Monday, July 26, 2021

Lynette Fromme: The Original Manson Family Member Who Tried To Assassinate President Gerald Ford

 By: Dominic Utton

Jul. 18 2021, Published 12:42 p.m. ET

In the summer of 1969, the idealist hippie dream was shattered when over, two hot August nights, Charles Manson’s “family” gang brutally murdered seven people in their own homes, including the actress Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant at the time.

Manson was not captured until October of that year, and as the full horror of his fanatical cult was revealed during his trial, America reeled. Charles Manson was not just a deranged psychopath, but also an extraordinarily charismatic leader who had brought dozens of followers under his spell -- most of them young women. They would die for him, and they would kill for him.

His most ardent acolyte, and de facto second-in-command, was Lynette Fromme, who was just 21 at the time of their killing spree. And as authors Dylan Howard and Andy Tillett reveal in their book, The Last Charles Manson Tapes: Evil Lives Beyond the Grave, she not only remained loyal to Manson after his incarceration but in 1975 even attempted to kill the President of the United States. "Did Manson have a hand in Fromme's assassination attempt?" they write. "Almost certainly."

Lynette Fromme met Charles Manson when she was still a teenager. As Howard and Tillett explain, she, like many of his followers, was already deeply troubled.

"Fromme had been born in Santa Monica, California, in 1948 and was a good student at Orville Wright Junior High School. She was a talented dancer, in a troupe that performed at the White House, but developed problems at home and by the time she was thirteen, was no longer speaking to her father. By fifteen she had taken to burning herself with cigarettes and drinking heavily. She then left home permanently after a blow-out fight with her dad.

"In 1967, she was drifting when she met Charles. As Fromme recalled in her own autobiography, he introduced himself by telling her people in the area referred to him as ‘The Gardener,' because his role was taking care of ‘the flower children.'"

The couple, along with fellow Family member Mary Brunner, drifted through California, soaking up the “tune in, turn on, drop out" spirit of the times. Manson continued to develop his ‘philosophy' encouraging the girls to free their minds," write Howard and Tillett, “and encouraging them all to have sex together, so the two girls would lose their inhibitions. Through the force of her personality, humor, energy, and absolute devotion to Charlie, she would be treated as Charlie's second-in-command."

More followers fell under Manson's spell. By 1969 the Family would be dozens strong, and whatever hippie ideals they once held had been twisted into an apocalyptic ideology he dubbed "Helter Skelter" that culminated in the horrific events of August and a death toll that reached at least nine.

Finally, the police caught up with the gang, and on October 12, 1969, Manson's orgy of killing came to an end.

As Fromme had not been directly involved in any of the murders, she escaped the most serious charges, convicted only of attempting to prevent others from testifying, as well as contempt of court, and receiving only short sentences.

Even as the full extent of Manson's evil was laid bare before the world, Fromme kept the faith, turning up every day throughout his trial to protest outside the court. As the authors note, "Lynette Fromme, the Family's nominal leader in Manson's absence, and [fellow Family member] Sandra Good were among those still maintaining their curbside vigil. They knelt, still with shaved hair and X-marks on their foreheads outside the courthouse."

After his conviction and death sentence -- which was later commuted to life in prison -- Fromme remained devoted to her leader. She and Good moved into an apartment together and visited Manson as often as they could. And the self-styled "Messiah" continued to exert his influence over them.

In association with their work with the Order of the Rainbow, Fromme and Good launched the International People's Court of Retribution (ICPR). Ostensibly an environmental group, they soon began to show their true colors.

During a 1975 radio interview, Good claimed the ICPR had 2,000 assassins who were monitoring executives and their families of organizations that harm the air, water, earth, and wildlife. And, according to Howard and Tillett, their manifesto contained the following threats:

"Any woman who uses her body to control, or to sell products harmful to the people and the environment, will be viciously maimed. Anyone who advertises or manufactures food or drugs injurious to the people's health will be killed. Media executives and their wives who allow the flow of distorted sex and violence through the media into the minds of millions of people will be subject to the violence they have been selling to the people in the form of entertainment..."

Strangely, given their backgrounds, history of violence, and continued devotion to Manson, the authorities appear to have dismissed Fromme and Good's bloodthirsty promises as little more than harmless fantasies.

It was very nearly a terrible mistake.

"Fromme made her grand gesture toward environmental activism on September 5, 1975," write Howard and Tillett. "Dressed in her red nun's habit, she approached then-President Ford as he was walking toward a gathering of business leaders in Sacramento.

"Fromme managed to get very close to the president before whipping a .45 caliber pistol out from under her robe. She pointed the gun at Ford and pulled the trigger. Fromme, however, had not chambered a round. Because of this, the gun did not go off. Fromme was immediately subdued, where she cried out, ‘It didn't go off. Can you believe it? It didn't go off.'

"Later, when Fromme's apartment was searched, investigators found a single bullet on the floor of her apartment. More incompetence, or a deliberate alibi? Probably the former, but Fromme would later claim the latter."

Charles Manson, America's most evil man, and the self-proclaimed devil incarnate may have orchestrated the murders of nine people… but his original and most ardent follower, the fatally damaged "flower girl" Lynette Fromme, very nearly outdid him. Nobody has come closer to killing the American president since.

Fromme's trial barely lasted two weeks in November 1975, largely because she refused to cooperate with her defense counsel. She was given a life sentence and spent nearly thirty-four years in prison. She was released in August 2009 and lives in New York state. In a 2019 TV interview, two years after Manson's death, she was asked if she had been in love with the man who had made her a monster.

