Monday, September 13, 2021

Two Convos Close Together

Thank you for reading this addition to a series I secretly call The Eyes Of The Lurker. That's probably not seriously the name but I'm also not sure. Maybe. I definitely sing it to myself sometimes that way. 
all the leaves are brown...

Among Manson's supporting cast, only Tex (Charles Watson) and Cupid (Bummer Bob) are mentioned more times than Leslie Van Houten on this vaunted blog. A polarizing figure, Van Houten and her fate have been argued to Hades and back by Manson scholars, wanna-be's, boxcars, and poop butts. 

(Like it or not, we are forever bonded by our gruesome pursuits.)

Today, we look at two versions of Leslie Van Houten who were recorded for posterity over the holiday season of 1969. One version conducts herself in the manner she probably believes is that of a clever criminal. The other version is a clear victim of an evil little magical pimp with mind control powers who expertly pressed secret MK buttons on her chakras beep boop beep boop, pointed a tiny finger toward the LaBiancas' open door, and growled, "KILL KILL KILL" on that hot summer night of August 9th, 1969. 

Just like he did that one time in Gary's backyard. A handwritten binder told me. 

The difference between the two versions of LVH is drastic. I'll never know what the experts know but I'd like to rule some things out in my own brain whenever possible. I read Helter Skelter when I was twelve, which is way too young. (Remind me sometime to tell you how discovering Sexton and Plath in a spare bedroom bookcase at age ten went. Bookworm families amirite?)  For a couple of weeks after reading Helter Skelter, I showered with the curtain drawn back so I could quickly check for LaBianca killers every five seconds. Water soaked the bathroom floor. My mother asked why every time but what could I say? 

"Umm, because of those satanic hippie girls."

I learned to lock the bathroom door and wipe the floor. 

Before we dive in, I gathered some background info in case anyone is new here or forgets who Leslie Van Houten is or anything along those lines. 

Van Houten remains incarcerated but also dune buggies untethered across the sands of late twentieth (and early twenty-first) century pop culture. She is simultaneously a fleshy collection of defiant young photographs true crime fans want to have sex with, or possibly rescue, Idk, doubtful, and an anxious senior citizen pleading with her eyes at a parole board that keeps trying to send her home. 

Somewhere, a rustic drawing of Abraxas is laughing from its thumbtacked spot on a wood-panel wall. The sound is rumbly, two-dimensional, and unexpectedly scary. 

Leslie avatars have appeared in motion pictures several times. Most recently, when Quentin added his two cents to the corpus. 

Victoria Pedretti plays Leslie, aka Lulu, in Tarantino's film. 

photos via Google

Same sad look. Maybe a bit more Dutch in the face would've worked but whatever. There's little chance the historical person will resemble the real Leslie when it's all said and done anyway. Give a pretty girl a little pizzazz if that's your thing. Have George and Ruby dance a hillbilly jig out front of the Outlaw Shacks while Why Don't We Do It In The Road plays for all I care. 

Seriously. Take license. Give the dust and flies some sparkle. I'm strapped in for the ride. Hyperbole feeds our collective dopamine addiction and we consume with unbridled glee. 

Don't get me wrong. Mutilating corpses (if that's all Leslie did) is super way high up on the list of ways to convince me you're all kinds of seriously fucked up and need someone to keep a close eye on you. But at the same time is over half a century long enough to spend locked inside a progression of tiny rooms? Should we argue case law and/or governators again for the zillionth time? 

Leslie said she could barely stab her knife into Rosemary when Leslie was young and fit. She's certainly not as strong now at 72 years old. Why keep her when so many worse went free eventually? Exactly what kind of a threat is she? 

How long of an extension does singing in a hallway create? 

Regardless, a victim of herself, others, and the difference between the way things should be and the way things are, Leslie sits in Corona waiting to die. 

Do you think she already completed her karma or is her karmic completion forthcoming? I'm a bit unsure of myself on the doctrine. I'm all baby colt unsteady above wobbly legs. Don't even get me started on the dogma. 

And I know there are people reading this who want more justice than a mere lifetime. Perhaps Rosemary and Leno concur and wait patiently at the point of Leslie's crossing with retribution in their hollow eyes. Maybe they're practicing their screams. Whenever Leslie finally succumbs to death, all three will have given their lives for something we do not understand. 

While I was writing my review of her recent interview on Ear Hustle, I also listened to Leslie's interviews with Detective Sgt. Mike McGann (not from the banks of the Bann), and the lawyer she stupidly fired, Marvin L. Part. Both interviews are available at and include transcripts. 

