Monday, September 20, 2021

The Slow Death of William Eston Garretson Jr.

Brethren, lift up your tv dinners and cold cans of Bud and let's toast tonight...

Sometimes I feel like William Eston Garretson Jr. is Charles Watson's ninth victim. Possibly his tenth depending on how you feel about poor Mr. Stubbs. Blog veteran Panamint Patty touches on Watson and Stubbs briefly here in this lovely interview from last spring. I will revisit the interview in an upcoming post, but right now let's talk about the caretaker. 

Other times, I think Tex was just another nail in Billy's coffin. Billy died in 2016. He was likely a longtime sufferer of PTSD that he disastrously self-treated. Tobacco use contributed to his death at age sixty-six. Billy drove a grocery store delivery truck for many years.  
He lived in a town where things change slowly and everyone knows everybody's business. This was his final address. 

"My husband, I really don't think anybody in the area here, never gave him a chance of day," Linda Derr, Garretson's ex-wife said. The pair were married for five years and had a son together, she said, adding that their son was born with a severe heart defect and died after his third open heart surgery. 

Derr described her ex-husband, who died in 2016, as a very good man, loving man, and cited those qualities as the reason she married him. 
              - Lancaster Eagle Gazette 20 Nov 2017

Shoutout to Linda up in Heaven for her kindness. She was Billy's second wife. I tried to locate Linda when I was gathering information for this post but I was too late. First, I found her phone number from 2002 on Ancestry. Then, I discovered her Facebook page but noticed she hadn't posted since 2019. After that, Google took me to her obituary. 

Linda Lou Derr died at the end of July 2020. No cause of death is listed but she suffered from genetic heart issues. She was a retired drug store cashier. Her employer, Gray Drug, was founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1912. Sherwin-Williams bought them out in 1982. I didn't know other drugstores existed for the first twelve years of my life. 

Linda and Billy were on the same high school yearbook page together. That got me. 

     Billy grew up without a father in this tidy little home. 

Sometime after completing high school, Billy made the mistake of a lifetime when he hitchhiked from Ohio to Los Angeles. Scrolling through the labels along the right side of the blog reveals that this is the thirteenth time blog writers have mentioned Billy (and remembered to make a label). I thought I'd try to add some paint to the outline already laid down herein and elsewhere. Thank you for reading the results of my research today. 

Billy possibly had one lucky day in his entire life and you know when I mean. Maybe two counting when the police let him go. 

Arguably, the aftershocks of August 8, 1969, killed him long before he died. You know already that no one escapes this darkness unscathed. Billy's story should reinforce that belief if you already have it. Or maybe create it if you do not. 

Before we get motoring, I want to assert that one indisputable truth in this whole big Charles Manson milieu is that the road is littered with children no one gave a shit about and often hurt. You can drop a pedantic bootstraps lecture below if you wish but you won't change my mind. 

If you haven't read the Bill (and one post labeled William) Garretson posts on the right, you should. Actually, if you need backstory, start by reading the parts of Helter Skelter that are relevant to Garretson. Like if you have a rainy day or something else keeping you inside. For example, if half of your town has covid and the citizens all want to kill each other because of what they post on Facebook. 

After that, read the Garretson articles on the right over there ------------------------->

For 21st century Billy info, read or refresh yourself on this awesome post by Max Frost. In 2018, I was blown away by Max's post and the song remains the same for me now. It's one of my favorite pieces in the library here. While Billy's house from Frost's account is gone, bits of foundation remain a hundred yards from this barn. Frost's friend possibly heard a story none of us ever heard before beside a bonfire on this property while they shared that case of beer. Neighbors are sparse. 

If you're wondering, I solve the mystery behind August 8th today, so make sure you read through until the end! Just kidding. I never will. But there are lots of people hanging around with the answers. Just ask one. Maybe use your VPN and don't slip up and give away any unnecessary info. Monsters and lunatics are woven in amongst the helpful. 

Billy is thirteen when his dad is indicted in Ohio Amish country for common deadbeatery. Btw, Washington Courthouse is pronounced, you guessed it, Warshington Courthouse. 

Billy wrestled in high school. The above photo is from his sophomore year in 1965. You might think Billy was from the sticks and in a way you're right but his hometown of Lancaster, Ohio, is also basically becoming a distant burb of the state capital these days.

Now, if you want to talk about the sticks, I'm from a place near the river that makes Lancaster look like a full-blown metropolis. If you can believe it, six people lived in my town when I was born. Two were my parents (rimshot). 

Btw, if you ever visit Lancaster, be sure to pronounce the city's name, "Lank-uh-stir." Lancaster is famous for General William Tecumseh Sherman. You can visit Sherman's home online here. The vlog host is from Indiana and mispronounces Lancaster. 

Kids from Lancaster are tough. Sherman was tough. Tecumseh was tough but had an insane brother. And also was not from Lancaster. 

11th Grade. You can almost feel the darkness swirling around the edges. Single mother. Early 60's. Conservative town. Smaller dude. 

Senior Photo. Billy studies business and is on the wrestling team but absent from the team photo. 

Like Max Frost said, Billy's number was in the phone book forever. I know the story as it's told has Billy thumbing a ride to California sometime in 1968, but we are unable to produce an Ohio address for him between late spring of 1967 and early 1970. Yes, he could've lived at his mom's for awhile. Every young person loves living at home after they become adults.  

