifty bucks, Cole was shot in the face at point blank range. 

Senseless, cruel, and sad. Joe Cole has been dead for almost as long as he lived. I won't ever understand why his death was necessary and wanted to drop a quick shoutout here today in remembrance. Some of you might remember Cole's killing and others will not. I don't drink anymore but if I did, I'd pour a little out for Joe. 

Robert Hecker's scenes as Charlie are magic imo. I went stalking him online and almost fell out of my chair so great was my haste to email blog reader Tobias Rabe. Hurdles! 


Here's an associated Cease to Exist cover from back then. Same scene. Housden plays drums on the bonus tracks of the 1986 re-release. Calling the 80's "back then" is like whoa kinda. My sweet Gen X is starting to get old. If you watch BoM, please tell me what you think. +ggw

Monday, December 13, 2021

Mary Brunner and PTSD

Was PTSD a factor in Mary Brunner's bizarre courtroom behavior? 

Empathy comes a bit easier when I see people as kids. I always search for everyone's youngest photograph online before doing anything else. Wondering wtf happened in Cali and staring at the photo is the next step. For many of these folks, I never move beyond the wondering stage. Everything is just so crazy. And some of the explanations seem crazier. 

The last month or so, I've been working on a Mary Brunner timeline. Mary's performances across courtrooms from trial to retrial to trial etc shocked me to say the least. I wondered if I could follow her personal arc through literature and official documents and arrive at some place that made sense. 

Additionally, my cousin and I made family trees for Mary's Brunner (paternal) and Baker (maternal) families. Mary's DNA profile is consistent with the white European population of the Upper Midwest in the decades surrounding the start of the twentieth century. Wonder Bread before Wonder Bread. I found a black and white photo of Mary's dad doing a handstand. Total research career highlight. The champ is here. 

Anyway. Mary intro via Fromme. 

Babes in the woods. Summer 1967. Burton Katz said Mary was "well on her way to a Master's Degree" but I can't find a confirming source. Mary is twenty-three and the right age to be a grad student but many accounts have her moving to California in 1965 after graduating from Wisconsin. Graduate students aren't typically library assistants either. That is more of an undergrad thing. 

Our traditional introduction to Mary is at the Berkeley gate where Charlie is strumming a guitar and Mary's dog Muffin runs up yip yip blah blah blah, "Woman! I'm gonna kick your dog! 

"You better not!" 

I prefer Emmons for this scene but to each their own. Let's set the dune buggy time machine for mid-April, 1968. Law Enforcement  arrives late night in Ventura County at the scene of a bus wedged into a deep drainage ditch. Beside the bus that is assumed stolen but not yet verified, a group of fifteen-ish hippies are asleep naked on the ground. Among them is Mary Brunner and baby Pooh Bear. 

Charlie stole the bus in San Francisco nine days earlier on April 12th. Kind of romantic in a Hollywood movie way but not when you get locked up for it in real life. And then of course since the gang is the gang, they crashed their stolen bus into a ditch. Somehow, no one was injured. A celebratory bonfire and weird group unclothing followed. 

I pictured the first policeman on the scene, a Vietnam vet or something like that, shining his light on their pale bodies and thinking everyone was dead. The scene likely resembled something straight out of Roswell. If you're unaware of what happens next, Charlie is arrested for the stolen bus and having two driver's licenses. Other nude people also receive false identification charges. Yeller and Brenda are charged with disorderly conduct. I imagined them fighting the police naked in slow motion while Japanese girl group surf rock blasts. 

Mary gets busted for her underdressed and shivering baby sleeping beside her. No charges are filed against Charlie over Pooh Bear even though the infant is half his responsibility. Oh how times have changed. 

Knuckleheads pops into my head a lot when I think about these kids and Charlie in their early days. He was older but at a similar maturity level. Charlie lost his mom for several years at the age of five over the The Great Heinz Bottle Stickup of '39, fell into the care of Glenna, toothless Bill, Uncle Jess Kaboom, and finally the clink at age thirteen. 

Ohio River payback cake from an Easy Bake Oven is the order of the day but not yet. Here is the first time tiny Gen X'er Pooh Bear, later named head of the Manson Family by Clem Grogan, is taken into custody. While a social worker will later tell Mendocino investigators this arrest was little more than police harassment of hippies, Mary is now on paper. She receives a suspended sentence, two years probation, collects her baby, and promises to return to Wisconsin where she belongs. 

