Monday, October 25, 2021

Polanski's Macbeth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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




Vices are discussed (Modern)...

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

Drugs (Modern)...

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

The weird (Modern)...

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

Guilt (Modern)...

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

Antisemitism (1606): 

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

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

All were slaughtered with blades. 

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

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

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

"Out out brief candle..."

Monday, October 18, 2021

Twice As Sweet As Sugar

Twice as bitter as salt. 
And if you get hooked, baby... it's nobody else's fault. 

Yes I know I have anachronisms flying all over the place already but I couldn't find any late 60's people in cocaine ads or rapping about it for you. Regardless, I've grown tired of the stale MDA/MDMA hogwash we volley back and forth forever and wish to look into other intoxicants. It's like we bathe in cognitive dissonance at times. 

Anecdotally, and therefore proving true everything I say afterward, MDMA and MDA were somewhat difficult to consistently score when I arrived fresh and dumb as they make 'em from Tecumseh Hollow at The World at the end of the 80's in the wee hours preceding gentrification. 

Oppositely, dimes and twenties of cocaine were available (conservatively) at every third bodega you passed. A transaction was typically accompanied by an off brand parting gift to make things look good. There was a spot on E. 3rd St. with a city trash can out front filled with unopened cans of soda. I always wondered if the bodega people retrieved the cans and placed them back inside their coolers. 

Lingering while pondering things like that was an extremely bad idea fyi. The door guard for the motorcycles was always watching. Tough guys on that street for sure. They'd sometimes get their payback when locals caught them off the block but not often.  

Before I tell you the story of the rest of my life, let's jump into our bitchin' time machine and talk about a scene that was happening in Los Angeles during the gruesome summer of 1969. 

And listen you can still be right about everything after reading what comes next. Have no fear. I'm here to create content not argue unknown history. I know it's totally outlandish but let's pretend for an insane moment we live in a distant parallel universe where recreational drug users prefer little sexy bumps of energy off beautiful people's bodies in locked restrooms over dingy dehydrations and pills with weird names like mescaline that last eight nauseous hours and come from a stinky guy whose fake name supposedly means wind in some far off language even though he's as white as Christmas.  

His apartment smells like cat pee but I know you know that already. 

She's ready for the David Bowie concert. Peace and love is dead in the metro areas. Strummer is already dreaming up perfect lines on his quest to ignite dry sticks beneath Beatlemania. Take a hike with the drugs no one does and purchase yourself a little gold spoon. 

Peruse this Los Angeles Times article from July 25, 1969. Note the cocaine dealer is twenty-one years old. Kids are selling it to their contemporaries and also undercover cops. Blow is everywhere in the cities if you go by arrests and seizure reports in newspapers. The Wiltshire address below is exactly 10.8 miles away from Rudi's place on Cielo where Jay Sebring had cocaine with him the night he died. 

Since you're settled in, wanna see something wild from a Long Beach paper the day Charlie either did or did not shoot Crowe? That $7 million is the equivalent of just under $52.3 million right now. In case you are unaware, the dude drinking for free at the end of the sports pub bar can't get you that much from his guy with a quick text. You gotta know somebody. 

I bet she was woman of the month. Reading that made my gums numb.

Btw, I watched the new George Stimson episode last week. He says Linda arrived at the Ranch July 1st. I believe that's one of the three dates I commonly see given for the Crowe shooting. Busy little bees. What are your thoughts on the episode and podcast in general. I like his presentations. 

Smooth ride to die in, I suppose. I have Jambalaya on an LA playlist I listen to a lot lately. Hank transcends genre. 

And was also mixed up in some stuff apparently. I would not be shocked to find out I'm a distant cousin of the college student driver named Carr and even Hank himself. So rolls the great migration. 

Years before I snuck through the back door of this blog last summer and changed the real writers' passwords (which I continue to ransom btw), and I mean I'm talking forever ago before 5G and 4K when I had an iPhone 4 or something, I read this post about cocaine and immediately started grinding my teeth. 

Just kidding. I know I type hip words to make myself look cool but the truth is I totally failed at that awful drug. Coke dealers relentlessly stalking me and selling me their kerosene smelly baggies of paranoia is one of the reasons I don't drink anymore. Mobile phone companies are in on it too as far as I'm concerned. And bartenders. And guys in bathrooms. 

And waitresses. The list is as endless as the reasons I no longer drink. 

Exhausting conspiracies like those surround us because coke has been readily available for decades everywhere. So stressful. I simply cannot wait for the day I become a giant pearl after eating from a tree filled with different fruits and no longer have to deal with life up here. 

Want to float down a cool blue underground river together? We can make a chain. I heard it takes two weeks. We'll be nineteen and beautiful again. 

The communal clothing pile and assorted other weird germ-y things will not be happening down there. Infectious diseases and viruses are better understood a little over half a century later. To that, we're finito with the dumpsters todos. 

Stylistically, any dudes who show up in satin pirate shirts and etc will not be allowed to miniaturize. The girls will pay attention to you and I'm insecure so away you go. You must continue farther downriver and find the root with Gilgamesh. Watch out for the snake. 

In Patty's post, she asks the person she is interviewing where the cocaine going around Southern California came from in 1969? Was there one source, many, what? Patty brings up the mob. Which is slang for mafia. 

Which is slang for Eugene David Massaro. 

