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. 
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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.
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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

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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. 
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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. 
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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:

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

STIMSON ON THE PAULCAST...
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. 

OKAY THE WRAP UP...
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. 
+ggw

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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 
Sunday

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. 
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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. 
+ggh
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OKAY THE REVIEW
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. 

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next week: standing in a shaft of light

Monday, November 1, 2021

Knockin' On The Golden Door

Rosalie Jean Willis

Apologies if my discussion topic today was previously covered in a book that is no longer in print, or the edition is crazy expensive on the resale market, or even if I missed fifty-two posts here or on lsb or the Col or any of the other sites that discussed the Manson milieu during the last half century and then some since the crimes occurred. Yes, I read Sanders but probably the 2015 printing or whichever was available. Same for many of the other tomes. Regardless, there's no excuse for my failures. I've been goofy since birth, my brain is mush, and I forget much of what has been said since Brenda McCann's cyan headband was found beneath the passenger seat in Tenerelli's Beetle. 

Okay, there was no headband. But wealthy surfer chicks amirite? Sunshine. Warm salt air above the waves. Baby, young me would kill a giant shark for young you if it swam near our boards.

You can use your sharpened knife to help send that joker down to Davey Jones' locker. Later, we will listen to the Beach Boys in a giant convertible with faux wood panels on the doors. Right, maybe not the Beach Boys. How about a live performance of the Milky Way on a cassette in a cassette player that has not been invented yet? I'll say girl I know we just met but I love you and you will reply shut up you old fool. Wake up and get your post back on track. 
 
Which is sound advice so here goes. I think it's dumb that everyone has to be on Manson teams. Valid reasons abound although I wish we could be like Rodney King. I attempt to mend fences but faces quickly glaze and mouths immediately begin frothing and raging about the Statman-Schreck wars of 2014 and etc. The air around those posts and resulting arguments still hangs heavy like Gettysburg at first light on a foggy, cool morning. 

We should bury hatchets. Scene politics are exhausting. Nearly a decade has passed. 

Personally, I enjoy talking and writing about what went on during the lifetime of Charles Manson with everyone who wants to discuss it even if I'm still learning. 

Now is the best time for researching Charlie & Company since Billy came back to Ohio. New information is uncovered frequently even if it doesn't crack the case wide open. The Internet is an amazing tool. Why can't someone research areas that interest them and seek out convos with others trapped inside this hateful loop without being on a team or an idiot? Stick your expert nose up your butt or go watch Matlock if you already know everything. Or tell your doctor your medication isn't working.

Is solving the murders all that matters anyway? The settings and characters call out to me. Terrified people dying...not so much. 

We study a fascinating subject which endures. New people will never stop entering the community during our lifetimes. Should they continuously fuck off en masse because unbalanced Manson consumers, groupies, and dilettantes masquerading as authorities already argued Carl Stubbs on some primitive website the year the noobs were born or even decades earlier? Time will eventually place more noobs online than traditional Manson"experts." The tables will gloriously turn on who gets to fuck off, and the revenge will be sweet, but what's the point?  

Maybe they're turning now. Who knows. 

I know my pleas fall on deaf ears but dammit Esterhaus was right. Let's be kind out there and remember that Manson history is not an online campaign for student body president at Manson High, but rather an ongoing investigation with constantly improving research tools.  

Imagine how wild it would be if someone you were acting cruel toward was a professional writer and could hilariously nuke you all day long in places that matter. Quick as a hiccup, too. Some would say effortlessly. 

Sermon ended. I appreciate the little crew of  friends I've made here and thank you all for being my pal. You make my time well spent. +ggw
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Okay the post: 

Last week, while digging for nuclear bombs previously hidden by penniless and cigarette smelly white trash in the polluted muck beneath la belle riviere, I realized I was aware of three completely different versions of Charlie's life during the mid to late 1950's.


Deb quickly shuts down Rosalie's fibbing. The birth records she used remain available online for verification if you're a crazy person like me who needs to prove things to themselves instead of choosing a squad and repeating (often) unverified reruns forever alongside a chorus of new best friends in a (personalized) online wind tunnel. 

Always remember that no one in history ever anticipated the Internet. You have a clear advantage over researchers in the past. Even in the last decade or year. Nobody needs to tell you anything. Look for yourself. 

Since we're all liars at times, I propose we forgive Rosalie and move on. 

While there are many books out there brimming with information, and I think we can bring several into our discussions down the road, let's keep things simple for today. I used the most famous work published on the subject, Helter Skelter, and compared it to arguably the most informative eye witness account ever produced in the genre, Lynette Fromme's Reflexion.