But if he didn't, where was he? Did Billy split for the West Coast so he could be gay without his mom running the vacuum in the living room while he got his groove on behind his locked bedroom door? And if so, why would he go to Los Angeles and not San Francisco? And why would he marry three women throughout the course of his life and have children with two if he was gay? 

Three wives is deeper than any closet I've ever heard of in the secular world. But spend a couple of minutes in Lancaster and you'll be like oh yeah okay I totally see it now. So who knows? 

Was Billy possibly a naive rumpkin who thought he could go to Hollywood and become the next Steve McQueen? That'd be my bet. Or maybe Lee Marvin. Marvin was bigger in '67. A real tough guy. Billy and so many other youths were drawn west like moths to the flame and it never stops. Has never stopped. 

How many Billy's are running around LA right now believing they're getting their big break except in reality they're being used and abused? A couple thousand? 

You think any young rubes who fell in way over their heads are heading home for good at the end of this month? At the end of every month? Billy was about to turn twenty and return to the heartland when August 8th happened. He said so in his testimony anyway.

Let's back up a bit. We're getting ahead of ourselves. 

Billy Garreston, fresh from his senior year in Ohio, arrives in the City of Angels on the back of a turnip truck and drifts through a year or two of living on his journey to Rudi Altobelli. 

Or, nineteen year old Billy decides to hitch to California to see the country he thinks he'll be drafted to defend before it's too late. Both work for me but I lean early. Billy says in his testimony that he had a few friends over to swim in Rudi's pool. How long does it take to make friends you trust enough to have over for pool parties where you live AND work? 

Seriously. How much time passes before a yokel like Billy can cozy up to a mobbed-up guy like Rudi and have the skill set to make it stick? And then move into Cielo Drive (albeit the not air-conditioned guest house) with the property owner who also btw runs around town with Hollywood stars? Have you ever heard of a caretaker sharing the use of a private pool with his rich neighbors, aka the paying tenants, who live across the walk and can see him swimming? 

Did Ms. Chapman and the gardener brothers also take dips? 

Quick story. I have a friend who is a flower wholesaler. They service big personal accounts too. The richest couple in his wealthy state receive weekly deliveries. The orders are so large that my friend's company delivers in a big diesel reefer truck that typically backs onto loading docks. 

One morning, my friend's driver takes a leak in a staff bathroom attached to the massive kitchen at the front mansion when no one is around to ask. Mind you, these people are rich for real, not your local busiest orthodontist who married a surgeon or whatever, or a ballplayer or singer. These folks have a few homes on the property but this is the main one we're talking about. The guards see the driver on the camera walking out of the toilet. A little while later, the woman of the house calls my friend on his personal phone and demands he fire the driver or they're done doing business together. 

Because of two minutes in a staff lavatory. Maybe he peed on the floor, who knows. 

I'm pretty sure no one who just read that is sitting there saying, "Wow, that's super mean and odd because none of the rich people I know are like that..." If someone told me that story, for example, I would probably shrug and say what do you expect? He should've known. 

Rich people don't want contact with the hoi polloi. That's not new news. You might even have a story just like it to share with me in the comments. Or maybe not. Donna Jean never gets no love. 

I'm probably just trying to say that Billy was most likely more ingratiated that many people believe. Or maybe employers take nighttime poolside photos of their employees and I've just had shitty jobs. Which is probably true anyway but whatever. 

Even if you stand firm in other beliefs, it's interesting that we might have a block of missing time in Billy's California life as told in the narrative. It's not a stretch to wonder if things he experienced during that period might help us better understand the goings on at Cielo prior to the murders. In a moment, we'll discuss a second and just as interesting block of missing time at the end of Billy's stay in California and its possible effects on his eventual testimony. 

But first, where was Billy before the dog watching gig that came with free rides from Folger family members? 

Did he start out at a primo cruisin' spot after making the decision he could do that type of work and thus accelerated his journey to the Cielo guesthouse? Billy could've been a waiter or a bartender or a whatever if he had a problem with being a male prostitute. Other choices existed. Maybe he tried women's wigs first and failed. 

And didn't he have any fear of the bad things that happen in the skin trade? Getting into cars is totally scary. What if they drive you away to your doom? Who's behind the wheel? Bill Nelson in a Bruce Davis mask?

I would've starved to death. I'm scared of everything. Killers, germs, conversations. The list is endless. Plus, I hate to say it but I think my early Wesleyan training got to me. My internal dialogue is all over-caution and hey don't do that, dude. 

Actually, I'm attempting to appear interesting. I mostly only internally discuss food wants and upcoming meals with myself. Why I shouldn't eat this or that, what about on Saturday though, basic stuff. 

Let's move on to August 9th. If you read through Billy's testimony you will see the police arrested him prior to lunchtime and released him in the afternoon the following Monday (August 11th). When detectives interviewed him Sunday, the 10th, Billy said the dogs were barking two to three hours after Steve Parent left the cottage. 

Maybe it took awhile to receive permission to leave town but Billy remained in California for a full week after the police release him before returning home to Ohio. Billy tells Bugliosi in court that he moved out of Cielo Dr. on August 9th. Where was Billy for those seven days after being released from jail? He had little or no money and was freshly unemployed. 