Legit. If you're trying to define streams of cocaine flooding into the Hollywood scene during our research period, stop here for a spell. Eugene was at the forefront of the movement and possibly one of its managers. Cutting and pasting from his FBI files into a document filled up twenty-five pages in MS Word last week. My brain and eyes hurt when I finished. He was never not doing something awful. 

Here is what Uncle Sam had on him. It's worth deciphering. Massaro is as fascinating as any character in this drama. Jarrett chasing Massaro through a fiction novel is one I'd love. 

Our man Eugene arrives in Los Angeles in 1967 and takes up residence at 1221 West Horn Ave. 

A quick refresh on Horn Ave or some illuminating backstory if you're new. Newspapers and even the FBI commonly misidentified the avenue as a street. Pro tip if you're searching. You don't have to thank me. It's all gratis as part of your MFB experience. 

Massaro was a bad boy with screws loose and ice water in his veins. He rocked half sleeves in the 60's. He surfed. The neighbors heard him beating his wife while accusing her of cheating. 

The couple worked together at a strip joint. Today, the building is attached to a film studio and has a large privacy fence enclosing it like a pioneer fort in a 1950's black and white movie. 

Surely you feel the thunder clouds gathering. 

During the time Massaro was physically abusing his wife, still 1967 for you scorekeepers, he drove this little honey. 

Massaro possibly had the hard top but c'mon. I'm California Dreamin under dark tall oaks right now. Allow me a sunny breeze. Massaro surfed every day from 10 am until around 4 pm. The Lou Adler production on the song is lovely imo. We argued about the harmonies and if the choice of the alto flute had anything to do with them. What do you think? 

We should back up after you answer. Eugene David Massaro was born in New York in late 1938. He arrives in our story in 1966 in Miami trying to reenter the country on a flight from Colombia with a loaded pistol in his luggage. Airport police and authorities were desperately trying to stop, allegedly anyway, I'm sure some of them were, cocaine from arriving in Miami via commercial airplanes in those days. Never a one-trick pony, the feds considered Massaro a top jewel thief at the time and were already watching him.  

When I saw Colombia, I of course immediately thought cocaine. I went to and started searching with "Miami," "cocaine," and "Colombia," as keywords. Oddly, the first two suggestions that popped up when I queried articles from 1966 with those keywords were about young men who got caught coming back from Colombia with cocaine but were also caught smuggling gemstones. 

The federales knew Massaro was taking his burgled, robbed, and home invasion booty up to Boston to fence under the watchful eye of godfather Raymond Patriarca. I wondered if Eugene was cutting New York out of the deal. Risky Business. 

Massaro was always working. He posed as flower delivery drivers. Policemen. Whatever was necessary to gain entrance. And then it was over in seconds. Handcuffed victims. If you'd crossed him previously or he imagined you crossed him previously, you likely disappeared. 

Hotel room robberies. Insurance fraud. Extortion. Murder. All of this while importing cocaine. Dude was a serious adrenaline junkie. 

Never one of the good guys. We're talking about a pimp who used a brass candlestick to teach an ugly lesson to one of his hookers. Who outside of Edgar Allen Poe has brass candlesticks? The vending machines Massaro supposedly sold with Tex were never manufactured. That venture was likely a partnership with the Chicago outfit. 

Massaro was connected to everything and everyone. LA Boss Mickey Cohen asked him to come on board as muscle. 

And I could be completely wrong but the FBI report shows Massaro is first charged (at his hospital bedside where he spent two weeks after being shot) with three counts of kidnapping following a shootout where his injuries occurred and a guy named George Piscitelle died. Later, Massaro and three others are charged in the killing of Piscitelle. Was the whole thing a setup? 

If so, it was brutally clever. Piscitelle's karma was likely up anyway. 

Piscitelle's digs at the time of his death. Those trees out front were tiny bonsai shrubs back then. A man who taught Karate to east coast transplants took care of them.

I'm likely splitting Massaro's spectacular adventures into several posts. You will see he was more than a street hoodlum. Massaro wasn't some mob flunkie. He was their man handling things.  

Prior to the Piscitelle murder in 1969, a fellow gave Massaro $11k in 1968, just under $87k in today's US currency, believing Massaro was going to buy cocaine, step on it, and bag it up for delivery. I feel guilty saying this since the man lost his life over his foolishness but good lord. Was his first day in the drug game his last?  

That's a lot of trust. Oh, and Beckham wants me to point out that when Massaro first arrived in Los Angeles, he listed his occupation as "hairdresser." 

How did Tex meet Massaro and how close were they? Read those FBI reports on Massaro and tell me if what happened at Cielo Dr. seems beyond the pale to you. 

From the above linked FBI reports:

3 OCT 20 1969 
U.S. Savings Bonds Regularly on the Bay roll Savings Blan 
LA 87-26ij48 
Information received from CII, Sacramento, indicates that contact with employees of that firm locally have stated that none of the machines  have yet been manufactured, although the company has been in operation for some time. This is believed to be merely a cover operation for    MASSARO. 
If the vending machines were never manufactured like the FBI believed, what did Tex and Massaro do when they hung out? Talk about wigs? 

Before I go, I want to briefly discuss my defense of Glenna Maddox posted a couple of weeks back. It is boorish to condemn Charlie's mother, uncle, and society for his decisions and actions and then turn around and get all fired up and call him out on lies every time the available data doesn't match the accepted backstory. I need way more dispassion at times. 