If you haven't bought Lynette's book yet you should today. And read it more than once. If she's not the smartest resident of this unforgiving tar pit, she is certainly at the top of the class. 

Charlie doesn't mention anything about his time in California with Rosalie in ReflexionAs always, all citations from Fromme's book refer to the Kindle version. 

"When I married Rosie at twenty years old, I had never been around chicks. Rosie played me like the fool that I was (103)." 

Sixteen year old Rosalie must've really done a number on him. She was cool like cucumber salad when freedom was on the line though. Vince forces Curt to point out that Charlie beat on a pregnant woman. 

via Helter Skelter 


Such is life. One person is told a lie while another person hears the truth. Or both people are bullshitted. You know we live in dangerous times. No one should be alone.

I said I wouldn't hate on lies told for perseverance anymore and shall refrain today. Survival is an absolute necessity. No two ways about it. 

Charlie's version of 1954-1958 in Fromme's book differs from what I found in public records so I made myself a basic timeline in an attempt to keep everything straight in my mind. I left some things out so we don't have to discuss pimping sixteen year old girls and various other successful and failed capers. 

Let's dive in. 

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

May, 1954 - Charlie earns an early release for good behavior at the Maximum Security Reformatory in Chillicothe, Ohio, and moves in with his aunt and uncle. God bless you, Glenna xo. High school freshman Rosalie Jean Willis lives and works nearby. 

"One of my mom's husbands was a window washer at a U.S. Courthouse. His name was Deere. They got me out of prison and she got me a 1954 Ford. I traded it for a 1952 Cadillac and used the name Charlie Deere (103)." 

---

I imagined a convo that went a something like this:

"Hey, Judge. Got a minute?"

"Sure thing! What can I help you with, Mr. Bailiff?"

"You know that window washer guy who's always out front cleaning the glass when we arrive at work in the mornings? Deere? He asked if you might consider calling over to the prison and telling them to cut his wife's son loose?"

"Say no more, cherished friend and sworn lodge brother. I've always had a soft spot for squeegee men." 

(I could not find a husband named Deere online for Kathleen but maybe you can. I didn't look super hard.) 

The Fifties in Fromme:


The final screen cap is from Frank Costello's FBI files. Charlie and Frank are together in Lewisburg in 1952. Manson claims Big Frank raised his hand and vouched for him in the Fromme passages above. There's no way of proving they were buddies but there are more hints in our pages from Fromme. 

Charlie talks in code so I always look up every name he mentions. For example, he mentions Dewey in his letter to Fromme. Dewy took down Murder, Inc. Charlie later did time with Murder, Inc. member Frankie Carbo. You remember Frankie don'tcha? 

Even though he killed Bugsy Beatty, Carbo is small potatoes compared to the rest of that backstory. Murder, Inc was a dark child of some the most infamous of NYC mafia fathers. Meyer Lansky. The Brain. Lucky Luciano. Frank Costello. 

Let's jump back to Charlie's life in the '50's as told by Fromme. He is released from Chillicothe in 1954 and heads to Cleveland in Fromme's version of events.
That's John Scalish. He's the godfather of the Cleveland mob when Charlie shows up with a stolen car. A Viking Englishwoman says Scalish looks like my Italian brother. I don't think I've ever been that dashing but I do feel like I make that face a lot. 

Scalish had five sisters although I'm unsure if Charlie was implying something or not. I have a mysterious relative everyone in my family thinks was a con man who is buried near Scalish and the rest of Cleveland's gangster royalty. Danny Greene. People blown up by Danny Greene. Scoundrel after glorious scoundrel. 

They're all waiting to resurrect inside this beautiful, old, city cemetery. Huge mature trees dot the spacious landscape making Calvary Cemetery a great place for a walk. You don't want your car to break down outside the gates though. Times have changed in the neighborhood. 

I spent a day learning about the Cleveland mob last week and here is the road to Charlie. Scalish was the second true godfather of the city. Before power was consolidated, several gangs, Jewish and Italian, operated at the same time and sometimes worked together. Eventually, the money coming in from Prohibition became outlandish and everyone started fighting. 

Scalish married a Jewish girl whose father was the boss of a Jewish crew. Maybe they married to consolidate power or perhaps they were deeply in love. I always choose love. 