The following July, when Billy arrives back in LA to testify, he says on the witness stand that the dogs never barked the night of August 8th, 1969. But then also even if they did, the dogs always barked at nothing so lol whatever man dogs are stupid amirite. 

Hearing that, lead defense attorney Paul (PJ) Fitzgerald shoots out of his chair like an ignited NASA rocket, calls time, and screams, "Heyo, most honorable dude, hold up a quick sec. Billy is busted for lying right here and right now. He's impeached. Here's the proof."

The proof is shown but the bench is still all, "Haha no way fuck you, Fitzgerald. We are here for blood." The attempt fails. 

Aaron Stovitz wins the one-liner of the day award. And check out Billy's answer to the last question. 

Brisk and typical, old boy. Cheerio!

With no psychological aftercare or anything else, Billy enjoyed a free redeye back Ohio that evening where the wife he married three weeks earlier waited. They shared an apartment an hour from the airport in Columbus. 

Lovely digs. Just like Cielo. Lots of Beverly Hillbillies actresses and heiresses using the pool with the help. Okay, you got me. There's no pool. Or actresses and heiresses. 

Billy and Wife #1 have a child while living at this address. Their marriage lasts a year and three days. His wife is granted the divorce on the grounds of gross neglect and extreme cruelty. 

I tried to find her but was unsuccessful. There's also a chance she's passed. Please don't stay forever angry, Mrs. Billy #1. He went through some shit he could never tell anyone about out there in sunny California. 

Billy, how'd you meet that mobster? How did you become his rent boy? I bet he loved how young you looked and your wrestler body. 

Billy is dead but also alive on Max Frost's answering machine. Or computer by now. His phone even. Technology is all we have anymore if you think about it. 

I want to pick up the phone while Billy's leaving his message to Max and breathlessly exclaim, "I'm here! What's up, Bill?"

I'd say, "Gimme the straight dope, Billy. How and why were you staying up all night every night? 

And anyway where'd you hide? The turning door handle story is terrifying okay but also reads like literature edited for maximum effect. And did they really come back later that night and loudly argue? Tell me no one, not even that crew, is that stupid, Billy.

And oh btw who told you to sue Los Angeles for $1.25 million? I can't believe you had the nerve!" 

Sadly, there's just not a lot out there to study. None of Billy's few interviews asked the questions I would call the necessary questions. The tv journalism is kinda superficial at times and I know that shocks you. Someone from a Youtube channel called and asked Billy who he thought would win the Super Bowl one year and then uploaded his answer to the channel for some reason. 

Since 2016, Billy is gone and it's possible barely anyone cares. I do but didn't until I looked into his story. I'm thinking about taking a road trip to Billy's grave this week, touching the headstone, and telling him I hope he's found some peace. He's on a little hill with his mom, framed by the forest around them, and watching the sun rise and set every day. 

Just the two of them perfectly together. The little boy his mom called so gentle he wouldn't hunt or fish because he didn't want to hurt animals, and the best advocate that little boy ever had. 

His father's bones or ashes are somewhere else. There's no man hanging around to give Billy his name and then abandon him. Or turn him out. Or spit him back to Ohio after shattering his mind. Just a loving mama safely holding her tiny baby like she did back when their lives had hope. 

Rest in peace, Billy. Like so many of the souls trapped within this dark miasma, you never had a chance. 


G. Greene-Whyte said...

A side note for genealogy geeks like me. It's possible one of Billy's wives was a cousin, no clue how distant yet, of Charles Manson.

That wife is possibly also one of my distant cousins. Her/our family is famous in Scottish lore, and Mel Gibson played our most famous historical relative in a movie mostly every Boomer, Gen X'er, and Millennial reading this has watched, heard of, or seen in memes. Maybe some of the Gen Z'ers too.

Additionally, one of my distance cousins alive right now is married to one of Charlie's distant cousins.

Like a lot of his stories, I discovered that Charlie's tales of his upbringing don't always closely match up with the historical record. Or even resemble it at times. I noticed this at the same time I was reading Hillbilly Elegy recently. While I've never considered myself a Charlie apologist, I've often defended him based on my perception of his childhood. This was the first time I was able to clearly catch Charlie lying and for some reason it felt like a slap in the face.

Like that awful Hillbilly Elegy traitor author to the Scots-Irish, the reincarnate Flavius Josephus of the hollers, I now believe Charlie exploited and caricature'd our massive, migratory blob for his own benefit every time he opened his mouth about us.

I've surely told many lies in my life to make myself look better and therefore have no stones to cast at Charlie. The other guy can f himself forever. Glenn Close as Mamaw. Gimme an effin break.

OH! And lest I forget. A man who many of you tangled with over the years who puts on a "radio" show of sorts floats somewhere in that realm of Charlie cousins. Wouldn't that be funny...

Proteus said...

Content apart, I like GreenWhite's style. I read this blog partly for insight and partly for entertainment. We have had other occasional attempts at creative writing, such as Fayez with his affected and incomprehensible attempts at literary output. We have had (and still have) quite a few posters who write clearly and effectively (it would be invidious to single out anyone in particular). And over the years I've been following this blog we have had any number of inchoate, inarticulate and frequently obscene babblings which are best left uncommented. But GreenWhite is fresh: something to say (you don't have to agree with him/her) and nicely said. Thanks for the time you spend crafting your pieces, GreenWhite, and may the ink in your pen never run dry.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Thank you, Proteus. I dunno if you're a god or bacterium but I like mythology AND science and you're now my homie forever.