Moving forward, I will attempt to avoid saying I have empathy for the child raised in the system and then turn around and laugh alongside the Coliseum mob when a clearly mentally ill Charlie is pulled from his cell to perform goofy dances while dodging the sharpened sticks of disingenuous interviewers. 

If I somehow lose my cool after finding several photos of happy-looking seventh and eighth graders who were arrested in the dust with the crew two years later or any other bits of the awful minutia stuck to the barely exposed entrails of this study and rage at every character under that dry 1969 sky from my desk inside the offices of this historic, vaunted blog, I apologize in advance. 

And seriously, if you can verify you were there and have the ability to clear up any misconceptions I'm having about the young loves give me a shout. I'm tired of digging up their photos. It breaks my heart.

That's probably it for me for today. I'm better suited for lonely databases where I can reflect the sun back into the eyes of El with my shiny keyboard. If you're one of the kids who ate trash casseroles on the saloon floor, I'm glad you made it here. 

So long for now from the banks of the Ohio. The leaves are turning while we feed and provide just-in-case places for a herd of deer during hunting season. My family purchased this land with timber, ore, and their blood in 1803 after defending a tiny cabin just across the river against gory privations for a decade. Our No Trespassing signs are not suggestions and we allow no hunting in these woods. 

Do not bring your guns up here.  

My process is to take what is commonly believed and endlessly repeated and attempt to verify the info. Thanks to Deb, Patty, Beckham and the illustrious Jackie Buns for lending me their ears last week. Long live Karate Sue. Tell me that's not the sister of the guy in the striped shirt mugshot. 

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Who Is David Ralph Baker and James Region Jarrett Ain't No Joke

Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods? 

Where's the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds? 

Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed? 
Umm I mean pommel horses sure. No worries. 
But we haven't had any living breathing equines since the ranch burned to the ground. 
Will a Twinkie truck do? I mean look at the driver. Handsome as all get out. His name is Karate Dave but we call him 31 because of the night he bowled a perfect game. 

(This post is a collaboration between myself and M.A. Beckham of The Paulcast. Thanks to Matt for entertaining my dumb ideas here on the blog. If you're reading this Sunday, October 10, 2021, and would like to discuss Karate Dave and Jarrett with some of us live, we'll be over at The Paulcast at 1030pm EST tonight.)

In case you're unaware, our Karate Dave candidates were discussed previously on this blog in a much better and more in depth post by Starviego back in Fall 2018. It's been three years and we thought we'd revisit. We also knew you couldn't sleep without a bit of new info, a photo, and the best interview you will ever see with James Region Jarrett. Plus, I could type Karate Dave endlessly and be happy. Karate Dave. 

Apologies if the gymnastics photos were indeed in the earlier article as I can't see them anymore. I noticed a photograph or two are possibly missing from the bottom of that post. At least for me. 

LFG! Hit 'em with the description, Squeak. 

(Fromme Kindle, 259)

Karate Dave was a straight up beast. Chicks dug him. Look at his face in the high school gymnastics photo. Stone cold confidence. 

Barbara Hoyt played Ewok Village with Karate Dave behind the Yellow Submarine. Leslie the corpse mutilator tried to throw him under the wheels of Mike McGann's bus. He owned an Indian motorcycle. And like Fromme said above, Dave was trained in the marshal arts. 

Jokes. My house is completely made of glass. I misspell with impunity.  

First Contestant...

Are we solid on who Karate Dave was in real life? 

Nope. Sorry. We changed our minds so many times. 

Sometimes I lean heavily toward David Ralph Baker but man do James Region Jarrett and Baker look alike. My brain has a hard time telling them apart. Jarrett was busy at the time is one of my larger issues but there is definitely room in his timeline for some ranching. 

The family that didn't call themselves a family are as pretty as actors some of them. Why do good looking people mess up their lives? It's like the whole world is set up for them to enjoy. 

Anyway, Baker maybe fits the timeline better. Here's a bit of backstory. 

Thankfully, a genealogist in his extended family already plowed the heavy snow for us. People are alive out there and we don't dox but Dave's papa was handsome like his boy. A couple of regular Brad Pitt's if you ask me. Dad Baker was born at a Kentucky coal camp in a place that is still unincorporated today. Dave's mom was from Portugal. Later in life, she was the cutest little old lady you ever saw. 

Dave would have little problem hanging around with Charlie once their shared Kentucky connection was understood. It's a Highlands thing. I have relatives who are still angry about something that happened in Scotland in 1692. True story. 

Baker was engaged to the third girl from the left up there. She earned a bunch of degrees. Her mom or whoever put their engagement announcement into the newspaper busted Dave out on his high school and college and gave us a trail to the photo. 

His address in the engagement announcement btw is Camp Pendleton. Summer '66. Three years in the Corps already. 

If DRB is indeed our man, Little Paul slyly told us he was a gymnast. Tidbits of truth are everywhere it's true. Read everything. Things get repeated until they're the facts but sometimes they just aren't.

For example, someone with a better search engine than us recently confirmed Dave's military service in the United States Marine Corps. Dave was out in 1966 on a general discharge. 

Not AWOL in '69. Repeating that is awful btw when you're not sure. 

He was also twenty-three during the time Little Paul is describing. Watkins simply said whatever he wanted and called it a book. Journalists also do that too at every stop along this timeline. Kathleen was twenty-one at the time of her crime? Let's publish thirty. 

Garbage in. Garbage out. 

This Karate Dave was discharged. Home safe. Finito la musica. I saw his service record and so did others at the blog. I don't know if it's something I'm supposed to share or allowed to share so I refrained. 