People argue in the comments sections under the interviews. You'll love it. Maybe it's some of you under different names. We live in a mysterious world and no one really knows who's who anyway. 

I mean. I believe I'm me. And I'm positive I'm here to talk about the things I heard and read when studying Leslie's interviews with McGann and Part. 

Sgt. Michael J. McGann 
26 Nov 1969
28 Nov 1969 

McGann took the 27th off so he could spend Thanksgiving Day at home. Leslie insisted. 

Just ninety-five days after her twentieth birthday, Leslie finds herself on the hot seat opposite McGann. She is using the alias Leslie Marie Sankston and claims a California arrival from Waterloo, Iowa, just two short years before. Genealogists and hobbyists will have no problem identifying her people online. Lying about Iowa was, as we find repeatedly in our studies of this group, not a good idea. If Leslie was ever able to become free and slip away in those early days, they'd know right where to start looking.  

Schrodinger's criminals for real. 

Anyway. McGann and Leslie face off. Danger drips from every question. Leslie feigns cavalier and attempts cagey. Her youth makes my heart ache. I feel like a snuff voyeur.  

Leslie made me laugh there. Brave girl cracking jokes in the shark tank. She plays cute with McGann for awhile. He tells her he's given her immunity. She doesn't appear to believe him. 

She is also trying to employ the stupid routine that Charlie thought was aces. It's not as effective when you're a homecoming princess from the same world as the detective. 

McGann isn't fooled. He's been around the block. College. Military officer. A decade on the job. 

You can tell he's tired of working the case and wants it to end. McGann tells her there's nothing okay about random killings as far as he's concerned and appeals to Leslie's heart. She is unmoved. 

Most of Leslie's three plus hours on tape are spent saying she doesn't know anything, and then even if she did know something, she's not ready to talk just yet. And plus she really wasn't even hanging around them all that much anyway because she liked the bikers a lot more. 

Not the best thing to tell the police probably. Leslie is obviously trying to figure out what they know while stalling for time. Their conversations drag at times. She immaturely refers to Terry Melcher as Terry Marshmallow. 

McGann the cat arrogantly yawns into his mouse's face several times while flexing and extending his claws. Not really. Or maybe. I was only listening and reading along. 

For someone not saying anything, and with the benefit of hindsight, Leslie says a lot. 

First, she throws shade at the young loves in the first of her pointless attempts to keep McGann's mighty spotlight away from her homies. 

Next, Leslie winks at Schreck before pulling Bill Vance into the mix. But before we get there, did you ever by any chance notice that both Charlie and Bill spend time being professional crooks in Cleveland, Ohio? Charlie talks about his Cleveland days in Reflexion if you're unaware and interested. What a coincidence! Anyway, let's get back to it. Leslie wants to drop the M word.

Wait...what? Bill Vance reminded Leslie of a mafioso? How weird because if you remember, Vance is the Clyde component of a Bonnie and Clyde couple in Fromme's Reflexion. I wrote about it recently here.

Oh, the pain! They hurt me every time they lie. 

To gunman or not to gunman....that is the question...

Just kidding, but also like what if one of them isn't exactly a liar on this point? Someone simply might not be talking about something. Like some big gigantic something. But who can really say? Secret codes and outlaw ethics and whatnot always foul up access to the already withering streams of information, don't you think?  

Let's just leave all that for later and see who else Leslie wants to sacrifice alongside the 1969 Thanksgiving turkeys. I'm blanking on where we were in my presentation for some reason. I also suddenly want candied yams and a nice mushroom dressing with lots of extra celery. Mashed potatoes. Gravy.

He brought her a slice of leftover cake from Thanksgiving. Lord have mercy. 

Do you think McGann's wife made pie with Cool Whip topping as well as a cake? At the time non-dairy, Cool Whip hit the ground running in 1966 as a tasty dessert alternative to whipped cream. 

Apologies, food drives me. Btw, just in case you maybe somehow have the idea that Mike McGann skated through this darkness unaffected, I hate to report that the overtime and things he saw on the job eventually cost Detective McGann his marriage of fourteen years. The cake and Cool Whip train stopped rolling in early 1971. Sanders already told you that 1971 was the year of the pig but I thought I might refresh anyway. 

You might know already or have guessed that Linda Kasabian goes under the green bus next when stage two of Leslie's not-well-thought-out plan of finding a way to continue the fun and games with her soulmates lurches forward. 

McGann and Leslie hit the ball back and forth for a long time. They drink coffee. Leslie orders hers with sugar and lots of cream. She takes bathroom breaks. McGann doles out candy bars from a machine by the elevators like he's the grand marshal of the Halloween parade.  