Which is slippie code for Mendocino. Here are a few highlights contributed by an anonymous friend. 

(I want to feed that cute baby goat and raise it at my house!)

You remember little Allen's snake legs and all that plus how the other boys tore the place up. Everyone arrested or questioned at the scene except Mary gives a fake name. Mary rented the cabin using her real name and knows she's doomed. The gang admits to the LSD and some pot seeds and help the police find the drugs in either the woods behind the cabin or a shed in the woods behind the cabin. Mary takes the fall. 

Pooh Bear is sheltered and cared for in the home of Dr. Roger Smith upon Charlie's request. My opinions are whispers in the wind of course but I think Smith got a raw deal in O'Neill. 

More germane to this discussion is what was Mary's state of mind at this time? My quest was how does a person go from taking their flute out to California with them to their library job to sitting naked with Kenneth Como or even the machine gun photos. How did she get there? When did the changes occur? 

All of this is from Thank you, Mr. Bo. 

Mary could be playing the game because she wants her baby returned but she's not displaying any red flags. 

Professional references are provided including Dr. Smith. 

The final paperwork.

This far into it, do you think Mary is cracking under the pressure or displaying any overt revolutionary tendencies? She seems like she's holding up okay to me. The gang is still getting arrested for stupid things and maybe nothing feels real but Mary is playing a game with inescapable consequences. 

George and Elsie Brunner surely begged Mary with genuine fear in their voices to return home. But Mary loved her baby's father like many girls love their baby's father and ignored her parents. Everyone always talks about cult this and mind-controlled that and while they might be right, I just don't know for sure. What if it was a simple perfect storm type of situation and the train came off the tracks in the worst ways? 

Viewing Mary as a girl who wanted to live with her friends and child's father more than returning to her parents and their I-told-you-so's resonates with me. And if neither option was ideal, Mary was stuck somewhat like the stolen bus in the ditch with nowhere else to go and that's a different issue. 

Which brings us to Gary's. 

That photo triggers me every time and I wasn't there. How many times do you think Bobby viewed it online over the years and wished he'd never taken that ride? I wonder if Mary ever looked into all of this? I bet she'd do anything to go back in time and keep everyone from walking up those stairs. 

Bobby, do you read these? 

It's impossible to gloss over what happened at Gary's or write an apologetic piece. Gary's life became a nightmare until he ceased to exist over the course of a gruesome weekend in July 1969. Bobby lured Mary into going to Gary's because they were friends and Mary would put Gary at ease. Mary to her great detriment is unable to keep from admitting to things she's done wrong. Because of that, we know she told Guenther and Whitely that Bobby informed her of the robbery about to take place at Gary's during the drive there. 

Her first version of events places the amount they sought at Gary's at three grand btw. 

Mary said she thought nothing of Bobby's comments because she knew Gary had no money. Evil Bruce McGregor Davis dropped them off and scurried away into the darkness like a rat. Sadie gave the signal once the coast was clear. Mary stood inside like a foolish girl from Wisconsin until there was no chance to leave. 

Guenther and Whitely also found out from Mary that Bobby shared with her his decision to kill Gary. Put yourself in Mary's shoes. What could she have done? Die with Gary? She must've been terrified. I'd never recover from that hellish scene. 

We all know Gary's ending. Mary and Sadie took turns smothering his death rattle after Bobby told them to do it. There's no escaping what they did. Awful isn't a strong enough word. 

Over the next week and some as July works into August, we don't hear much from Mary until what Dreath dubbed The Sears Caper. 

Mary looks scared. She's thinking her goose is cooked. And has a thousand yard stare. Here's a scholarly article on the relationship between witnesses to violent crimes and PTSD. Google is filled with many others. Mary fits the profile every time.  

Eventually, Kitty from the sidewalk tries to nuke Mary in court by saying she witnessed Mary driving Gary's vehicle after his death but she is too late. Guenther and Whitely have already talked Mary into cutting a deal. Texas high hurdles state record holder (4A) Tex Watson later writes that Mary would have been at Cielo if she wasn't in jail. 

When I'd see that Tex quote in the past I always thought yeah right whatever weirdo man. Anymore, I'm not so sure. If the story about Tex retrieving Pooh Bear from Dr. Smith's house in Melcher's car is true, maybe Tex and Mary were close. Whatever the case, Mary and Sandy were unavailable the night of Cielo after bungling a simple retail hustle. And I'm happy about it. 