Baker wasn't over in Vietnam pushing pencils. No sir. Government records show his disability payments. 

If you lean Baker, what do you think Dave's actual role was with the Manson group? Head breadtrucker? Was he around solely to make sweet love to Barbara Hoyt in a treehouse and get bit by serpents? 

(Fromme, Kindle, 295)

Did you know Dave married a gal who was seventeen in November 1970? Dave was twenty-four and his bride was almost eighteen. If she wasn't almost eighteen that's what I hoped for and told myself. Regardless, they gave it a chance. 

Do you think his wife could be a young love from the Ranch who split with Dave after Mike Love refused to shower with Lynette? 

Speaking of snakes, maybe young Mrs. Dave watched Charlie touching the rattlers' tails while dancing that one time. There is a world of possibilities out there if you think about it.  

Next Contestant...

Now comes the alternate candidate for Karate Dave, James Region Jarrett. 

We want Jarrett to be Karate Dave but have questions like why didn't anyone in the Family and ephemera ever say, "Hey! That guy was named Karate Dave five months ago!" Charlie also surely would've slipped something cryptic in there at least once when claiming to know why the Prince of Portugal has Polaner All Fruit for breakfast every morning and etc. 

Would you please pass the jelly? 

If you're joining or attending the discussion on The Paulcast tonight, here is a video to watch first if you wish. It's enlightening even if Jarrett says a couple of words here and there that are no longer okay in polite conversation. 

The interview is enthralling. Jarrett talks about joining the LAPD after serving in Vietnam at 1:06:32. What do you think about the reason he gives for later leaving the police force? Legit? 

Compare the Jarrett in the video to the Jarrett described by the LA Free Times writer. Thanks, Starviego for that amazing pdf link. 

Might we surmise that Jarrett's undercover persona is that of an unhinged man but the real James Jarrett is a bit more saavy? Even the hippie press admitted Jarrett showed himself to be kind, patient, and helpful at times. You know I don't bet but if I did I'd wager he was kind around the people he didn't think were commie POS's trying to overthrow the government. 

Sandy said she was at war. Jarrett played on the opposing team. Each side calls the other unbalanced. What don't we understand? 

Does Jarrett seem like an off the rails sadomasochist here? And why did the journalist use that word twice? Beyond cringe. That level of acute pedantry essentially forces me to root for the cops.  

I stared at that photo endlessly while I typed this post. Not sure anything in life is cooler. I want it on a t-shirt. And I do think that's Jarrett if my vote counts. 

Actually, I don't care. I just want my shirt.  

Grizzled veterans of this case all surely recognize Bob Calkins and Mike McGann from the banks of the Bann flanking JRJ in my t-shirt photo. If Jarrett is deep undercover against the radicals, why is he allowing himself to be be photographed with two lead homicide detectives working the Manson cases? Maybe LAPD didn't have enough guys on the force and people moonlighted across departments. 

Those moronic GreenWhite claims are debunked in comments section below. 

Bucksnort where I live is the same way. Three total cops if you can believe it and I'm related to two of them. The other guy is a real prick. Anyway, did you know that Calkins and McGann also worked together on a couple of other famous Los Angeles cases? 

Bob Calkins says goodbye to evidence and investigations. Highlight: Calkins had Sirhan Sirhan's pistol in his pocket immediately following the shooting of RFK and for the next twelve hours. Sirhan claims he does not remember anything that happened that day and eyewitnesses reported shots from multiple directions when the shit hit the fan. 

These were trusted dudes. 

Imagine if I told you I recently received FBI documents that describe a secret investigations squad within the LAPD at the time that took on their highest profile cases? That would be crazy, right? I wonder who was on the squad?  

I guess we'll never know. Let's get back to the things we can view together. 

Baker and Jarrett are one another's doppelgänger. It's crazy. The Jarrett interview was seriously messing with my mind as I stared at his face. 

To confound matters, Baker had a sister who looked more like Jarrett than Baker. Check it. She looked like both of them in an Amy Winehouse wig. 

But I mean super pretty too. Not like a dude. And not that dudes can't be pretty. Be whatever you want. I'm cool with every pronoun. 

GW is always for the underdog. 

Jarrett in his interview talks about sneaking up on an enemy machine gun position and tape recording the conversation of the guys inside the bunker. His unit gathered intelligence as part of their regular duties. Here's what the Internet says about them.

By the end of the Jarrett interview he was one of my heroes. Orphaned. Bootstraps. The whole thing. These folks had a different view of course. Lost Boys film buffs will recognize one of the small children in a non speaking role with a gun to his head is indeed Kiefer Sutherland.

Playwright Don Freed from the above link is eighty-nine and teaching online. You can find him if you want to go deep undercover. Here is what the Internet says about Mr. Freed.

All this stuff makes me remember paperback spy novels I'd buy for a quarter and read three in a day. What are your thoughts on Freed? Would Bonnie Tyler hold out for him? 

Jarrett looks like the surface level winner of the Hold Out Award but you never know. Bonnie might prefer intellectuals. But then Jarrett also earned a PhD. He listens to classical music and enjoys reading. I wish he'd share his involvement in the Manson theater with us. IG Messages or wherever really. 

Imagine Jarrett and Freed waging war as younger men in this modern age via FB memes and blocking one another on Discord? Not as exciting. 