"Yeah," she replied, "I still am."

(Original Article)


dawnn said...

she was so innocent looking in 1969 it seems a shame that she let her life follow such a useless path.

Mario George Nitrini 111 said...

Talk about a small world.
This is why I read this blog every day.

1. I did not know that
Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme went to Orville Wright junior high school. Well, so did I for 1 year (9th grade).
It would be fascinating to me knowing what year she graduated.

2. Oh yea, Andy Tillett of The National Enquirer. I had several email exchanges with him pertaining to specific situations related to The OJ Simpson Case & Saga. And also twitter exchanges with him. But he's mad at me because I have what he wants
Too Bad.......I do not trust The National Enquirer because of their snubb of me in 2014.
Andy Tillett very well knows about my interaction on Twitter regarding former National President of The Hells Angels George Christie and my claims regarding The Charles Manson Saga. But he never asked me about it.
Mr Tillett is mad at me.

3. Dylan Howard. Mr Howard knows me because of Norman Pardo's ridiculous claim that convicted serial killer glen Rogers killed Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman. I proved with Rogers' own words he's full of _____.

Anyway, thanks Matt for posting this blog-post.
Talk about a small world.....

Mario George Nitrini 111
The OJ Simpson Case

Richie Cheech Albertini said...

Mario George Nitrini is a Demented Old Circus... We call Him Mayan Mario.. He has Been Stroking You all for 30 Years. There are No Recordings, OJ Was Acquitted.. Mario don't know Shit Anyway. Molly Skye Brown is Not a Victim.. She Suffers Mental Illness. If any of their Lips are Moving they are Lieing.. I talk all Calls.

Warm Regards

Richie Albertini


Richie Cheech Albertini said...

Mario George Nitrini is a Demented Old Circus... We call Him Mayan Mario.. He has Been Stroking You all for 30 Years. There are No Recordings, OJ Was Acquitted.. Mario don't know Shit Anyway. Molly Skye Brown is Not a Victim.. She Suffers Mental Illness. If any of their Lips are Moving they are Lieing.. I talk all Calls.

Warm Regards

Richie Albertini


Richie Cheech Albertini said...

Howard and Tillit are Assholes but Nitrini.. He is Full of Shit!🍎

Mrs A said...

I think that is what boggles my mind most. I was four when I saw the trial in the news and had a fear of hippies after learning about the “family/hippie commune/cult”. We moved to Canada later. My mom warned me about drugs as a child.

I read about them more when I moved to LA. I know Susan Atkins was depraved- losing her mom. Alcoholic family, Gypsy, too, with Holocaust survivor guilt parents and suicide. Lynnette’s father bit speaking to her. Even on the other side, Roman Polanski losing his parents to the Holocaust.

Nancy Pittman should maybe be another future study? She “seemed” like she had an ok family but mom survived the Holocaust and escaped to London? Even after the family, she went back in to a life of crime. Sociopaths? I have empathy and want to understand. Many of girls had eating disorders and self harm. Depression manifests in eating disorders. Could be chemical imbalances? So much to study and learn. She said she had a brother who died in Vietnam? I didn’t find that because I thought it could’ve been a trigger. Maybe she used the term loosely like “get a brother outta jail”. I lost a nephew and loss is very hard. Just trying to understand how she could go so off path.

Nancy seemed so hard but from a good family? I’d like to hear all their stories and reasons they think led them down this path. Not just the zeitgeist of the times.

Mrs A said...


Mrs A said...

Sometimes there are just “bad apples”?

Peter said...

Couldn't figure out the wording of the post title, "Original Manson Family Member Who Tried To Assassinate President Gerald Ford". There wasn't a duplicate Manson Family, and no other Family member tried to assassinate Ford, and Mary Bruner was the first. But I guess Mary and Manson were just a couple until Lynn came along. Then, as School House Rock tells us, "They had three in the family." And that's a magic number.

orwhut said...

Peter said...

Then, as School House Rock tells us, "They had three in the family." And that's a magic number.


And that's the way they became the Manson Bunch.

Milly James said...

Was/is there a Wilbur Wright High School too? Just curious.

orwhut said...

Monica said...

After reading this article, I decided to re-read Lyn's book, Reflexion. While I do not totally understand some of the comments so far, I am somewhat impressed that she had not budged from her stance about Manson. She refused to shorten her sentence or be paroled for 35 years! While I do not agree with her at all, I find her loyalty fascinating.

Milly James said...

Orwhut - Thank you. Seems odd to separate the brothers at all in terms of achievement and honour.

Monica - Yes, she is certainly a 'sticker'.

Milly James said...

RIP Dusty Hill. Saw them in Wembley a few years ago. Wonderful. Apparently Billy Gibbons had travelled to the gig via the tube! He wanted the experience, having heard about it. That probably explains why they were late onstage. So glad I went when I had the chance.

orwhut said...

I'm happy to have helped out, Milly.

beauders said...

Mrs. A do you have a source on Nancy Pitman's mother being a holocaust survivor?

orwhut said...

Mrs. A,
I too, would like to know where you learned about Nancy Pitman's mother being a holocaust survivor. I've read very little about her parents.

Woodstock said...

A charter Manson family member attempts to assassinate the President of the United States and then gets paroled. Unbelievable.