Somewhere between Gary's murder and the Twinkie truck accident, Mary's brain changes. Clear evidence exists. She becomes agitated and emotional every time we see her in the public record afterward. The first Wisconsin interview. Her affidavit. Court. 

Mary should be forever grateful to Judge Keene. I wonder if she ever watched him on Divorce Court? Boring program but on right after school in my day. Countless peanut butter sandwiches were consumed while actors in their forties who looked old to me pretended to divorce one another. 

In the coming year, I'd like begin a discussion on Mary's court appearances after the Hinman murder. At one point, Mary tries to die for or alongside Bobby before Judge Keene steps in and saves her life. She is safe for awhile but more astonishing blunders are coming. 

Something is wrong with Mary. No one gives a shit because she suffocated Gary and has a baby with the boogeyman but by Christmas of 1969 the time bomb is activated and ticking. An appointment on the wrong side of these bullet holes awaits Mary at the semi-conclusion of her antics out west. +ggw

Monday, December 6, 2021

Becoming Charlie Manson

Ghislaine Maxwell might fill America's head boogeyman position for the remainder of her life if she's found guilty of the charges against her. Week two of her trial begins today. No cameras are allowed inside the courtroom. 

Ghislaine was raised Anglican. I'm unsure of where she lands on the whole God thing these days but prayer might not be a bad idea for anyone who finds their name dropped alongside Charles Manson's in newspaper articles. Divine intervention could be your only hope. 

Charlie's gone, Ghislaine is awful, and we need a criminal we're unable to generate empathy for to taunt once her mind is fully broken. Grab your colored pencils and draw us a monster in a covid mask and please do not dawdle. I'll start the air popper. Extra salt and butter you know it. Btw is that Rusty Burrell from The People's Court?

Abandon all hope ye who enter here. Not even Tricky Dicks can save you when you're inside the media machine.

While combing through famous courtroom sketches, I noticed they draw your face a certain way when you play for the opposing team. 

Google is the source for our illustrations today. That's a publicly shackled and muzzled Bobby Seale below Charlie. The final sketch is Weather Underground and Black Liberation Army members Judith Clark, Sekou Odinga, Kuwasi Balagoon, and David Gilbert.

Jeffrey looks so happy by the jet. He never read his Ecclesiastes and it shows. 

Ghislaine would be in some other blog post starring as Little Paul right now if the Clyde to her Bonnie hadn't been found bruised and lifeless inside his locked cell within a supposedly secure facility. But things worked out the way they did and now Ghislaine earns dual paychecks playing brainwashed Squeaky and maniac mastermind Charlie in the same movie. What a trip.

The artist didn't make Epstein look as evil and unhinged as the other defendants but Epstein also did not spend a comparable amount of time in court. I know he stormed out of a deposition when opposing lawyers repeatedly asked about the shape of his penis but I can't find any records of Epstein acting out in front of a judge. To some extent, everyone else we're discussing in this post did. 

Stunts like this didn't help Charlie.

Acting out in court is ALWAYS a poor decision no matter who you are and what you did or did not do. Go ask Lulu and Katie if you're unsure. When they don't respond, consider querying Charlie's haunted tv. 

Threats. "I see you. We see you and know where you are." 

Hands are tricky to draw. Ghislaine has some sort of Peanuts/Tim Burton/Courage the Cowardly Dog thing going on there I'm not sure. She didn't even make a circle for the head first. 

One of the illustrators Ghislaine sketched has forty years on the job. The Post didn't mention that because they needed to fill space. Ghislaine is at the precipice and it's a long way down. "Your honor, she enslaved the young and threatens the old from within the sanctity of our hallowed courtrooms." 

I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a little part of me that wonders if Ghislaine will receive a light sentence even though she's Squeaky and Charlie rolled into one. I saw Ghislaine's comments hundreds of times on reddit when I didn't know she was behind her username and even occasionally interacted via alt accounts due to her inflammatory views on certain subjects. Whenever I think back on those days, I'm kinda shook. Who else have I talked to? 

Keep in mind that is Ghislaine is rich and rich people always win unless the other rich people abandon them a la Madoff. But Bernie stole their money. Ghislaine merely provided the entertainment. 