Around the same time, a local gang split into two rival gangs and a boss and his brother were killed in a Little Italy barbershop with New York's blessing. This is how it went down: Boss Joseph Lonardo, pictured below, steamed to Italy supposedly on vacation. 
Big Joe left his brother John (below) and another fellow in charge while he visited overseas. 
This is the other fellow, Big Joe's advisor, Salvatore "Black Sam" Todaro.
I know what you're thinking. Dude looks totally trustworthy. I felt the same way. The backstory here is Big Joe and the guys who split off into their own crew, the Porrello's, were lifelong friends. Both families emigrated from Sicily together and even named kids after one another. 

This was until Prohibition changed everything. Greed is number two on the list of the Seven Deadly Sins and don't ever forget it. 

Right. So anyway Black Sam cozies up to John while Big Joe is in Italy (It-LEE) and convinces him everything is copasetic between the feuding crews. When Joe returns, Black Sam lures Joe and John to Angelo Porrello's barber shop for a sit-down. Bang bang bang you know the deal. Joe and John are made to feel comfy with a card game, ambushed, and slain by their former friends. 

Following this act of magnificent treachery, Joseph Porrello becomes head corn sugar baron in Cleveland. Corn sugar is essential to every bootlegging operation in case you've never been a bootlegger.   
Porrello was suddenly king but he was also no fool. At least not at this time. Later, definitely. But for now he made Black Sam believe he was the boss of the crew. 

Killing Lonardo got rid of one enemy but another enemy immediately stepped up like they always do in organized crime. The new guys were called the Mayfield Road Mob. Fearing the MRM and attempting to place the local crown officially upon his head, Joseph Porrello holds what becomes the first big mafia summit in a downtown Cleveland hotel on December 5, 1928. Top mafiosos from New York and around the country began to arrive. 

Momentarily, the Cleveland cops said, "Dudes, how stupid do you think we are?" Gangsters were arrested as they showed up. Fearing his imminent demise, Porrello paid everyone's bail. No one was overly offended, Porrello was secretly handed Cleveland, and the MRM was told to go kick rocks. 

To their credit, the MRM was like okay cool yeah we understand no hard feelings. I'm joshing. Don't be so gullible. The MRM waited until June and violently ended Black Sam's lifetime of double-dealing in front of the same barber shop Big Joe and John Lonardo were killed. 

Black Sam, stooge the entire time and betrayed at the end, was gunned down by Lonardo's wife, his son Angelo (named after traitorous barber shop owner Angelo Porrello), and a Lonardo hit man. All had defected to the MRM. 
By the end of Prohibition, most of the Porrello gang is either dead or with the MRM. Porrello is invited to a sit-down at the Venetian restaurant on Mayfield Road. The building on the right in this photo from 1930 still exists today. You probably guessed that Porrello meets his end here and you are correct. 

Porrello and his bodyguard foolishly believe they are picking up more than a hundred grand in today's money. Greed, friends, it's a killer. Two hitmen light them up at their restaurant table. Porrello never moves and is later found with his unlit cigarette hanging from his lip. 

The bodyguard is wounded in each side, makes it outside, collapses on the sidewalk out front, the restaurant was where the parking lot is now btw, and perishes following two more shots to the dome. Neither killer was ever identified.

The owner of the Venetian Restaurant, Frank Milano, leader of the MRM, is responsible for the assassinations. But the coast is not clear yet. Porrello's brother Vincenzo "Jim" Porrello becomes the new boss of the Cleveland mafia and vows revenge on his brother's killers. His reign lasts three long weeks before the back of his head is blown off in a grocery store on his home turf. A third Porrello brother, Raymond, swears double revenge. I'm sure you see where this is going. 

Raymond's house explodes three weeks later. Bits of brick, glass, and wood splinters fill the sky before cascading back to Earth in a grotesque shower. Raymond is not home at the time but the Porrello's are nearly finished in the crime game. A couple more guys and a wife await their murders but the Porrello run is over.   

Frank Milano officially becomes the next King of Cleveland. The MRM is mentioned in The Godfather 2 and called by its first name, The Lakeville Gang. Johnny Ola and Michael Corleone discuss the gang and Hyman Roth in that clip. "Our friend in Miami." Roth is Meyer Lansky's character's name in the film. 

I wanna be handsome like young Al Pacino just for one day. "Brenda McCann, leave those slippies alone," I'd say while removing a white bow tie I was born knowing how to knot. "Let's go hang out with Hynson and August."

In 1931, Frank Milano joins the National Crime Syndicate with Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano. Meyer Lansky is one of the players connecting the Manson cases to Cuba and JFK. If not for the JFK and RFK assassinations and Black Flag concert flyers, I would not be here today. 

In case you're keeping score, Angelo Lornado, Big Ange, killer of Black Sam, was a brother in law of eventual godfather John Scalish. Angelo swore and got revenge on his father's killers and then the government removed him from the mix. He currently resides in Calvary with his obligatory statue and is surrounded by family, friends, and enemies.  