Proteus said...

I dunno if you're a god or bacterium ...

I'm a shapeshifter ... you'll find me on Sandymount Strand contemplating the Ineluctable modality of the visible. Like the Partisan, j'ai changé cent fois de nom ...

And I very rarely post here.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Sandymount Strand! Bury me in your Joyce, mo dheartháir. I hope you liked my Irish Rover joke in my previous post. Re: The Partisan, we're nearing the time of year when I play every version of Hallelujah I can find endlessly until New Year's. Cohen's is of course the best and then probably followed by Kaylee Rodgers from your own green island. Perhaps in the spring I can find a way to bring Pearce into all of this....they'll umm surely love it.

Buntline said...

Mrs. Billy #1 died in November 2012.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Buntline - Agree. Pretty girl, too. Didn't know Billy had it in him.

Patty is Dead said...

Green white 💚🤍

starviego said...

--Who paid the fee for Billy's high priced lawyer, and why?

--How did Billy manage to avoid the draft?

Torque said...

According to the Columbus Citizen Journal, (1970), Bill Garretson's mother, Mary, said Bill left Lancaster Ohio in October 1968 for California. Moreover, she said Bill had but $1.85 in his pocket.

Bill did agree to an interview on Truth On Tate Labianca Radio a few years ago, and answered several questions. One I would have liked to ask Bill would be one that G&W has echoed here. Namely: if it took only a few days of hitchhiking to reach LA, and if he took the job at Cielo--as he said--in March 1969, where did Bill live for nearly five months prior to Cielo? What did he do, and how did he support himself? $1.85 can only get one so far.

Also, it has been traditionally held that Rudi Altobelli met Bill via hitchhiking. At the TLB trial, Bill was asked how exactly he landed the job at Cielo, and Bugliosi shot off an instant objection on the grounds of being outside of the scope of foundation.

Although I cannot presently recall the source, Bill was said to have a 1968 Chevy Camaro parked back home in Lancaster as he set out to hitch across America in October 1968. Talk about a good way to keep the miles off of that car.

Bill Garretson did get charged for posession of marijuana in LA, but I've not seen an arrest or police report on that.It is believed by some that Bill could ultimately have been facing probation in California. This could have had an impact on his duties at Cielo, especially if he had to do any time, and especially if Rudi Altobelli was still out of the country. Bill did hint during his interview with LAPD that Abigail and Voytek were concerned about this. Perhaps they were afraid they may have had to take care of Rudi's dogs if Bill wound up in jail.

I have attempted to contact one girl that Bill was reported to have known in LA. And she was a guest at the pool at Cielo. This person has not replied to me.

Beside my interest in what I call the "lost months" of William Garretson, between October 1968 and Mid-March 1969, I am also fascinated with what Bill did not hear about 12:40am on August 9, 1969.

Although it has been hotly debated, I am of the belief that Tim Ireland heard none other than Voytek Frykowski as he screamed out in the night. Ireland was in a place to clearly hear the voice at a very significant distance. Bill Garretson, on the other hand, hears nothing of the scream from the guesthouse, even though he is but a few yards away. Even with the stereo on in the guesthouse, it is extraordinary that Bill did not hear this.

I wanted to do a post on this, but hopefully we can open up a discussion (or rediscussion) on this and the other points here on G&W's post.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Torque - Awesome idea reaching out to the pool friend. Mrs. Billy #3 is probably still out there, too. I just thought with all the time that'd passed, Billy probably had his stories under lock and key in his noggin.

I'm not sure how long he was in LA before 8/8/69. I'll take his mom's story at face value. However long he was there, he surely needed practice and time to hone his skills. There are many hustlers in LA right now who never reach those heights.

A model year Camaro at home though and he hitches across the country with pocket change? That seems not likely but I base that on my own laziness and regard for comfort.

starviego said...

Torque said...
"At the TLB trial, Bill was asked how exactly he landed the job at Cielo, and Bugliosi shot off an instant objection..."

Now my conspiracy radar has been set off. Could Billy have been deliberately placed at Cielo as an informant? Certainly getting busted could have been used as a lever to get Garretson to cooperate.

starviego said...

GreenWhite said...
This was the first time I was able to clearly catch Charlie lying...

What was Charlie lying about?

grimtraveller said...

starviego said:

Torque said..."At the TLB trial, Bill was asked how exactly he landed the job at Cielo, and Bugliosi shot off an instant objection..."

Now my conspiracy radar has been set off. Could Billy have been deliberately placed at Cielo as an informant?

How Garretson got the job is irrelevant and therefore a distraction and it was important, especially so early in the trial {I think he was the third witness}, not to entertain things that could get any juror's mind wandering.
Later in the trial, when Rudi Altobelli is on the stand, both Bugliosi and Ronald Hughes question him a bit on the hiring of Bill Garretson.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Star - I like your two questions about Billy, btw.

I didn't catch Charlie in anything case-related but I was able to verify his unreliableness as a witness to myself in print. If you go to the scene in Fromme's Reflexion, sorry I'm lazy today, it's on page 92 in the Kindle version lol, Charlie moves from one scene in the past to another. Both seem like he's embellishing.

First, ..."she used to come home and get me out of bed so she and her Uncle John could go to bed. There would always be twenty or thirty dollars more and like she wasn't what they call a 'flatback' but she was a hustling girl."