At one point, Leslie is either scared or exploring every angle and mentions Christopher Jesus. 

McGann does not initially act like he's after Leslie personally. He wants Charlie's head on a pike and the head of the third girl whose identity he's not sure of yet on a pike next to Charlie's. The detective is eager to work with Leslie but she's evasive. She sidesteps him so many times that he eventually asks if she was involved in the killings. 

Like hey what are you waiting for the water is perfect hop in. But Leslie knows something he doesn't. A total game changer you could say. As her window of daylight closes, Leslie decides to double down on having her friends' backs. 

Oh, Leslie. 

(A sad trombone closes us out. McGann sighs evenly and stops his tape recorder. He looks at the crumb remnants of the slice of cake his increasingly distant wife baked for Thanksgiving. He regrets bringing it to Leslie but says nothing. Women confuse him.)

Marvin J. Part 
29 Dec 1969

Just a month and a day later, after spending Christmas caged, a brand new Leslie sits down for a recorded interview with her attorney, Marvin L. Part. Gentry writing as Vincent Bugliosi in Helter Skelter famously quotes Part telling the judge that Leslie is "insane in a way that is almost science fiction."

Absolute classic. 

You know the rest. Someone here probably wrote it first anyway but I shall summarize for the uninitiated. Part gets shitcanned but tries to keep Leslie from firing him. He implores the judge to listen to his interview with Leslie because he thinks she's lost her mind. Nevertheless, his efforts are for naught. Part possibly never realizes his role in Leslie's updated survival plan until it's too late. 

"And so I was in Hollywood one time and I had an acid trip, and I, and I was up on the cross. It sounds far out but I was for real. I was feeling them do it. And I could feel the knife or the sword when it went in, too. I know that he is - you know - I believe that he's Christ. I would never deny it."

Leslie's statement completely reminds me of the part in the Gospel of Thomas where Jesus says, "Lift up the LSD and you will find me there."

The Beatles: 

Gimme some of that old time religion: 

Revelations, indeed. 

Naturally, this is only after they find the giant hole "in the Death Valley area" that will provide access to the center of the Earth. 

Entiendo. I get it. The rats are jumping off the ship. She done? 

Not. Even. Close. 

Leslie begins by sending a message to Starviego across time.

She is checking boxes faster than any boxes have ever been checked. Race war that isn't a race war? Check. Important mysterious black man from the government? Check. Mini-Leslie who does not age? Check! The Beatles were talking to me? CHECK!!! 

Helter Skelter!!!!  Why did I ever doubt you? 

Leslie's words flow like snatches of remembered conversations in fever dreams but no one cares. Her interview is used against Manson in the strongest ways possible by the prosecution. 

Another coincidence. 

But it's tooooo late, baby. 

Leslie establishes her unhinged persona again and again until it resembles roadkill flattened against a busy highway for sixteen hours. She drives back and forth across the thin oval several more times just to make sure. Raising a glass of tepid water to his dry lips, Part swallows an extra dose of blood pressure medication, rubs his temples, and takes a caffeine-laced pain reliever named Excedrin that has been on the market for nine years. 

Back in reality, the cat's out of the bag. Leslie isn't leaving custody anytime soon. Since there's no charge for unabashed ghoulism, she is up against the death penalty. Is Leslie going down alone and perhaps actually really truly insane in the ways Part thinks? 


Not unless suddenly becoming delusional is accompanied by immediate, improved memory functions in the not-delusional world. And she's certainly snitching. 

In case you don't remember, the gang eventually (supposedly randomly) arrives on Waverly. Seems laughable but what do I know? I just type. 

According to Leslie, she wakes up when Charlie exits the LaBiancas' home, returns to the car, and tells Tex everyone is tied up and chilled out because they believe they're victims of only a robbery. The clowns are then sent inside to imitate monsters, misspell easy words, and steal milk and cheese. The thought of dairy products after all that makes me feel nauseous.  

And seriously who other than a baby sleeps through a car stopping and parking after arriving at the destination? "Hold up a sec, lemme wipe this slobber from the side of my face before I head in there for some grizzly healtering oh dark lord and master..." 

Rosemary immediately creates questions in the minds of researchers for eternity by asking Leslie...

"What are you guys doing here?"

Was Rosemary anxious and scared and blurted something out that meant nothing, or did she know them and typically meet them somewhere else? "You guys" sounds kinda like you're familiar with your new arrivals to my ears. 

I might be reading too much into it but Rosemary's question surely haunts the part of me that wants answers to this gory puzzle. 