And my relative who does not have a statue. 

John Scalish was running things as the godfather of Cleveland for ten years when Charlie showed up. Cleveland had a big piece of the Teamsters and were also behind Moe Dalitz in Las Vegas. The neighborhood Charlie describes housed Scalish's headquarters. No idea on the Dago Mick. If you can prove Murphy was Danny Greene, I will send you a giant-sized candy bar and a box filled with assorted zoo zoos and wham whams. 

Charlie might be lying about his connections to the most powerful mafia group in the US but then again he might be telling the truth. He lied all the time but was also honest about things that made me question his sanity, so I am never sure. 

(B.S. Murphy had parts or all of this worked out almost three decades ago. I'm sure it's also in some other books I'm unable to buy and on ten websites that all look like 1995, but I wanted to put it here on the MFB for everyone who arrives after this post and wants to look into Charlie's time in Cleveland, Ohio. +ggw) 

Bonus: Here is the Internet's reaction to Frankie and Charlie in an earlier time. The comments section makes me feel right at home. 
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All righty then. First, we covered Rosalie's lie about never making it out to California with Charlie. Next, we squared away Charlie's 1950's as told to Lynette Fromme, and explained the people and their connections inhabiting those years of his life. All that's left is a bit more from Vince and Curt, and our Charlie/Rosie/Mafia timeline culled from public records and author Jeff Guinn.   

Oh. Duh. We also discovered that Rosalie's mom and sister(s) were somehow already out in Los Angeles when Charlie and Rosalie arrived. Idk if this is new info for the bloated corpus or if Ivor Davis published the news while taking a poop one day before I was born or if some other person who is the coolest toughest senior at Manson High carved it into the bathroom stall with his switchblade but the discovery was an eye-opener for me and the rest of the nerd table. I'm the guy in the letterman jacket showing his fellow concert bandmates the 1350 he got on his SAT in case any haters ever want to stop by and say hello after you finish your lunch of Marlboros and Little Debbies.


Have you ever noticed that even the extras with no speaking parts in this drama are good looking? What's up with that? Paranoid me would surely scream crisis actors were I not so grounded in the universe and oneness and love. I'm not quite sure how these people escaped our dirty river and made it all the way to La La Land and the mighty Pacific and but I'd high five the shit out of them if they were here right now. 

Did Bugliosi not know Rosie's family was out there? The number one selling crime book of all time.

I struggled to find information on Kathleen and Rosalie's roommate situation. If anyone wants to fill in the blanks with an address, I would be much obliged. Or just grateful really. We don't have to owe one another favors or anything. 

Friends, I think we're finished for this week. I provided Buntline with millions of things to look up and typed for two straight days. The remainder of my working timeline is below. I look forward to being called out on every bit of minutia or whatever the opposite of minutia is...bigmutia maybe Idk but basically whatever I got wrong. 

Until next week...

Keep it Green. 

xo

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August-ish 1955 - Charlie and Rosalie arrive in Los Angeles. Charlie is caught with their stolen car and faces federal charges for crossing state lines with it.  

October 1955 - Charlie receives five years probation because Rosalie is preggers. 

March, 1956 - Charlie fails to appear at court in Los Angeles over a federal auto theft charge filed in Florida and is subsequently arrested in Indianapolis, Indiana. His probation is revoked while he awaits sentencing. Rosalie has carried their son nearly to full term. 

April 10, 1956 - Jay White is born in Los Angeles. (Jay dies by suicide at age 37.)

December 15, 1956  - Charlie receives three years in San Pedro for violating his probation. I'm so-so on this date. Why would they make him wait nine months? Merry Christmas regardless. 

March, 1957 - Rosalie stops visiting Charlie in prison. He finds out from his mom that Rosalie moved in with a new dude. 

July 9, 1957 - Rosalie files for divorce from Charlie. She is two months pregnant by Jack B. White.  

February 3, 1958 - Jesse James White is born. (Jesse dies of an overdose at age 28.)

September 10, 1958 - Rosalie's divorce with Charlie is official.  Charlie is paroled around the same time. 

November 8, 1958 - Rosalie marries Jack B. White. 

April 4, 1959 - Jed White is born. (Jed dies in a shotgun accident at age 11.) 

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Risin' up to paradise. I know I'm gonna shine. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

Polanski's Macbeth


This is the first post in a series that will discuss Roman Polanski films after 1969.