The first inflation calculator that pops up on Google has that $20 or $30 for going to bed with someone for money while not being a "flatback" puts us more or less in the $300-$500 range from 1942 when she leaves prison thru 1946. I'm calling bs on that one.

Second, "Off to another aunt and uncle." Charlie could be speaking of time with extended family when he's mentioning his hillbilly highlights just before this passage, but Kathleen had two sisters and a brother.

Brother Luther at this time is still in prison for being half of the world's worst criminal duo ever with Kathleen. One of Kathleen's two sisters died at 20 years old from the flu. She was already a business college graduate and out in the work world. A newspaper article about her death described her as popular in town. That leaves Kathleen's single remaining sister.

Next sentence, "Even as a child I knew they were not smart."

Both his aunt Glenna and her husband Bill got a college education during the Depression. No one in my family attended college during the Depression. There was no GI Bill yet.

"Uncle Bill had no teeth..."

Uncle Bill was an engineer on the B&O RR and in his early 40's at the oldest. Charlie's grandpa was also a railroad man and likely got Bill the job. In Glenna's wedding announcement, not with Bill, didn't see what happened there but they weren't married, Glenna is also called a popular girl in town.

Both of Kathleen's sisters, and Luther, even tho he looks like Slingblade in his mugshot, were good looking people. Everyone had teeth when they were young. Luther became a minister shortly before he died at 33 years old. The $27 they robbed from a man, always reported at $35 in the Mansonverse, was truly a death sentence for Luther. He died not long after being released from prison.

The only place I see Charlie living is Glenna and Uncle Bill's house, the 400 Caldwell address everyone always calls Manson's childhood home. It's not worth a lot today but nothing on the river is really.

Final point, Nan was a strict Nazarene. How were people drinking jars of shine and smacking kids up around her? I never heard of a single religious grandmother who'd be down with all that, especially not a Protestant.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Sorry, $300-$500 range in today's money...

starviego said...

Billy remained in California for a full week after the police release him before returning home to Ohio. Billy tells Bugliosi in court that he moved out of Cielo Dr. on August 9th. Where was Billy for those seven days after being released from jail?

IF Garretson was an informant, it might explain where he was in those seven days, as well as how he avoided the draft and how he escaped the dope charge in LA.

starviego said...

MR. FITZGERALD: ... I am in possession of what purports to be a transcript of an interview with Mr. Garretson at 4:25 pm, on August 10th, 1969, where this witness was asked about the events that took place on August 8th and 9th. He stated in connection with questions about dogs barking that: “It was about 2 or 3 hours after he left,” referring to Steven Parent, “somewhere around there, that is when I looked out in the yard....” ... The importance of the dogs barking is that they may signal or herald the arrival on the scene of the persons who perpetrated the events.

Interestingly, this is consistent with others who heard yelling/gunshots after 1am.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Los Angeles and its carnate representatives put the mind break on Billy from every angle. He never should've gone out there. Surely he felt like he escaped with his life. Fitzgerald was getting no help from Billy or the bench that day.

prefeteria said...

The Donna Jean comment was random but hilarious. Personally I thought she was most effective low in the mix….

grimtraveller said...

starviego said:

Interestingly, this is consistent with others who heard yelling/gunshots after 1am

So who, after 1am, heard dogs barking other than Emmett Steele {and don't forget, they were his own dogs !} ?

Torque said:

At the TLB trial, Bill was asked how exactly he landed the job at Cielo, and Bugliosi shot off an instant objection

Most objections are instant. They have to be, in order to not give the jury time to focus on the question or the witness time to answer. There are quite a few times during the trial when an objection is made, but the witness has answered the question before the objection came in and the answer is allowed to stand and becomes part of the record ~ the very thing the objecting lawyer doesn't want.
With Irving Kanarek objecting 9 times during the opening statement, and then asking for the whole statement to be stricken and then saying that a mistrial should be declared, it was clear right from the start that one of the defence's major tactics was going to be deflection. Keep the jury focusing on something other than what the prosecution wanted them to focus on. So that meant drawing as much suspicion on witnesses as possible {so as to make it seem either that they were lying, had done illicit deals with LE, had something to hide or create the possibility that not all of the actual killers were on trial}, ask irrelevant questions. Try to lead the proceedings down blind alleys. Numerous blind alleys. Focusing on Garretson's immediate past, as one who survived the murders without a physical scratch, was part of that game and therefore, Bugliosi and Stovitz were of a mind to shut down quickly any loopholes.
They also had their ammunition to counter the defence deflection; what Astrocreep refers to as "death by a thousand cuts." Batter the accused from every possible angle. HS. Revenge. Anti-establishment mindset. Then counter every possible defence angle, whether it be drugs, mental illness, coercion, alibi etc. As David/Dreath often has put it, damned fine lawyering.

Doug said...

"I have attempted to contact one girl that Bill was reported to have known in LA. And she was a guest at the pool at Cielo. This person has not replied to me."

I'm pretty much brain dead and, crippled by kidney stones and, the relentless insomnia that accompanies the BRUTAL stabby Tex shots to my lower back and side so...cut me a wee bit of slack here buuuuut...I am sure that I read a dialogue from the "Patty" that was in the small group of acquaintances of Garretson's who nicked a bottle or two of ? (Sparkling Wine)? and, hung out with Billy at the Cielo pool and, guesthouse.