"You know like it comes in pictures and the picture I see is Katie trying to get the knife in her throat and it wouldn't go." 

"And then I remember seeing her (Rosemary) laying flat in front of her closet all bloody on her stomach." 

"And then I remember seeing the man (Leno) on the sofa gurgling that deep bloody gurgle." 

"And so then we were going to make the house look freaky..." 

Would Leslie be free right now if she hadn't said all that crazy shit and other crazy shit just like it? I vote yes. 

Out living a real life. Possibly grabbing a fresh pair of Chucks or Nike Cortez at the Foot Locker this evening. Maybe hitting up Subway (in a mask since she doesn't want covid twice) for a veggie on whole wheat combo with Sun Chips and an unsweet tea for lunch tomorrow. 

Or Jersey Mike's if she's dedicated to a fast sandwich. They're better than Subway imo but still nothing special. Now, certain people in my family are complete Jersey Mike's addicts when time is short. And Cane's even though drive thru lines always wrap around the building twice during this time of death and politics. I dig the crinkle fries and Cane's sauce for sure, and I suppose their Texas toast too, but I'm more of a dark meat guy. The breasts are just so dry. 

Okay. Where were we? I know I was typing about unhappy things...

Right! Sooner or later, the real Leslie Van Houten will leave prison. 

Rounding out this dark trinity, the Leslie Van Houten of myth, like some nasty Sisyphus, will spend eternity sitting across from an attorney with a 1969 tape recorder between them as she endlessly repeats her bizarre story. Except for the recording device, everything in the room will be old, heavy, and dusty. Remnants all from the big war where we were the good guys and won. Nothing and no one is plastic. 

Every night, the LaBiancas' little dog will chew through Leslie's flesh with tiny needle teeth and never stop yipping while consuming her slimy liver. Transubstantiation is a twenty point word in Scrabble, btw. Words with Friends tacks on another five. 
There's no possible escape. Leslie will be the photographs and pleading looks until she is not. The gods will allow her to eat only unflavored, unsweetened gelatin she cannot swallow on account of the knife in her throat. Eventually, no one will remember she ever lived, and her punishments will continue unwitnessed. 

Leslie Van Houten was convicted of murder March 21, 1971, and sentenced to death. She remains in prison at the time of this writing. She is no longer freaky. 

I suppose I could've just said hey I had the idea that maybe Leslie wasn't mind-controlled and was down for some dirt when she arrived at the Ranch, and not spent two weeks obsessively typing this out, but whatever. I shall play my small part in the GIGO process. 

total aside: 
(have you ever noticed how often peeps in the fam said, "in other words.." every time they talked in interviews? i wonder if it was one of charlie's phrases. -ggw)

I don't remember where these photos are from anymore. I've had them a long time. Most likely the almighty 



TabOrFresca said...

GreenWhite said:
“(have you ever noticed how often peeps in the fam said, "in other words.." every time they talked in interviews? i wonder if it was one of charlie's phrases. -ggw)

Occasionally when I hear the phrase “in other words”, I think of a 1960s POP song. The song is “Baby I’m Yours”.

The title, a couple of phrases in the lyrics, and the singer all can be loosely applied to the topic.

Baby I'm yours
And I'll be yours until the stars fall from the sky
Yours until the rivers all run dry
In other words, until I die

In other words, until the end of time
I'm gonna stay right here by your side

Yours until the mountain crumbles to the sea
In other words, until eternity

This song came out in 1965 and was sung by Barbara Lewis. Anybody up for lunch?

G. Greene-Whyte said...

ToF - I have dill curds and spicy pickles. Let's open some crackers while we decide where to eat...

TabOrFresca said...

There is a hidden meaning to “lunch”. Barbara Lewis was one of a few that Tate had her last lunch with.

The pickles do sound good.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

ToF- Gotcha. You have to hit me over the head sometimes be forewarned

grimtraveller said...

The major difference between the Leslie of the McGann interviews in late November and the Leslie of the Part tape in December comes down to one event ~ the Grand Jury of December 5th. Susan's December 1st interview with her lawyer, Richard Caballero, implicated Leslie for the first time in the LaBianca murders, but it was that Grand Jury hearing that blew her into the public domain as a bona fide murder suspect. This was just over a week after the McGann interviews. She could afford to play hard to get in November. No one knew she had been involved in actual murder. By Part's interview, the game was well and truly up.
Interestingly, she hadn't had direct contact with Charlie for quite a while, and I suspect this is partly why she was so free with the lips in both interviews. Because if you go through the McGann interview carefully, she really gives away some nuggets. And tries to throw others, like Karate Dave, under the bus. Charlie's influence was at its most potent at close quarters at this point. Not long after this, the influence was mediated through the likes of Squeaky and Gypsy.
If nothing else, after that interview, the Police knew they were on the right track, especially when put together with the DeCarlo, Springer, Howard and Graham interviews that month.

grimtraveller said...