What will you do if Schreck, Starviego and sundry others were right all along? Tear your hair and rent your clothes? 


I'd like to say again that I do not have a dog in this crazy fight. I'm nothing more than a Gentry typing words while dreaming of my prized vittles each evening. I replace keyboards as I wear them out. 

My interest lies in the people involved. Their early foundational years. The character arcs. 

The fifty-nine existing Manson theories where every theorist is indeed the correct theorist and the competing theorists from the other teams in and around the Manson business are all a bunch of imbeciles and nincompoops is just not my bag, man. Like Sammy and the Satanists, I'm only here for the chicks. 

But I'll also say I viewed some FOIAs this week that make me want to pull my tinfoil hat from the closet shelf I placed in on long ago and dive right back into the madness. It's visceral I tell ya. Holy moly some of these guys. Crazytown.

And don't let me find Calkins' or McGann's names on any secret document regarding any secret squads investigating Geno Massaro and the Manson crew. You'll have to read about it every time Matt lets me post on this historic, vaunted blog. 

Monday, October 4, 2021

More Charlie Lies and Two Dummies Do A Dumb

Three dummies actually but one was never charged. Below is the best photograph you will ever see of Kathleen Maddox. Their family brand of crazy shows up in her later photos but here she looks more mischievous than irascible. I doubted this was even her, asked Patty, she asked someone else, and we found out together this is Kathleen's prison intake photo. 

Kathleen looks unconcerned. I'd be a nervous wreck but I probably place a higher value on my toasted Dave's Killer bread with Irish butter and whipped cream cheese so lovingly fortified with a couple of freshly ground coffees (lord have mercy) each morning before a nice bike ride. 

Next comes the uncharged dummy, Dummy #3. Rest assured she would've been in the slammer with Kathleen and Luther Maddox if they committed their crime today. Dummy #3's middle name is Ophelia. Not quite the social status afforded to the daughter of Polonius and possibly not as crazy as that Ophelia but then again Ophelia was a fictional character so who knows. 

Or maybe she's named after the goddess. I actually never thought of that until now. No worries. Just pick whichever origin story you like best and roll with it. That's all Manson scholarship is a lot of the time anyway amirite?

Our Ophelia is pretty but Art Ophelia will always be prettier. Unless you have like an Arbus but really that's more of a modern concept anyway. Millais' Ophelia is my favorite Ophelia since I know you're wondering. I cut my Photoshop teeth on this painting over and over in the years leading up to Y2K when the world was supposed to end. 

Oh, girl. Don't drown yourself. I know my graphics are awful but people occasionally tell me I'm a decent typist. My mom especially. And the friends I make read my posts because I define myself by forced compliments.  

I like them french-fried potaters mmhmm. 

Luther possibly used some of the robbery money at the barber. He should've waited a few days. The haircut would've been free. 


I haven't hopped into the Scott family yet. Not sure if I will. Some of you already have the info locked down in private trees and I know it. I see them. Let me in please and I will love you forever. 

Or if you think I'm a killer AND a typist you can tell Matt and he will tell me. 

As far as the Maddox's go, hold on we're pausing at nature vs. nurture again it's unavoidable, I don't see anything different in their history than I see in my own family history or any of the histories I come across in my genealogy work. 

Charlie's maternal grandfather's side of his family, the Maddox's and Carroll's, were in the USA for a good long while before the USA was even a country. They moved westward alongside the big glob moving westward and fought in every war and etc just like Charlie told us. He is a Son of the American Revolution and everything else all the way up to his birth. Relatives who are unaware they're related to Charlie are probably still getting deployed. 

Don't kid yourself. Charlie's story is an American one. He wasn't something other than us. He was us. 

Let's talk about Charlie's childhood. All of us collectively didn't want to deal with raising him, correct? 

Same for the thousands of unwanted little boys living the same awful life right now. Charlie was Kathleen's mess and today's kids are their own mothers' messes, bootstraps and all that, and none of it is ever our problem. 

We didn't kill anyone and neither should any of the killers from any of the eras ever. 

Rise, oh ye creams and creamettes! The folks across town aren't having problems rising. We're in the land of opportunity for crying out loud! 

And then we have the nerve to feign shock and disgust when one of those abandoned little boys emerges from our cages and institutions as a hardened adult who spits at our rules and comes right at us.

The shame. Sure we were busy but our busyness created Charlie. And Charlie was so angry about it he took some suckers down with him so he wouldn't be alone. 

Anyway. I'm doing that cart and horse thing again. Let's go back to the lies that put good-hearted dupes like Lynette Fromme into prison. 


As much as I can, anyway. Kathleen was a couple of months away from turning thirteen when her dad, Charles Milles Maddox, died at forty-seven from lobar pneumonia. Kathleen would've been in the fall of her 7th grade year if you're playing along from home in America.  

Charles Milles Maddox was a career railroad man after he got out of the army. He married nineteen year old Nan Ingram when he was twenty-two. They remained married until his early death. Same address. Four kids spaced every two years. Not quite the wild backdrop our Charlie wanted people to believe when he provided exclusive interviews to author Lynette Fromme for her book Reflexion

Fine. Whatever. When he wrote her letters. 

A year and a half after her dad died, Kathleen's older sister Aileen passed at just twenty. Pneumonia again. She was a business school graduate. According to her obit, Aileen was "very popular and well-liked by a wide circle of friends who are deeply shocked and grieved by the news of her untimely death."