If she was a piece of white trash from down here on the river there would be no questions regarding her fate. Ghislaine faces a maximum of eighty years and turns sixty in nineteen days. How much more time do you think she'll do? 

Ghislaine graduated from Oxford. 


Finally, Patty told me last week that longtime blog troll, Susan Atkins Gonorrhea, passed in early October after a brief illness. He was forty-nine years old. SAG's comments always started out okay before he predictably lost control and went off the rails. I always wondered why he had to take that route. 


Serious talk. Don't die a troll. It's no legacy.+ggw

Monday, November 29, 2021

Book Review - Jeffrey Melnick

Dr. Melnick's book, on Kindle, was a Black Friday purchase for me. I paid $13.99 and received a $1.40 credit Amazon will screw me out of by not automatically applying it to the next Kindle purchase I make after I forget there's a code to retrieve or something similarly exhausting. 

In euros and rupees that's one million and seventeen million, respectively. Pounds I haven't worked out yet. I enjoyed Charles Manson's Creepy Crawl over a long weekend of endless Thanksgiving leftovers and football. 

Many Manson books start the same way. "Charles Manson was born on November 11th or 12th, 1934. His mother Kathleen was a dancehall girl specializing in the Lindy. She sold her private parts and little boy for draft beers and pickles from a barrel behind the bar. A head rolled down a set stairs in front of Kathleen once at the prison, blinked three or four times and said, 'Helter Skelter.'" 

Melnick graciously spares us that tiresome routine. It's been done to death and a lot of it is malarkey. I made genealogy trees for both Charlie and Mary's families and my findings support none of that red-haired prostitute business. The traveling head story I can neither confirm nor deny. Sounds fishy to me but what do I know? My job is removing heaving bosoms from romance novels and explaining how no one likes fifteen commas per sentence.  

I know this is a deal breaker for some readers but Melnick's book also lacks the secrets everyone craves about 8/8 and 8/9.  However, if you can look past his egregious omission, Melnick's book is an absolute page turner filled with endless citations that open conservatively a million rabbit holes if you're interested. From Allison Umminger:

"Jeffrey Melnick's Creepy Crawling is a compulsively-readable guide to the American fascination with the Manson Family. Expertly weaving psychology, sociology, history, and pop culture, Melnick's work covers everything from the Family's Freudian roots to its continued commodification, from Joan Didion to Nicki Minaj. We know the Manson Murders have been part of the cultural landscape for the past fifty years, but Melnick shows us why. The book is a must-read not only for those fascinated by the Manson Family, but anyone fascinated by America."—Allison Umminger, author of the highly acclaimed Manson novel American Girls

From author Dana Spiotta:
"A capacious, witty, and insightful take on how and why we are still so fascinated by Charles Manson and his Family. Melnick is a keen reader of high and low artifacts, and he is wonderfully precise in tracing all the Manson-related references and ramifications from 1969 to the present. He has a gift for presenting complex ideas in savvy, compelling prose. A must read not just for Manson aficionados but for anyone interested in recent American pop culture."--Dana Spiotta, author of Innocents and Others

I definitely had to look up capacious. The word simply does not exist in Ohio. 

CMCC is surely for you if you dig pop culture. If you've already read the book, I'm interested in your thoughts. Oddly, dude has Barbara Hoyt introducing Susan to Charlie in SF during the Summer of Love. Not sure if I noticed any other mistakes but that one made me chuckle. 

Melnick spends over five hundred pages discussing why we're still talking about Manson today. I sometimes think I know why I'm here. Nature/nurture. Sex. Drugs. Rock n roll. The warm California sun. 

And I mean who could walk away from all the love Donna Jean gets on the blog? Plus there's my spending account. The hearty email banter. My ability to click "Publish" when trolls can only post comments. 

But what about you? What keeps you in the Manson study or keeps you returning to it for periods of time?

Victim advocacy? Wanna save Sexy Sadie? Have a thing for black busses? Why this world out of all the others? Just as a side note, I will in no way judge you if you're in Manson because you like photos of naked women shooting machine guns. 