As an aside, in those McGann interviews, the transcript does not include some of the most significant moments in the interviews, although they can be heard on the tape.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Hi Grim. Please share. There is a part I can't decipher that doesn't match the transcript.

Dan S said...

Part's interview should have been confidential, nes pas?I guess he could have introduced it for an insanity plea. Why would she say ANYTHING to mcgann? Didn't Charlie know better and teach better?

starviego said...

"did you ever by any chance notice that both Charlie and Bill spend time being professional crooks in Cleveland, Ohio? Charlie talks about his Cleveland days in Reflexion if you're unaware and interested."

Do you have a page number?

starviego said...

Dan S said...
"Part's interview should have been confidential, nes pas?"

Does anybody know the circumstances under which this interview was made public?

cielodrivecom said...

The defense played it at her retrial

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Star - 102/103 Kindle. 140/141 1st edition hardback.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

DanS - Page -289-
Part, literally, begged Judge Dell to listen to the tape he had made with Leslie. Part said, "That girl is insane in a way that is almost science fiction."

Dan S said...

That's poor advocacy but all the girls were fucked by throwing themselves on the sword for charlie ironically proving he's their master

starviego said...

CieloDrive, GreenWhite, --thanks for the info.

starviego said...

I notice that in 'Reflexion'(pg137, paperback edition) Charlie is quoted as saying he was transferred from USP Peterburg in Virginia to USP Lewisburg in Pennsylvania (this would have been in Sept of 1952). Charlie claims he met NY mob boss Frank Costello there, though I can find no evidence Costello or Manson was ever incarcerated there.

In Helter Skelter, Bugliosi says Manson was transferred to USP Chillicothe in Ohio from USP Petersburg in Sept '52. The Chillicoth website does say Charlie was an inmate there, but has no mention of Frank Costello.

Is Charlie just confused? Or do they want to hide his time at Lewisburg for some reason?

starviego said...

though I guess it's possible Charlie could have met Costello at some point:

"In 1952 ... (Costello) was sentenced to five years in prison... from 1952 to 1961 he was in and out of half a dozen federal and local prisons and jails, his confinement interrupted by periods when he was out on bail pending determination of appeals."

beauders said...

Hey guys I thought those interested tonight’s 20/20 on ABC is featuring the Stanford Murders in 1973. These murders include Arlis Perry, Janet Ann Taylor, and Leslie Perlov.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Star - Interesting point. "The next bus out of there, I was on it, transferred from Petersburg, to Lewisburg in September, 1952. The big walls were so high, the clouds seemed to touch and it looked like a movie. 'Too young,' they said. So I was put in a place away from the main flow where I met a guy named Big Frank from New York. Everyone respected him. Costello name meant nothing to me at the time" (Fromme, Kindle, 100).

In other news, While I didn't solve any mysteries, I found something in Reflexion that might show Charlie is possibly embellishing the hillbillyness of his family when he was small. I'm from a tiny place "down by the river" to quote the late great Matt Foley (Chris Farley) and can possibly share some white trash insights.

I have a eulogy for Billy Garretson up next and also look at a couple of things I noticed in his testimony going up Sun/Mon. I see Matt also has drafts in the folder, but if I can sneak another post in before he returns, I will try to sneak a post in about what I noticed Charlie said in Fromme's book.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Dan S - I wanted to look deeper into Part because I don't really know if he was trying to be a good guy and help Leslie or if he was simply an opportunist seeking the limelight and free advertisements for his practice. My post was reaching novella length so I decided to save it for another time. You have any thoughts on Marvin?

Dan S said...

Just that the crazy beliefs expressed in her interview don't paint her as legally insane so i don't see how it could help her to be introduced at that point. He should have severed her from the group and maybe used the interview as evidence of her diminished capacity and charlies domination.
Of course LVH would be ordered to fire him if he tried

JIM HAYES said...

Hi! im a big fan of the blog and ive contributed occasionally but i honestly did not understand this post. I just didn't get it. I thought the author was so clever that their points eluded me. my opinion and i read the blog all the time i do enjoy it. my best to all the contributors.

grimtraveller said...


i honestly did not understand this post. I just didn't get it. I thought the author was so clever that their points eluded me

Jim, you're not alone ! For the last 6 or 7 days, I've been trying to work out the angle here. I can't honestly break down what is actually being said about Leslie.
That said, it's an interesting post. I guess whichever angle one comes from, foremost for me is the Leslie who, as yet, is not a murder suspect and a month later, the Leslie who knows the game is up and decides to level with her lawyer.

tobiasragg said...

