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.