Hmm. Doesn't appear super criminal-ish but hey I'm no Mike McGann. I could be missing something.

Again, Aileen earned her business school degree during the Great Depression. 

In case you're keeping score, that's one Maddox sibling removed from the equation. If you read Reflexion, you're aware that Charlie describes his family as such...  

For the most part, everyone believes him. Sure, researchers will call out Guinn over a well-worn prostitute comment and beat him to death with it but who goes farther? 

There's really no reason to anyway. It's easier to have a villain from the lower classes. Absolves us easier. They are animals. 

As usual, I'm using the kindle version of Fromme for easier searching. "Off to another aunt and uncle. Even as a child, I knew they were not smart (93)." 

Okay, one aunt is left. 

There's that word "popular" again. Maybe it meant criminal a century ago. Let's hire an etymologist.  

I don't know what happens to our man Cecil and his bow tie. He immediately drops off the map. Neither Cecil or Glenna look like they live in a shack and lack shoes like Charlie puts out there via his manipulative bullshit. 

Glenna remarries a guy named Bill who is an engineer for the railroad. Both Glenna and Bill attended college during the Great Depression. They have one child not fifteen. Like Nan and Charley Maddox, her and Bill live at the same address forever. 

Charlie likes to say people in his family had no teeth. I'd bet my teeth that most college educated people then and now have their teeth in their late thirties and early forties. 

If you keep reading on to the next page in Kindle Fromme, Charlie has drunk, toothless, uncle Bill acting abusive and doing an improv Boy Named Sue on him in front of Charlie's super-religious, Nazarene, grandmother, Nan. 


Maybe you've never been around Bible thumpers for real. It's possible you only think you have. Or perhaps you come from a bunch of dirty teeming Catholics, or Buddhists in their robes, lots of choices, so I will stop what I'm doing and say this to you clearly. 

At no point in the history of holy rollers, I'm from down on that big river and my family is from the hills and I've seen Jethro take handfuls of floppy, wiggly snakes from heavy boxes while a skeleton in an old suit next to him froths at the mouth and believes he's speaking ancient secret languages so please hear me out. There is nary a single religious hillbilly grandmother who would not remove her Bible from her purse and smack the life out of Uncle Bill's skull on the charge of day drinking in front of children alone. Not to mention tormenting a child while drunk. 

Alcohol does not exist in that world in any acceptable way. Not even a single drop. Corn liquor and the devil fight nightly battles with Wesley and Jesus. Sometimes Calvin helps.  

Anyway, and just as a quick aside, Charlie wraps up his charming moonshine story and right away says, "I've never had no one to hold to. The warden, the judge -- they were God to me until I caught them lying (93). "

His comment is so layered. He completely got me. I can't not have empathy for the dude. 

As a critical reader, I notice Fromme arranges her book like that here and there. Did she know Charlie lied on that level? Is she acknowledging it? I probably read too much into things. 

Next page. Charlie is in court. "Then I ran right into my aunt coming to take me back and on the train again out of Kentucky and on to West Virginia to the prison where mom and Luther were (94)." 

And just so we're together on this point, the aunt who retrieves Charlie is Glenna who he said was not smart. All three remaining Maddox siblings are accounted for and Glenna seems to me like she does indeed care about Charlie. 

I know others disagree and think Charlie comes from a long line of criminals. That can be totally true with the Scott's but I need evidence outside of "so-and-so told me" to get me off this hill when it comes to the Maddox's and Ingram's. Until then, I'm going to think dad died too early and mom lost control of two of her kids when the traumas of losing their father and sister and everything that goes with it created rebellion inside of them. 

I'm possibly missing the mark here. Let's see how Luther and Kathleen did on their famous crime spree of 1939. 


Sorry. One odd fact first. Luther and Kathleen committed their crime August 1, 1939. Charlie shot Bernard Crowe August 1, 1969. Yes, I'm aware that Crowe date is also out there as July 1, 1969. 

But Bo knows Manson and I go with Bo. We collectively owe that dude so much. Thanks for housing the research year after year, Bo. 

I wonder if Charlie knew about the dates coinciding at the time? ooEEoo. 


That's not exactly how it went down but the gist is there. I grabbed the clipping from this great post from Deb. There is nothing I will ever find online that she has not found already. The article is one of  the shortest of the available options and the deets are almost all in there. Probably why she chose it. 


August 1, 1939
North Charleston, WVA. 

Kathleen (Charlie's mom) and Ophelia are hanging out down by the bars in North Charleston. Kathleen is twenty-one and Ophelia is six years older. They remain into the evening. The report you can print from Deb's above linked article is blurry and you can correct me if you're better at deciphering bold blurry typewriter courier font from 1939 but it looks like Kathleen and Ophelia step into a little dairy convenience store to buy some "cheese" at 10 pm. The word could also be choices or a million other things that start with "c" but cheese seems likely. 

Immediately prior to entering what might be named the Valley Doll Dairy, they meet their victim, Frank S. Martin, in the street. Kathleen says in the investigative report that she thought Frank would move on while they were inside the store but he was waiting for the girls when they exited. 

I wonder if Frank had any premonitions to flee while he waited? More likely, he stood swaying and salivating while his little general whispered sweet promises of easy conquests. I pictured him smoothing down his hair. 

The trio of new friends chat for a moment before Frank invites Kathleen and Ophelia to Dan's Beer Parlor on State Street, which was just a short walk from the store. They drink beer at Dan's until approximately 11:20 pm. Frank, possibly already tipsy considering the hour, makes the mistake of flashing his money to the girls when he pays for a round of drinks. 