I haven't got a clue about WHERE this dialogue was (apologies, stabby Tex pain and, heaps of codeine) but, perhaps Grim, Starviego, Whut, Patty, or, SOMEONE else can remember and, give us a link.

Love your posts GW. The Manson relative connections are very interesting and, hopefully you can reveal a bit more about these relationships to us.

Doug said...

"Garretson also let friends stay at the guest house. His buddy Darrell, home from Vietnam, visited but Garretson kicked him out when he saw Darrell take bottles of champagne during one of the Polanski’s house parties that summer. Sometimes he and Darrell double-dated and Garretson even let those two women (one Debbie T. and a Patty Montgomery) crash at the guesthouse"

This hasn't got any dialogue with this Patty woman though...

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Apologies, Glenna was indeed married before Uncle Bill.

Pref - awesome username and thank you for the compliment. I'm indeed the Donna Jean of the MB but know I'm gonna shine lol.

Doug - thank you. Definitely ask the others because this brain is mush.

Grim - I think you have an eidetic memory, yes? Please accept the unpaid researcher position I offer in the future.

Buntline said...

Garretson polygraph interview - "I used to have a '68 camaro when i lived in Ohio, but i sold it before i came out to california"

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Buntline - just amazing. Thank you.

Torque said...

Buntline, yes thanks. However it may cause one to wonder why Bill set out for California with only $1.85 in his pocket if he sold the Camaro.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Torque - it's just crazy to imagine. I'd at least take the bus with some of my Camaro money. But we are in the place where no sense makes sense.

starviego said...

Torque said... may cause one to wonder why Bill set out for California with only $1.85 in his pocket if he sold the Camaro. Good point. And how did he acquire a new car at all?

grimtraveller said...

GreenWhite said:

I think you have an eidetic memory, yes?

No. Just a fairly good one.
When I have an interest in something, I tend to remember certain details. Anything I recall is freely available out there to anyone. Books, interviews, transcripts, they're all out there. If I think I remember something, I'll fact-check it just to make sure, and then proceed from there.
When it comes to this case, I find that a fairly common occurrence is taking the tiniest point or anomaly and making the most of it. It's almost like trying to do the defence's work for them, 50 years down the line, because it's felt they made such a poor job of it. I still have yet to hear anything that even nudges me towards a belief that LE was found wanting, so when objections are levelled in that direction, even hints of it, I'll sometimes just point out what I can see as LE's logic in the moves they made.
But that's just one side of the equation.

starviego said:

And how did he acquire a new car at all?

Now that's a good question.
But in the grand scheme of things, hardly of earth shaking importance.
Is it cynical to ponder why on earth it's of any relevance what William Garretson was doing for some months before he found himself the only breathing individual in the midst of a savage slaughter ?
And does it matter where he went when he was released from jail ? A more important question is ~ what did he do with the shirt he was given ? 😉

brownrice said...

GreenWhite said...
I'd at least take the bus with some of my Camaro money. But we are in the place where no sense makes sense.

Actually we (or Bill at least) was in a place called the 1960s', where hitch-hiking was regarded as a pretty normal way to get around for many young people. Cost-effective for sure, but (far more importantly) a great opportunity for a spontaneous adventure. It was almost de rigueur if ya wanted to be cool to have at least one cross-country hitch-hiking exploit to boast about.

Torque said...

Star, I've often wondered if the car was a graduation present, and that, even if Bill sold it, the money may have been his, or at least a portion of it?

Grim, for me what Bill was doing for the months before August 8 is simply background. Along with so many other individuals in this story, it helps me to better understand the environment in which these people found themselves.

Brownrice, agreed. Indeed hitchhiking would be a great opportunity for a spontaneous adventure, and no doubt a fun time traveling across country.

Proteus said...

I lived in LA in 1969, in Leucadia and then in Orange County. I didn't have a car and as far as I remember the only buses were long distance Greyhounds. We hitched or walked everywhere, everyone did. Was never hard to get a ride either.

Dan S said...

What new car?

orwhut said...

I wish I could help with the Patty dialogue but don't recall ever seeing it. If you find it again, please fill us in or put up a link.

Ima Fibbin said...

@ GreenWhite,
I also live in the southern half of Ohio, in the eastern area. I can relate to your post, hearing "warsh" for "wash" lol. I've long thought my next door neighbor is related to Charlie somehow. She's from the same general area down by the river, (Ironton) She even has a similar back story, was abandoned in a bar as a baby by her prostitute birth mom, raised by others, etc. Her appearance, the fact that her oldest child is also a Charles, and looks amazingly like Charlie.

She's never talked much about her bio family. Just that her birth mom was a prostitute and her alleged dad was from "across the river".

AustinAnn74 said...

Obscene babblings?

Buntline said...

As someone with a strange interest in peripheral characters, i've previously looked up Darrel Kistler, Patty Maloney, Debra Tidwell, Roy Plank et al, but does anyone know who Tom and Dave, the gardening brothers, were?

Tom, who had a Mustang, would occasionally park up by the gates with a girl. Dave, who was married, bought Garretson beer on several occasions leading up to the murders, so that Bill would let him use the guesthouse to entertain his girlfriend.

Tom and Dave were mowing the lawns on the Friday afternoon, with no way of knowing what would occur mere hours later.

starviego said...