These are empty posts that offer nothing of substance and provoke little thought. Lots of trying to be clever in a 1992 style of clever that was old by 93. This is an ancient case and there isn't a whole lot left to be said, so we get word salad. This one is at least a bit more entertaining than the drek posted on Garretson, but not by much.

grimtraveller said...

GreenWhite said...

Please share. There is a part I can't decipher that doesn't match the transcript

The transcript doesn't actually match the tape. The transcript does tell us there are about 3 pages of transcript missing. But there are also sections of transcript that there is no recording for. Then there are jumps, where the transcript appears to disappear because what is being said doesn't match it. Then some time later, what was in the transcript earlier turns up on the tape {and vice versa} which makes it very confusing. There are a number of times throughout where the word "unintelligible" appears, but you can clearly hear what is being said. For example, just after McGann tells Leslie that Sadie has been blabbing in the jail house, you can hear Leslie say "that's nauseating" or when he offers her protection from harm for telling him what he wants to know, you can clearly hear her say "That would be really nice. I think I'd rather stay in jail." That happens quite a few times. Also, there are bits where Leslie says something but the transcript ascribes it to McGann.
What comes over clearer and clearer is her concern over two people in particular, and what they have said ~ Dianne Lake and Susan Atkins. Ironically, they happen to be the two people that could have fingered her as being involved, and Leslie seems to really want to know what they said and if they said more.
Even more ironic, given the last 47 years and Leslie's defection from all things Charlie, is a statement she makes when McGann talks about her and others having been brainwashed by Manson. She replies, "If he did do some brainwashing, then that means that it's going to take a while to undo what he did ~ because he sounded pretty convincing to me..."
Gavin Newsome should take note.

grimtraveller said...

GreenWhite said...

I wanted to look deeper into Part because I don't really know if he was trying to be a good guy and help Leslie or if he was simply an opportunist seeking the limelight and free advertisements for his practice.
You have any thoughts on Marvin?

I'm absolutely sure that Marvin Part was genuinely concerned for Leslie. It seems pretty clear to me, just from the questions he asked her during his interview, that he thought she was 7 kinds of crazy and then some.
He was desperate to make that tape and get the judge to hear it. He clearly thought that once the judge heard it, there's no way he'd rule her competent to stand trial. And I think his conviction of her inner crazy grew once 1970 came around, especially the way she tried to sack him when Gypsy and Squeaky came by.
He'd probably never met anyone like her before, nor seen someone so in thrall to another person as she was to Charlie at that point.
To be honest, in '69/'70, the lawyers of California were, with the Family, presented with a phenomenon, the like of which they'd never come across, even having come across insane {legally or otherwise} defendants in other circumstances.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Grim, Thank you. I read your comments this morning while drinking coffee and had myself just the nicest moment in time with the sun coming through the window and etc.

I put my headphones down after the Leslie/Part interview feeling like Leslie had decided to pretend to be a zombie and try to throw Charlie under the bus in simplest terms. Charlie imo goes along with it for whatever his reasons were in this thought process of mine. I didn't believe she was coming clean with Part.

But I did feel like he wanted to help Leslie anyway. My heart breaks for her right now while at the same time something deeper and older tells me we can't have corpse mutilators out among us.

Either way, I don't know what it says about America's willingness to keep people in their 70's incarcerated. I think an argument can be defended that doing the same to Charlie at the start of his life certainly helped things move along to the conclusion of the drama.

The scene you put in my head of that "phenomenon" is rich and wondrous. Thank you.

tobiasragg said...

"I don't know what it says about America's willingness to keep people in their 70's incarcerated. I think an argument can be defended that doing the same to Charlie at the start of his life certainly helped things move along to the conclusion of the drama."

Um . . . if we accept the idea that Charlie's imprisonment early in life led to his later crimes, that right there would serve as the best reason to keep the likes of Van Houten behind bars.

In other words, you've contradicted yourself.

I don't worry too much about such things though, especially given that Manson is dust and Van Houten is a pre-dust holding pattern at this point.

Also . . .

Van Houten was not trying to throw her shaggy guru under the bus with Part, that much is abundantly obvious. She spent the next couple of years trying to protect the dude, after all. The story she told them more-or-less jibes with the story she tells now and aligns with the stories all others involved have told over the years. Most def a "coming clean" moment on her part. In fact, she came SO clean that Part thought he could get her off on an insanity plea if only someone in authority would have bothered to listen to the damned thing.