Frank, Frank, Frank. Not many years away from tripling Kathleen in age but nevertheless thinking he could get some tail from her and or her friend on a random Tuesday night while his wife and kids waited at home. His routine appears kinda practiced at this point but Frankie baby is forty-nine years old and about to find out how much things have changed in the decades since he first debuted in the barroom olympics. 

The girls use the restroom together like ladies have forever. Unbeknownst to Frank he has fallen into the company of a pair of vipers. Over the sound of flushing toilets, Kathleen tells Ophelia that "it's awful that some of these old people had to have all the money" (Kathleen Maddox Statement Linked Above). 

"I said to Ophelia that I thought I would have part of it too (KM Statement)."  

According to Kathleen, Ophelia says something that is blurry but looks like, "I hope I die." That confuses me tbh. I could be misreading her statement or "I hope I die" might be a colloquialism for all I know. After that, Ophelia says, "I feel like reaching out," and does a quick snatching gesture at the air. 

Kathleen says both girls laughed. This prompts Kathleen to ask, "Suppose we call Luther?" Her question hangs in the air unanswered as they return to the booth they shared with Frank Martin. 

Does Kathleen sit down and realize she's acting like an asshole and decide to leave innocent awful Frank alone? Fuck no. Instead, she casually mentions to Ophelia that another girlfriend has told her about the availability of a room nearby. 

Operation Honeypot kicks off and Frank falls right into the trap. Kathleen says he asks her how much the room costs?  

$4.50," She replies, batting her innocent eyelids in his wolfish direction. 

"Do you have the money, my dear?"

"Why no, silly old poor little me still needs $3.50, Frankie-poo. I have but a single dollar." 

(I'm making the dialogue up as I go based on memories of how dames talked in Cagney and Marx Bros movies. You can add your own dialogue in your mind if something works better. I don't judge. I just type.)

Regardless, Frankie-poo peels three fresh greenbacks from his big fat knot, takes two quarters out of his coin purse, and hands it all over while pink cartoon love hearts emerge from the top of his head and flutter above him like adorable little birds. 

The game is already over, friends. Frank is the only person involved who doesn't know it yet.

Kathleen soon after sneaks off to the phone to call Luther. Guess where he is? 

Yep. Stupid and toothless Glenna and Bill's. Glenna answers. Poor Glenna. She puts Luther on the phone when her younger sisters asks for him. Kathleen tells Luther to meet her, Ophelia, and Frank at the Littlepage Service Station at the Two Mile Bridge. Littlepage might be wrong but it's Littlesomething for sure. 

They head over to the gas station. Luther is dropped off soon after. Kathleen says Luther got out of a car but didn't see who was driving or what kind of car it was because of the darkness at the late hour. 


Luther hops into Frank's 1932 Packard convertible with the waiting trio. This isn't Frank's car but it's the same make, model year, and color. Not sure about the white walls but they pop right off the screen so they're staying. 

Straight away, our crew rolls to the Blue Moon Beer Parlor where they drink and dance. 

Here are some 1939 dances in this incredible restored and colorized video I found on YouTube from the 1939 World's Fair. I loved the video so much I watched it for three straight days. There's even a tender, forbidden moment the camera catches and refuses to move on from that is so powerful it almost moved me to tears. All the swoons. 

I'll bet you a million dollars that I do not have that Kathleen Maddox was a good dancer. Somebody had to teach Charlie how to make those sparks fly from his fingertips, right? Luther could probably cut a rug too. 

While they are dancing together, Kathleen says that Luther asks if Frank really has money. She affirms and he's all okay it's on then let's get paid little sis. 


I know you want your money shot so let's get to it. Plans for an all-night party are made. Luther and Kathleen convince Frank to take them home to pick up some clothes and etc while leaving Ophelia in the Blue Moon to await their return. Frank doesn't know it but Ophelia is about to cut out as soon as they leave. 

Did I forget to mention that everywhere these dummies went that night they were known by the employees and customers? Yep. Shitting where they eat as they say. Let's see if that mattered. 

I'm not sure how they got Frank to do it, but Luther and Kathleen have him pull off near that big dirty river and Luther exits the car. Maybe he said he had to pee. Not sure. Doesn't matter. 

Luther walks around the convertible to where Frank is sitting. He tells Franks to get out of the car in a quiet, steady voice. 

Frank laughs. 

Luther says he ain't playin. 

Frank complies. 

This is a robbery. Gimme your shit, Frank. 

Now, the amount is always retold as $35 but Frank actually had $27 in his wallet. That's almost $532 in today's American money. Frank was rolling around with a grip on a Tuesday night, wasn't he? 

(And don't be down in the comments talking about how you always have 3k or even 30k on you. It's only going to make me think your penis is small or create some other negative assumption inside my head and same goes for everyone else who reads your comment. Pro tip for pedants.)  

I have to watch my negative comments toward readers btw. Matt threatened to dock my spending account over it. 

How will I be able to afford Packards with whitewalls if that happens? Is my Charlene Cafritz out there? If you are please remember I'm scared of devil stuff and also don't like hippie smells or even lifestyles where I have to go places with other people and order from servers and fake haha and interact and wear pants with buttons or shoes or any of that omg. 


Apologies. I've only had coffee and brownies today and I am flying while trying to reel in this missed deadline. 