I have a second question today for anyone who wishes to participate. Pretend for a moment we're allowed to use the Magic 8 Ball (M8B) from Lookout Mountain. Not some knockoff from this Spencer Gifts 1969 Holiday Catalog. 
I'm talking the real M8B locked away deep within Counter Revolution HQ. Let's say Col Tate, Mae Brussell, Nixon, and Diana Ross approach you at a Benedict Canyon cocktail party and allow you to ask the M8B one single question that will be answered completely and truthfully. The only rule is you can't ask the reasons behind that bloody weekend in August of 1969. Anything else regarding Manson and ephemera is fair game. 

The biggest publishing house with world rights, and same goes for the Hollywood crew with the most juice worldwide, are waiting in the wings to make you the richest creator of all time if you can convincingly crack the cases. 

What do you ask the M8B?

Aside: The Ed Sullivan performance linked above is the Supremes' final tv appearance as a group. Diana was going solo even though their song was the top Soul Single in the country. Loneliness is a backup singer. 

Guenther and Whitely are out in Wisconsin leaning on Marioche and holding the Sword of Damocles above her head around the time the Ed Sullivan show first airs. Charlie enjoyed Christmas Dinner in the clink. I can't figure out where Pooh Bear is during the holiday season of 1969.  

Sword of Damocles is a great line but sadly not mine. I can't give the backstory because someone somewhere else in Manson will get mad at the person for saying hello to me and banish them from their realm for eternity. So goes life in this gory time tunnel where students of the crimes conduct their research alongside the envious and unhinged. 

Both of those words at various times are synonyms for Manson "expert" btw. Be shrewd all ye newbies. Check sources and install a rear-facing camera. A suit of armor probably isn't a bad idea, either. 

I think that's it for me this week. Melnick's book is one I wish I read sooner but I was off chasing other rabbits when he published. Enjoyed it regardless. Better late than never, I suppose. 

My world is open woods and oak leaves as we wrap up 2021 here in old Ohio. I know the holidays are rough on a lot of people but we will push through this month right here together. At least four more indecipherable posts are nearly ready in my drafts folder. Pop culture, music, hippie sex. Maybe even a Santa cap on Karate Sue.  

Please be kind to drive thru and retail workers this holiday season wherever you are. +ggw

If the fumes don't getcha, the 350° oven (176.7°) will.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Gobble Gobble!

 No post this week. See you next Monday.

- xo Donna Jean the usurper

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Jason Freeman Researcher W. Adam Smythe Is Answering Questions Live Tonight at 1030 pm EST

Grandson or con man? 

Tonight at 1030 pm EST, Jason Freeman researcher W. Adam Smythe shares his findings after several years of researching Freeman, Jay White aka Charles Milles Manson Jr., and the other factors driving the battle for Charles Manson's estate. I've talked to researcher Smythe several times and he is a true raconteur. If you need a paid researcher or want to find someone no one else is able to find, get with Smythe online. You won't regret it. 

Paul, Dani, and Mr. Beckham will interview Smythe and he'll be available to answer your questions afterward. I also linked Dani's true crime channel above. You'll never find me there because my all encompassing cowardice creates scary nightmares I don't like, but Dani has a great presentation style and an active crowd where you'll feel right at home talking about unforgettable dismemberings and hurtings with other twisted weirdos like yourself if you're a true crime fan. 

Make sure you never tell me about any of it. Yes, I know the Manson study is gory but I get around all of that by writing love prose to black and white photos of cute girls who are the age of grandmas now. "Sweet surfer yeah I am aging with you that rotten old clock is after us girl yeah your eyes those sus ojos do you feel me making note-oh's on the Hermosa you ran from to become a punk rock hero?"

Okay, overshare.  

Anyway. Freeman. What are your thoughts on all the estate business? If Manson was a public figure how does owning his estate help its owner?

Sometimes I think Jason Freeman looks like Kathleen Maddox and other times I am convinced no one would leave their dead grandfather in a refrigerator until his corpse begins to separate and fall away.  

Or dump his grandfather's remains into a ditch instead of taking them to the place his grandfather wanted his ashes spread. Or allow some of his grandfather's ashes to find their way into creepy paintings. Or allow the four year circus that's taken place since his grandfather died. Right now, I feel like I could write fifteen sentences that start with "Or..."

Some of us here hate Charles Manson and I get where you're coming from but to me a dead body is a dead body and not a circus attraction. This ghoulish chapter needs to end. The next hearing on Manson's estate is around sixty days away. A nice round of DNA tests and a declared winner will hopefully follow. +ggw


you can bury your dead but don't leave a trace...