Sometimes I wonder where people come up with these strange ideas. Too much thinking about too little, perhaps.

Also, Part II . . .

I don't know that there is a detectable American "attitude" toward keeping senior citizens behind bars. Van Houten did what she did, and she escaped death as a penalty. Yay her. No reason to spring her simply because she is wrinkled and charming. She'd have been dead by 1980 had the CA Supreme Court not hiccupped, this is her reward. Yay her.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

You're right.

tobiasragg said...

Well thanks, but I also have to say that I DO agree with your POV sometimes. I mean, you listen or read things involving Leslie (such as the fairly recent Ear Hustle podcast, which is pretty fascinating) and it does seem clear that this aging woman really HAS gained a healthy and accurate perspective on herself at 19 & what happened back then.

Or she just fakes it well, I dunno.

But then I think of secondary victims like Frank Jr. who never really recovered from that horrible event and the loss of his mother at 16. No doubt he made his own decisions on alcohol use & other things later in life and not everything can be blamed on those murders, but my gosh - losing one's mother at ANY age is a difficult thing and in that manner, at 16 . . . ? So many secondary victims in this whole tragic story.

Do I think that Leslie Van Houten will resume stabbing her way through society if released? Well no, that seems quite unlikely.

But does it bother me that she is still paying the price for these crimes? No. And sometimes yes. But usually no.

It was all just such a waste . . .

G. Greene-Whyte said...

It really was such a waste. Mutilating corpses is the deal breaker for me with her I hate to admit. It's just too far out there. Something is really wrong with a person who does that shit. Now is locking that person with something wrong with her brain in a room forever the best solution or most practical Idk. It's easy to sit here theorizing and then wash my hands of it until the next time each time. That's for sure.

tobiasragg said...

Yes, it is weird - there have been SO many "next times" it is impossible to keep track at this point. Yes, many murderers are released in less than 20 years these days, and that doesn't seem right. But also yes, how many serial killers and now mass shooters have we? Do we lock them all up forever? Kill them? Try to "rehab" these people in some way and then cut them loose, hoping that they don't repeat?

I am thankful that I am not in the position to decide those things. Other than to also feel thankful that I do not have to live among them. Though, of course, we all do.

On Leslie, I don't buy the whole "mutilating a corpse" idea anyway. Yes, she says now that she believed Ms. LaBianca to be dead, but she also admits that she didn't stop to check for a pulse before inflicting her damage. Why bother stabbing a dead person a full sixteen or so times, especially when it is apparently so difficult to get the knife in, as she describes?

I think Leslie is correct these days when she says that she is as responsible for the death of Mr. LaBianca by being there as she might have been if she had been the one wielding the bayonet. The very fact that she was there, that she wanted to be there, and that she participated quite actively in the whole event makes her as guilty as a Watson or a Manson.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

My thoughts really run parallel to yours. Internally, I tell myself what does it matter where I draw lines? Like it's okay with me if someone kills a person but don't stab them when they're dead or carve WAR into them, for example. How it affects me personally shouldn't have anything to do with what happens to Leslie.

And then when we move over to Pat it's like she's in an even darker, dusty corner because she wasn't flashy pretty like Leslie and wasn't friends with Waters and etc.

I don't really have huge issues with their continued incarceration. No plans to picket the prison with the nuns. But even in the case of Bruce Davis, I know I don't like that dude, and think he probably did more than he's in there for, but what is helped by us paying high costs to house an old man with dementia? He's increasingly less aware of his punishment and it doesn't stop young kids from going out and doing the same thing.

So in my mind it becomes a situation where the state and federal govt. get to flex their mighty muscles at us and say see, we're still in charge. These dummies tried and failed. Do you want to join them?

I know they're in charge and no one should sing in hallways when things are serious. We all get it. But just to hold them to their sentences to prove the point that the people in charge can do it is more hypocrisy. It's not like every other part of our society is running smoothly and those two women are a pet project since people on the clock have to be paid.

I haven't had any coffee yet. I'm not even sure what I'm saying. I've also broken my stupid "S" key on this keyboard. Five words are likely misspelled.

tobiasragg said...