Torque said...
Bill Garretson did get charged for posession of marijuana in LA

Torque, do you remember where you read that?

Buntline said...

Also from his polygraph interview;

"and I was going to go back to Ohio in March, and I was picked up for Possession of Marijuana, and it was lowered to Visitation. And so, you know, after that I was going to go back to Ohio"

Q You been arrested for Possession?
A Yes.
Q What else?
A Well, back in Ohio, I got--I don't know if it would be a misdemeanor or what; it was, uh, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor. That was when I just turned 18; and, well what the story was, I was with this one kid that, you know, I knew, and he went and bought these girls a beer, and I happened to be with him when he was in the store, so I was charged for it.

Torque said...

Star, as I recall, Bill discussed the marijuana charge with LAPD during his interview, and just before the polygraph examination. I don't have a link, but I have seen the transcript of the interview in a number of places. Check out Its available in other places as well.

starviego said...

Thanks Buntline and Torque!

beauders said...

I have always believed that Garrettson travelled from Ohio to Los Angeles on a train. Didn't he claim he slept through a blowjob on a train? Also none of these people after their run in Manson's world ever served in Vietnam---Poston, Watkins, Garrettson, etc. The people who served in Vietnam did so before their time in Manson land---Flynn, TJ the Terrible, etc.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Hi, Beauders. I definitely remember Billy's sleeping thru a bj story but the train part is for stronger minds lol.

I doubt anyone in history ever slept thru a hummer before but what do I know. Somewhat related, when they ask Billy during his polygraph if he ever had sex with a man, and Billy replies that he has, I notice that many researchers harmonize that statement with the blowjob tale. Does anyone consider a bj sex? Sex is sex imo.

What you wrote about the draft always picks at my brain. Billy was a prime draft candidate until he married and became a father. And he was high profile. Mysteries.

tobiasragg said...

Two quick reactions, one to the piece and one to a comment above . . .

Letting an older gay guy blow you hardly amounts to being gay oneself and certainly does not suggest that one is some kind of street hustler. Younger dudes allowing older dudes, especially older dudes with money, blow them is incredibly common. There has been nothing to suggest that Garretson's homosexual experiences extended any further than this. Rudy A. seemed quit the creepy old queen, they are a dime a dozen - especially in LA.

As for the comment on the sound from the murders being heard/not heard, have you ever lived or visited Benedict Canyon or one like it? This is not an unusual phenomena at all. One can hear neighbors talking on the phone at a normal conversational voice level quite clearly from incredibly far away, depending on the weather and other conditions. Frykowski needn't have been "screaming" as suggested to be heard down below. If you live near any kind of mountain/valley situation, pay a visit and give it a go - it's quite surprising.

Patty is Dead said...

Tobiasragg, I stood at the hairpin turn on Cielo Drive last May and listened to my surroundings. I heard voices but I could not tell where they were coming from. It was quite strange but not in the way you are describing. I think maybe you are confusing your cognitions with some sort of notion about "the truth."

tobiasragg said...

Well no, lol. I was sharing my experiences in SoCal canyon settings and relating them to the verbiage in the opening of the HS book and the police reports those comments were based on. Sound travels in strange and unexpected ways in those settings and what people in the area (Wm G. included) reported is entirely in line with reality. Or "the truth" as you put it.

The mouth of Cielo is downhill and on the other side of the hill where the home is. The canyon (where most of the people reporting sounds were located) spread out before and beneath the crime scene, as I'm sure you've seen in pics.

Patty is Dead said...

I've been in that canyon more times that I care to remember.

grimtraveller said...

beauders said...

Didn't he claim he slept through a blowjob on a train?

No, "the big city." He said he hitch-hiked from Ohio to California. When he was there, he said he'd been up two nights solid {no pun intended} and he had no awareness of any sexual activity. He claimed that he didn't know whether he had or not, that the person he had hiked out to LA with, told him that some guy had shone his tings while he was crashed out. He claimed the sucker was called "Rice or something like that."

GreenWhite said...

I doubt anyone in history ever slept thru a hummer before

It's hard to believe, true. But believe me, it has been done ! In 1983 !!

when they ask Billy during his polygraph if he ever had sex with a man, and Billy replies that he has, I notice that many researchers harmonize that statement with the blowjob tale

Actually, it's not researchers that do the harmonizing, it's Garretson himself. Lt Burdick asks who the sex that Bill says he's had was with, and Bill then goes on to relate the tale of the sleeping booty. It is clearly him that makes that connection. Everything said about sex with another man is related to that one happenstance. And Garretson does most of the talking.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

You're right and good point. Thought provoking comments today, sir.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Except for the bj ancedote but I did ask. Jealousy probably.

Doug said...

"I doubt anyone in history ever slept thru a hummer before but what do I know?"

Welllll, when I was in a band that was touring through (mainly) Germany...during the mid/late 90s we had pulled into a smaller town/village where we were going to play at an arts community co-operative type place. Really awesome group of people who all contributed to the various tasks necessary for the show to happen (hosts, hospitality, cooks, roadies, sound techs, "housekeeping"(families who would put us up for the evening), facilitators of what seemed to be unending libations of pretty much ANYTHING we inquired about, etc...). These folks who made things happen/attended the show were made up of people who were aged 2yrs old to 90yrs old!