Sunday, November 14, 2021

George Stimson on The Paulcast - 13 Nov 2021

Goodbye Helter Skelter 
author and publisher George Stimson was interviewed on The Paulcast yesterday. George also podcasts about his book here. If you're new to all of this and haven't been advised to turn and run and never look back yet, or simply ignored the warnings, that's George on the right towering a full foot or more above (a 5'2) Charles Manson regardless of what your eyes tell you. 

(Forgive me while I adjust my snark levels down to the empathetic person setting. I put a few hours in at Manson High already this morning and lemme tell ya it's freakin exhausting sometimes always. Everybody has a name to drop and a time served number to share amirite? "Benny Banana Peels told me he was at Spahn's in '69 and watched daddy sex between Charlie and Sadie on a floating magical rattlesnakes cloud that continuously rained fresh Gerber speed atop a pile of freshly murdered headless corpses. Soon after, while everyone was writing their bloody nicknames in the BotD, Squeaky hipped BBP's to everything that happened since the day Charlie found her crying while clutching a dictionary. 

Btw, I met BBP's while we worked together at the Winter Haven Publix in 1983 but I'd already been into Manson since Johnny Swartz's car had back seats. I worked in the produce department and BBP's unloaded the delivery trucks until an assistant manager caught him stealing a plastic crate containing four gallons of chocolate milk one Tuesday morning. Haven't heard from old BBP's since that day in fact. Anyhow, here's what really happened at Cielo and Waverly, my dear Green...")

Actually, keep reaching out. I have little else to do like all big Lotto winners. Mostly, I try not to mention the lottery thing since I want the money for Smokey & The Bandit jet skis I sometimes wreck and need repaired/replaced and also endless buckets of Swedish Fish but people are always like oh my car died and I know a guy selling a never washed and muffler-less 1996 Grand Am I will race around Ohio in without using my turn signals, please homie Green. 

Shudder. Poor relatives are as exhausting as rich ones. Bootstraps thyselves already for crying out loud. 

What is not ideal when you reach out to me (however) is the big-timing. The power surge that courses through me every time I click the publish button makes me feel like Thanos watching a world disappear. No crappy BBP's stories will ever outshine Infinity Crystals. Take it down a notch. 

The NeRVe OF THAT SAM SHEppard! Sometimes GOD is THE CHICKen head and SOMETIMES god is THE SNake head. I'm just a stupid hiLLbilly getting an ICE cream FROM the CANteen so I don't KNOW.

 The rise of muslims. 

Truthfully, I'm honored to be in such deep thinking company but I also take the wife-murdering doctor's point. You further have my word I will neither make nor consume another drop of coffee before this post ends. Staying linear is clearly a problem for me right now. 

Retro Interlude:


Scene report ended. Everyone is welcome. Let's get to the main event! 

Just so nice.
No downslope of life from the dark side of a mentally unwell mountain. 
No screaming. 
No yelling. 
No addictions taking center stage. 
No I hate women presented twelve different ways. 

Instead, Paul and Dani ask questions a viewer expects not crazy people to ask at acceptable speaking levels, using inside voices, and George answers in kind. What's also insane is the hosts don't even talk over Stimson when he attempts to answer. Avant Guard for sure.  

The third member of the Paulcast, Mr. Beckham, was not present for this interview. I envy his travel lifestyle and therefore shall never mention him again in any of my posts. 

Just kidding. The three of them fit together like peanut butter and jelly (and other jelly I suppose) and the mix works for me. I hang out on YT a lot and they've become a go-to show. Especially on Sundays when I'm lounging in Snowman pajamas after typing up my love letters to you. 

When I was young, Sunday was always the best night to go out. The amateurs all returned home because they had to be up at 6 am for work Monday. Evenings were rightfully returned to the misfits and outcasts. And oh how we loved to meet up after two nights sealed away in apartments and houses or somewhere unluckily working shit jobs during civilian party hours.  

At some point, I stopped going out and my world became screens. I waited decades for something not pointless to show up Sunday evenings while I tried and tried on various urls. Maybe we bumped into one another somewhere along the way. Summer in Siam was my username and Pearse was my profile pic. 

The 27% of me that is Irish wants me to shout Up the Ra when I remember that stuff. The other percents killed those dreamers in the name of the Crown. As a result, the six remain apart from the whole to this day. 