Here's where I go from not giving a fuck about this robbery to thinking Luther is a piece of shit. After robbing Frank of his billfold and keys, there were no phones to take in those days, Luther blasts Frank over the head with a large ketchup bottle filled with salt that he pilfered from the Blue Moon. Since this happens near Pittsburgh, PA, I'm going with Heinz. They make the best ketchup anyway. 


Kathleen hears the bottle break over Frank's noggin. Frank falls to the ground, out cold, and ends up a ditch next to the road. Luther walks back to the car, climbs into the driver's seat, and those cold-hearted motherfuckers drive away and leave Frank for dead. 

Ophelia arrives back at "home" the same time Luther and Kathleen do. Together, they go out and dump Frank's car on a side street, walk to a restaurant, get a cab to a local spot that has cabins, rent either one or two, and settle in for the night. 

Before we move on, let that sink in. They didn't even try to sell the Packard or hide it until they could. Criminals do things like sell the car. That's what crime is kinda. Essentially, they stepped over $2k in today's money to make $500. 

Fortunately, a night watchman for a company where one of Frank's sons later has a career sees Frank crumple to the ground and is able to help. The law arrives by one a.m. in the form of Troopers Musgrave and Starcher. Their investigation begins in the early hours of August 2, 1939. 

Luther left the ketchup bottle at the crime scene. He'd told Frank his name was John Ellis so at this point it's still John Ellis' ketchup bottle. 

This all takes place at a railroad stop btw. Same company Luther and Kathleen's dad worked for and where toothless engineer Uncle Bill works at the time. All class and gratitude these two. 

By one the next afternoon, Troopers Musgrave and Starcher (accompanied by Frank) are in the beer parlors asking around for Kathleen and Ophelia. Because the girls are locals, everyone knows them. The bartenders. The other drunks. The guy who delivers the pretzels. 

Even the bar owner at the Blue Moon who immediately went to clean their booth after they left the night before and noticed the missing ketchup bottle. 

I said the postmaster too, right? 

Yep. Morons. 

The investigation doesn't last two hours. The troopers find Kathleen and Ophelia together at home, I'm guessing Glenna's place, Frank id's them, they get arrested, and the party moves downtown. 

Kathleen immediately admits to everything and gives up her brother and Ophelia. She says she doesn't know where Luther is but they'd all been day drinking that afternoon at the Daniel Boone Bar BQ on US 60 near Snow Hill, WVA. 

The cops head straightaway to the Daniel Boone Bar BQ and of course Luther is there. Let's go, Luther. Okay you got me how'dya figure it out. Shut yer mouth, boy. Slam slam slam go the police car doors and they drive away. 

By dinnertime, Luther and Ophelia have given full confessions. 

By 7 pm, Frank is back in his abandoned Packard with only a sore head and an angry wife as punishments for his immoral deeds. 

There is nothing in the police report about the ketchup bottle being used as a fake gun. Luther is matter-of-fact when describing the robbery in his confession. Not quite something I think a criminal would do but what do I know. 

I even asked my cousin Jackie Buns. His real name is a lot like that btw and he's not much of a fan of me calling him that lol. Jackie is a forensic genealogy wizard and I'm always pulling him in on my searches. Anyway, I asked if he thought they admitted to everything so quickly to keep Glenna out of the mix. With a completely emotionless face he sighed and said, "Imagine how many rides she probably gave those two. She likely had no idea what was going on."

Every time I remember that I smile. Jackie cracks me up. 

We're almost there, I promise. Luther gets ten years and Kathleen gets five. Ophelia somehow escapes justice. In his statement, I do give credit to Luther for trying to put the crime solely on himself. He possibly saved Ophelia. 

Luther also breaks out of prison at one point. Guess where he goes? 

Good job. 

Glenna's house where she quickly talks Luther into turning himself in. Toothless, stupid Glenna. Who btw is living in the same place with the same people just like always. 

Eventually, Luther serves his time and is freed. Unfortunately, his $27 robbery turns out to be a life sentence. He dies shortly after returning home from prison to Glenna's house. He appears to have turned his life around. 

Let's put this to bed. We've all seen the same photos. None of these people look like the Hillbilly Bears. They attended college while people starved in city streets. Their environments appear from the outside at least as decently stable. 

Kathleen and Luther immediately admitted to their crime. Criminals don't do that unless there's some benefit in it for them. Denying things and hiring lawyers lessens punishments. Every criminal knows as much. 

Luther's sister talked him into turning himself in when he ran away from the prison. 

The Maddox's were not criminals. Kathleen and Luther went off the rails and paid the price. Charlie paid the price too. Frank Martin got away with it. Ophelia I followed until the end of her life. She never married or had a family. 

There's an interview out there where Charlie says Kathleen committed her crime to feed him. I was going to call that another lie, it surely is, but thinking about him saying that makes me feel awful for him. 

Everything, all these things we type and argue about, it all boils down to Charlie's mom had her own issues, she didn't take care of him, we didn't take care of him and MANY others in this milieu, and we are where we are because of it. 

The rest of it is just plot points really. 

Anyway. I'll see you in the comments. I'm about to lightly nuke another brownie, run my coffee grinder, and start typing up my next things. 


Oh! An announcement! 

If you'd like to take part in a discussion next weekend hosted by this blog and the members of The Paulcast, I believe we are going live at 1030 pm EST Sunday. We will publish a post here a few hours before the show. 

The topic is Karate Dave. Because every story needs a hero.