Roman Polanski chose Shakespeare's The Tragedy of Macbeth as his first project in the months following the murders of his wife and unborn son on August 8, 1969. Apologies for the spoiler but Polanski's first celluloid hero after that grizzly night is a man who is delivered into the world via a bloody cesarean section performed with a sharp knife. The director flashes a baby being removed from his mother's womb across the screen twice during the film.

Funding was a problem from the outset. Shocking, I know. Oh to be a fly on the wall in those pitch meetings. You wanna do what? 

Eventually, Polanski's good buddy Hugh Hefner agreed to float the boat. Columbia Pictures released the film October, 13, 1971. US opening night took place at the Playboy theater in New York on December 20, 1971. No one gave a shit. 

They hit the jackpot with Easy Rider in 1969 but spent three times what they took in over the next three years. With blockbusters like The Brotherhood of Satan, I struggled to understand how Columbia was hemorrhaging money. In fairness, Columbia also released The Last Picture Show in 1971. You should watch that one if you love movies. The film was a commercial and critical success and likely fueled a merger with Warner Bros the same year. 

Definitely do not watch The Last Picture Show if you are opposed to seeing young Cybil Shepherd topless. I know sometimes I trigger readers with my effervescent verve. They told me all about it during my review at blog corporate last week. Made me drive seven hours.


Columbia also released Nicholas and Alexandra in 1971. A box office bomb, the film was nevertheless highly regarded inside the academy, earning six nominations and two awards. Sometimes atta boys are free and sometimes they cost two million bucks. I did not watch this one because I generally stay away from movies where actors display physical intimacy on the poster. Germs and mushiness are no fly zones for this buckaroo. 

The remainder of Columbia's catalogue from 1971 I've never heard of but if there's one you think I should watch, please drop a note in the comments below the ones from the people letting me know I'm a bad writer and etc and I will check it out. 
 

A quick and painless Macbeth refresh. The battle at the beginning of the film is fought between Scottish Highland rebels led by the head of the Macdonald clan, the Irish, and the King of Norway, versus forces commanded by Scotland's rightful King Duncan, the soon to be wretched Macbeth, and a nobleman named Banquo who is so likable and friendly you just know he's doomed.

You can rent or buy the film on YouTube. It's worth both fees imo. 

Here is an awesome side-by-side translation bridging 1606 and now. I'd watch a bit, hit pause, and get caught up on the modern translation. 

I also linked Roger Ebert's review from New Year's Day, 1971. Ebert was a genius. He was an adjunct lecturer and PhD student at the University of Chicago until he became so successful writing film reviews that he was able to escape the soul-draining clutches of academia. I sat for an hour last week reading his columns. Such craft. 

Anyway, you don't need me to summarize Macbeth. The play has been available to the public for the last four hundred and fifteen years and is commonly taught in schools. Plus I provided links. 

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Polanski's three weird sisters are captivating. Their scenes threaten to steal the show. 

"WHERE HAST THOU BEEN, SISTER?"

"KILLING SWINE!!!" 

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Vices are discussed (Modern)...

PRINCE/KING MALCOLM: I know I have so many vices that when people see all of them exposed, evil Macbeth will seem as pure as snow in comparison, and poor Scotland will call him a sweet lamb when they compare him to me and my infinite evils.

Drugs (Modern)...

BANQUO: Were these things we are talking about really here? Or are we both on drugs? 

The weird (Modern)...

DOCTOR: Evil rumors are going around. Unnatural acts will cause supernatural things to happen. 

Guilt (Modern)...

MACBETH (TO THE GHOST): You cannot say I did it! Don't shake your bloody head at me!

Antisemitism (1606): 

THIRD WITCH: Scale of dragon, tooth of wolf, witches mummy, maw and gulf, of the ravined salt-sea shark, root of hemlock digged i' th dark, liver of blaspheming Jew...

The self-harm never stops. Polanski assaults himself with this work. Our hero Macduff is asked by future king Malcolm why he (Macduff) fled to England and left his defenseless wife, children, servants, and castle household behind so they were easy victims for Macbeth's evil men. 

All were slaughtered with blades. 


A bit of joy is experienced when Charles Denton Macbeth's head is shown to the crowd!

Have no fear. The actor did not die. 'Twas nothing more than movie magic. Here's our godly sovereign pondering the open-ended invitation Heff gave him for a weekend at the mansion. 

If you have thoughts on the film, I'd love to discuss it. I feel like Polanski punished himself with this project. Listening to the actors repeat those lines until they were perfect had to be brutal. Regardless, the director delivers a great take on one of Shakespeare's most famous works. Definitely worth a rainy afternoon. 

"Out out brief candle..."