Sure, but the government is us. We ARE "the man" at the end of the day.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Lol another good point. Damn you stop making sense. 

grimtraveller said...

tobiasragg said:

if we accept the idea that Charlie's imprisonment early in life led to his later crimes, that right there would serve as the best reason to keep the likes of Van Houten behind bars.
In other words, you've contradicted yourself

I don't think that is a contradiction. What I glean from the point being made is that there is, maybe too quick a reflex to lock people up, at whatever age, and expect that to solve all the dilemmas. In some cases it does work. But in others, it clearly doesn't, Charlie being a good example.
I should add that it wasn't a causal thing. He made his choices every step of the way.
But he ran into certain characters in authority that, in my opinion, should have been locked up themselves. From time to time, I've wondered if any of them ever had the honesty to see how their brutality may well have contributed to whom he became. They helped confirm what he had long suspected about the world.
The topic is nuanced and maybe even paradoxical in some ways, but it has to be stressed that being locked up at an early age isn't what led to his later crimes. It was just one of the ingredients in the stew that he ate.

On Leslie, I don't buy the whole "mutilating a corpse" idea anyway. Yes, she says now that she believed Ms. LaBianca to be dead

To be fair, that is one of the things Leslie has remained totally consistent about, privately to Dianne Lake, to Marvin Part, even in the penalty phase of the trial when she was lying with impunity, and subsequent trials and all the parole hearings she's spoken in. At one point, she had trouble seeing herself as guilty because of it. She explains precisely why she thought she was dead, by comparing Rosemary's lack of action with Leno's sounds.
I have no doubt she thought Rosemary was dead. Equally, with less than 14 of the stab wounds being postmortem and her stabbing around 16 times, there's no way Rosemary could have been dead.

but she also admits that she didn't stop to check for a pulse before inflicting her damage

Well, who does that in the midst of a murder ? In the murders of Gary, Frykowski, Shorty and the attempted murder of Lotsapoppa, the perp[s] thought that particular victim was dead and at that point, they proved not to be. medics they weren't !

Why bother stabbing a dead person a full sixteen or so times, especially when it is apparently so difficult to get the knife in, as she describes?

In a word ¬> Tex.
As far as we know, Leslie had never seen someone actually being killed. To know that Tex was responsible for 5 deaths making serious international news plus 2 at the present scene, and having him tell you to stab, well, that is something of a game changer to someone who wanted to be a good soldier in the revolution who has discovered they have cold feet at the moment of truth.
I've felt for a long time, that if HS had actually worked out {impossible, I know, but bear with me}, she'd've thanked Tex for helping to galvanize her.

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.

David Lane said...

"What are you guys doing here?"

I had completely missed the relevance of the delivery of Ms LaBianca’s greeting in the past GreenWhite. So thank you for opening another avenue of thought on the selected (at random) venue for the murders.

I have no doubt that LVH’s involvement with Manson and her specific involvement that night are firmly in evil territory. So much so that the original death penalty would have been totally justifiable and I’m sure many others will agree and also agree that she should die in prison , no release.

One of the reasons put forward for her continuing incarceration is that ‘a leopard never changes its spots’. However if we consider she was found guilty and sentenced based on the events of a few hours and has since as proven by prison records been (if I can use the term) a model prisoner for 50+ years , then she clearly has changed.

However it’s not for me to decide, I don’t know enough about the case and I’m not qualified to judge. But, the parole board do and are; and if I were them I’d walk into the Governors Office and ask him/her what qualifications/knowledge do they possess that overrides their opinion. Or even more bluntly, tell the governor to stuff the role they are performing as it is obviously a waste of time and resources.

grimtraveller said...

You know, one of the things that really gets my back up, is the terrible quality of the recordings from 1969 and 70. When one thinks that these were supposed to play a crucial role in bringing a murderer or murderers to justice, one has to ask, could they not have made recordings that were easy to hear ? Once we got past the 1940s, it was hardly difficult.
During the various trials, I notice that witnesses kept having to be asked to speak up or get closer to the mic. Maybe it's just me, but I find that kind of thing so annoying. I have a friend who has a really quiet voice, yet she'll call someone from 40 yards away, that's wearing headphones or earbuds, and get annoyed that they don't answer. Or she'll talk to the people in front, in her quiet voice, when there's a group of us in the car with the windows down and traffic blaring past and it doesn't occur to her that the reason no one responds is because no one can hear her, even though she's been told this before on a number of occasions.
These police and lawyer interviews were supposed to serve an important purpose and more significantly, they were taped for the very reason that more than one person, on more than one occasion, was to hear them.
I remember back in 1994, I was interviewed for 2 hours by the police and they gave me a copy of the tapes. Believe me, they were so clear, you could have broadcast them on TV and radio ! Recording technology was not primitive in 1969. My dad had basic recording gear earlier than that and he made decent recordings in which you could hear what people were saying.