The gentleman who eventually paid us pulled us aside and gave us the lowdown about the places that we were emphatically told to avoid (robbery, pickpockets, Gypsies, hard drugs, mentally unstable people who refused to accept professional care, kidnappers, etc). He said to try to always travel in numbers and, to graciously decline any offers of complimentary beverages or, food (roofies, drugs, kidnapping risk and, even the possibility of organ harvesting!

We had 6 hours to kill before we had to be back at the venue to share in a communal meal and, sound check before we had another 3 hour break before we had to play.

We were traveling with another band that supported us for the entire tour. At this show there was a third band that was going to play between our support band and us.

The three of us and our puny crew and, our 3 bus drivers got down to some pretty serious drinking starting around 11am. I must stress that these colleagues were all pretty much bottomless beer drinking pits. I was more of a cider/spirits guy and, I was never, ever so thoroughly embarrassed drinking as I was on this tour and I was almost always the one who could outdrink pretty much anyone...not this tour and, especially NOT ON THIS DAY!

After a few hours of ridiculously stupid drinking we realized that we were missing a guitarist. Justin was a scrawny but tough little reprobate and, he was almost ALWAYS a dream to manage on the road. However...he had the tendency (like many other people) to break away from the party/group and leave/go home/fall asleep in a closet, etc...when he was WAY LOADED.

We broke into 3 groups and, began to search for him in the co-op (nope) the nearby park, pub, benches (nope) and, we (were pretty loaded and loud) asked if we could get a few of the locals to accompany us as we ventured into the areas we were told to avoid at all costs...

Well...I just happened to be in the search party group that eventually found Justin...passed out hard, in a narrow alley. He had been robbed of his wallet, smokes, jacket, and his $15 pro diem!

He was COMPLETELY passed out and, loudly snoring when we came upon him...however, he wasn't alone!!!

Two seriously insane (and, frighteningly, stereotypical - in EVERY WAY POSSIBLE ) toothless Gypsy women had been/were taking turns on him as if Justin was a young Bill Garretson!! He was TOTALLY oblivious to any of it.

We actually had to "barter" (in the strangest manner ever) for his return. The 2 Gypsy women offered the same kind of "hospitality" to ALL 5 OF US in exchange for his release! A third Gypsy friend offered to give a neighborhood canine the "Bill Garretson" for a beer and a smoke!!!

Completely grossed out we finally bartered Justin's sad sack ass for 6 smokes!!

And, that ALMOST answers your query -

"I doubt anyone in history ever slept thru a hummer before but what do I know?"

Because when Justin finally woke up (fortunately around 20mins before we were supposed to go on) he had a VERY weak recollection of how he came to lose his stuff (fortunately, no beating or organ harvesting occurred) AND, HE HAD ZERO RECOLLECTION OF HIS "Bill Garretson" tag team Gypsy session!!

No word of a lie!

Doug said...

*The three of us and our puny crews*

s/b - The three of us BANDS and, our puny crews

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Doug, that was way nice. I'm pretty sure I'll never forget your story. Serious Thinner and face eating bath salt zombies imagery.

Again, anyone new here reading this...ALWAYS read Manson Blog comments. Magic lives in them. And you might also learn something.

Impromptu writing workshops also routinely take place if you're the typing sort and wish to post. Hit Matt up.

Unknown said...

Garrison really suffered trauma. Whatever he knew,he took it with him.You get picked up hitchhiking and a day later your living in the guest house,starring at the hollywood sign.Must have really kept that pool clean.He saw the lifestyle of our hollywood elites.He knew not to talk too much. pete

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Pete - Funny and succinct. Well said. You hit the nail on the head.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

7 Nov 2021

If anyone is on West Coast time or stays up later in other time zones and wants to hang out tonight, I'm a guest host on The Paulcast tonight at 730 pm PST.

My discussion will center on unique perspectives, research methodologies, and cognitive dissonance in the Manson study.

Unknown said...

He was the homosexual that Charles mentioned in a interview that sold him drugs and pornography on several occasions. Charles Manson and Watson had been on that property prior.

grimtraveller said...

That you, A. Fisher Aldag ?

Mr. Eugene said...

The basic story is Bill was a young drifter from Ohio who was picked up hitchhiking by older homosexual Rudi Altobelli for a one night stand. Bill was good looking, in shape, and probably very well-endowed which was the ticket to be moved into Altobelli's personal residence instead of being dropped off back on the Sunset Strip. Besides ballin Altobelli, his job was to take care of the dog. He didn't do any building or yard maintenance work, that was all hired out. He received spending money from Altobelli and had little responsibility other than to work on his tan, enjoy the pool, hang out on the Strip, and have friends over. I'm sure this scenario happens many times in L.A. over the years with other young drifters. They even had a TV movie years ago "Alexander: The Other Side Of Dawn" that dramatized that way of life. I think guilt took a toll on him for not admitting until years later he heard what was going on at the main house and did not act. Even so, he was fortunate to be the lone survivor.

James said...

I have heard he lost his mind when his son died. Bill Nelson went to see him in 1997 for an interview and he found Rosie living with him and Bill Nelson alerted family members who got a restraining order keeping Rosie away from him. His meeting with Altobelli is suspect. I am not sure the gay hustler story is correct. He had girls up at Cielo on several occasions, I don't think we will ever know the truth about this part of the story.