This second interview between the PC crew and George Stimson imo is their best episode to date. I hoped more Stimson interviews were in the works. 

I've always heard that Stimson and Good have a framed map hanging above their couch with a big red X marking the entrance to the desert hole but sadly I think they took it down for the podcast. That's my only complaint. The rest of the interview is great, a bit on the short side for me, and I'd be thrilled to see these folks get together again in the future. Next time, naturally, the questions should come from a more diverse group such as only me until my queries are answered to my complete satisfaction. After that, do the rest. 

Personally, I lean more toward more Hickam's Dictum than Occam's Razor on all of this why business. I was reading comments last week and found a post where the Col. said something along the lines of the older I get, the more I think a bunch of drugged out and panicked kids took the train off the tracks and crazy things happened. If faced with death for not picking a theory, I'd draw a triangle with those two points (Stimson and the Col.), add Schreck as the third, and place myself firmly in the middle. 

All the while saying O'Neill is the best typer with Fromme right behind him. 

Read Stimson. I'll (zero judgement) buy you a copy with my MFB spending account if you can't swing it. 

Watch Paulcast. They're live nearly every night. 

And if you feel like talking, please share your thoughts on Stimson's Love of Brother theory in the comments below. 


Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Leslie Free?

Are you on the side of the governors who perpetually say tough luck to Manson group paroles or do you think Leslie is punished enough? Like in your heart and gut. Not who did what time. Not listen here Green she was sentenced to this and then that so fuck her. Just you and your thoughts. If they gave you the key and it was up to you and no one else would ever know you had anything to do with the process, would you keep her locked in there?

One could make an argument that this whole situation we endlessly debate was created by putting our youngest into cages. And then possibly that person could take their thoughts to the next point by saying we look like cavemen and women locking the old and infirm into similar cages. 

Leslie has spent my lifetime in the hallways. Part of the reason I think is because she sang in the other hallway. And I truly respect Doris' question about the victims' paroles. Moreover, the tribal survival part of me knows we need to remove weird murderers from our mix for the general safety of all. 

The intellectual side of me (if there is one) wonders why California is still intent upon imprisoning a woman who carries the overall threat level of a cicada shell. I'd free her in the name of empathy if they handed me the key to her cell. 

What sayest you? 

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Book Review - H. Allegra Lansing - The Manson Family More To The Story

November 7th, 2021 

This post accompanies a discussion I'm co-hosting live tonight at The Paulcast starting at 730 pm CST. 

My topic is: Unique Perspectives, Research Methodologies, and Cognitive Dissonance in the Manson Study. 

A reception with refreshments and a Make-Your-Own-Waffle bar will immediately follow our presentation. I believe the breakfast is located their green room but I'm not positive. You will definitely need your lanyard to get in. I have a small guest list and can possibly rush you past the doormen if you arrive late but keep in mind that hillbillies have lots of hungry cousins. 

Previously on Manson High...

"The Lunchroom In High Dudgeon!" 

The T-Birds (never Danny) and Stockard Channing placed a girl new on campus upon the dunce stool and forced the triangle hat upon her head while everyone pointed and cackled over her assuming she was the first Manson researcher to unearth the real name of Bill Vance. Oh, the arrogance.

Carrie without the blood for real. I called an actual Methuselah for his thoughts and he said, "The noive of that woman!"

I'd be duplicitous if I didn't cop to writing this not informative article about Bill Vance. Never doubt that my cultural and literary criticism and commentary originates at the contact point of my own thin skin. Same for everyone really no matter what they say. I'm just foolish enough to admit it. 

A smile crosses my dopey face every time I think about giant shoelace nets tbh. Seriously, in my case at least, when I don't know some fact or get it wrong, just tell me, I'll own it and we can move on. Not that my research will ever get close to Sanders or Lansing levels. Dumb cannot be fixed. 

Anytime I think of the word dopey I remember the scene in Statman where Rosie looks up from packing a box wearing a dopey grin. Unsure why. Read her book if you're new and haven't already. Never ignore unique perspectives in this thing. Word to the wise. 
Last week, I grabbed the Kindle of Lansing's book to see what all the hubbub was about.  

510 pages
1.36 pennies per page

After riding in as the worst imaginable white knight a gal could ever dream of, I gotta do the Abraxas thing and say this book probably isn't for any of us unless you're looking to blow away the cobwebs and update yourself on what the normies think. Lansing wrote The Manson Family More To The Story for civilians. Which is actually one of the reasons I do not understand why she has to be Sissy Spacek but whatever. 

I'm sure you've heard of the True Crime genre. A lot of people publish there. None of them will ever know what you know about Manson but they will continue to pass through Sneakyville until we die. 

True Crime and Romance (but mostly Romance) are the main genres keeping the book stores open anymore. Naturally, I use Amazon and etc (websites) because of my multitude of fears like germs and talking in public and then also more generalized inconveniences such as driving to places where mask wars are fought daily. 

That was thoughtless. Please accept my apologies if you are a struggling brick and mortar book shop owner during these dark times. It's me not you but I always try to make things seem otherwise. Constantly trying to make everyone laugh is a failing. They say it comes from growing up in a tumultuous home. Hook me up with your website and I shall become a customer. 

Anyway. Lansing caught me up on the last half century of mainstream Manson for the price of a small latte with an extra espresso shot in a flyover city like my own. What a grifter. I was devastated. But then I remembered that in just about every profession, law, medicine, the police, the military, Washington, academia, insurance, basically everything where people earn nice livings and deeply stack their 401ks, everyone writes up their research exactly like Lansing does in her book because it words. Tried and true. 

All those examples and many others employ a practice (which ranges from completely foreign to mocked in this unbalanced noir drama) commonly referred to in the daytime world as research methodology.

Increasingly, such tasks farmed-out to mole people Curt Gentry losers like me who can usually be found eating day old donuts for dinner at desks in dark, mildewy rooms while getting paid much less by the farmer-outters than they pay themselves. No medical, vision, or dental ever also but hey working that way somehow provides special freedoms politicians always promise in tv commercials while I'm watching wrestling. 

The farmer-outters will tell you it's not their fault I got the wrong framed pieces of paper and they are correct. Same for the politicians. 

No clue how we ended up there. Overshare thy name is Green. The point is we'd do better with some standard of intuitive research methodology. More science basically. Explain why you think what you think and show how you got there. 

Let's get back to one of the writers doing what I just described. Lansing's book is an easy read. All the players are in the front of the book with their relevant info, and she moves on from there. Have I seen that list online before? Of course. Did it make me angry? Nope. Including it was a good idea. 

Reading Lansing was more like reading a magazine piece. Do you get angry at magazines? All those pages that won't turn themselves. Don't even get me started on the cologned rectangles sticking out everywhere. The beautiful faces and haunted eyes. Just a total horror show. 

Candice feels you. Quick swerve but how cringe was the scene where crazy Tex rolled up with two girls and Candice gave them the cold shoulder? That memory would haunt me in my cell at night while I stared at the ceiling. Her dad was a ventriloquist. 

I know you knew that already about Edgar but there was zero chance we were name-dropping Candice and not Charlie. Those dudes are waiting to slide out from beneath your bed tonight and watch you sleep btw. Pleasant dreams. 

Conceivably, a new person to all of this could read HS, then Lansing, and be caught up to the point where they'd be ready for Stimson and Schreck and the few others on that level without reading the ten books in the middle if they chose. The better idea is reading them all of course.  

Everyone always says each Manson book has one fact that is found nowhere else. Lansing collected those single facts and put them into an understandable report for her readers. The author has a nice sense of humor and it comes through in her writing. She shows concern for women and children while carefully tiptoeing around the triggers so have no fear. You're safe for a refresh there. 

Do I think Charlie and them were a cult? No. But people less weird than me surely do. In this live from last night, Lansing explains her interests in the case, admits to her lack of expertise in the field as she learns, and explains her research and plans moving forward. The author is also creating additional video content on her YT channel that I enjoyed watching. 

Lansing comes from the punk rock squats of the 80's and so do I. Maybe that's the reason I don't understand the hate directed toward her or maybe it's some other reason I'm missing. My guess is because she is newer and therefore unaware there were rings to kiss and parrots to repeat. 

The plan moving forward is to review every book that comes out and also look back on a few. I always say I'm not on a team but I suppose that's untrue. Without question, I love writers. I especially love you if you're a Curt because I am he as you are he as you are me but I also love you if you're the big shot getting paid while the mole people do the work. 

We inhabit strange days. Let's be kind out there. 

next week: standing in a shaft of light