Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Bobby Beausoleil Was Denied Parole Last Friday


 Bobby is seventy-four years old. He was granted parole in 2019 but Governor Newsome denied the recommendation. His goose is likely cooked. 

52 comments:

tobiasragg said...

No surprises here.

Most of these people have their own "thing" that prevents them from achieving parole. Watson's is Jesus. Krenwinkel, denial.

With Bobby, it seems to be ego.

Rot.

Dan S said...

Jesus is not Watson's parole preventer

Dan S said...

Should've been out 20 years ago; compared to all other precedents

G. Greene-Whyte said...

My guess is Sassy Bottoms likely came back to haunt Bobby just like child trafficking is now Krenwinkel's fault. Every problem du jour is their problem.

Dan S said...

Bummer to Cupid to stupid. Sassy Bottoms looks like norman rockwell painted it

tobiasragg said...

It's not a "problem du jour" in this case. In his last parole hearing - maybe a couple of the last ones, I can't quite remember - the board was rather correctly calling Bobby out on his apparent exploitation of his infamy.

The only part(s) of this story that I know are the ones covered in the parole hearing dialogue, but it seemed like his wife had hooked up with a person - an art dealer or promoter or someone like that - to do art shows and sales with his name serving as the primary "hook" - to borrow a Tex Watson term.

The board members had ads and online posts promoting these events and they confronted him on it. Beausoleil for his part plead ignorance, stating that he had no control over what was happening out here, in the free world. There was a lot of back-and-forth on this, and finally one of the board members was like "look - this is YOUR wife we are talking about, here. Obviously, these people are not obtaining your paintings out of thin air. Get the situation under control."

Apparently, he did. These days, on his splashy, early-90s style website, he offers no artwork for sale. Rather, he provides the works (which are stuck in a kind of late 70's era Waterbeds & Stuff stoner mindset) as free, downloadable pdfs for those who are stoned enough to have interest.

ColScott said...

Toby
The stuff you are talking about was like 2000- I was there and Jene was there too. Bobby knew. VERY long ago. But that's not why he is being denied parole. Nor is it ego. You just cannot be the guy who lets a "Manson" out on your watch. Cannot happen.

Exploiting your notoriety is not illegal nor is it a "non Parole" offense.

So where does this all leave us?

Bobby should have been out in the nineties. If you asked me what should keep him in is all the dumb shit he said after he was prosecuted -" I'll get you all etc" but I think that shit is forgotten.

But if you think about it, the guy had a hung jury first time out- thought he ws gonna skate. Must eat him up every single day.

Ajerseydevil said...

I just recently read about him claiming to be a better guitar player then Zappa during there time together that's reason enough to keep him locked up
I also heard that Krenwinkle has cancer has anybody else heard this

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Devil - I haven't heard that I don't think.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Col - Bobby maybe saw daylight for a second cross examining Mary, too. Katz said Bobby was doing well as his own lawyer. Keene was like hold up lunch break.

ColScott said...

Green

HAH!

It was a crazy time

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Col - Are you willing to share the lie you caught Bobby in that soured your relationship?

ColScott said...

Happily but so I can be accurate what are you referencing specifically? Obviously something I said but what?

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Well, I think I noticed while obsessively reading your blog in giant binges being a late arrival and all that you said you were working on a project with Bobby at one point but found out he lied to you about something and you shut it down. I might not have all the details correct. It's been several years. Maybe I even read it here.

grimtraveller said...

ColScott said:

Exploiting your notoriety is not illegal nor is it a "non Parole" offense

This may well be true, legally, but let's face is, neither the parole board or the Guv'nor's office, always bat on a clear wicket, when it comes to legality. They've used Watson and Beausoleil's usage of their notoriety against them multiple times. And in Watson's case, he was trying to use that notoriety for good; well, as good as he can muster, because sometimes, he just appears dodgy !

if you think about it, the guy had a hung jury first time out

The power of the name of Charles Manson.
Mind you, even though he did get a hung jury, fact is, he committed murder. He's always known it and he has a hard time because he did not plead guilty at the time, denied it for years, while coming out with all those stupid statements he came out with, then capping it all with his ever-changing Mescaline-Hinman tale that's as convoluted as a season of the show, "Damages."
It's way more amazing that he was granted parole a couple of years back, than all the times he's been knocked back. One can't help but think that if he'd played it straight, even from 1976 when his story first changed, he might well be out by now. After all, what Steve Grogan did was far more heinous, in that he set he out to kill, and he never admitted it until years later ~ and he had some child related episodes against his name.

prefeteria said...

ColScott - About the Beausoleil vest. How did that vest manage to stay in his possession in between the time it was sewn and through the incarceration? I thought his wife Barbara didn't come on the scene until well after he was jailed.

grimtraveller said...

Dan S said:

Jesus is not Watson's parole preventer

In the last 4 or 5 years, both Matt and David have articulated something that, for me, encapsulates part of the thinking that has existed on a number of Watson boards and is why I disagree with you.
Matt has, on occasion, made the point about Watson believing what he does as a Christian, being probably the only way he can live with himself and that's, on the surface, quite an understanding approach. But he also dismisses the reality of God and thinks the whole matter is a load of shit, so in effect, he's saying that regardless of what it may ostensibly doing for Watson, it's not real, so ultimately, it isn't making any tangible difference to reality.
But Watson is adamant that it is reality, though a reality that one can't see or perceive just like that.
David made the point a while back, that he'd be more inclined to give credence to Watson, if he would go through secular therapy, like many prisoners before him. Something that is much more easily measurable by, and acceptable to, the secular authorities. In effect, saying that Watson's faith can't really be trusted, certainly not in regard to whether or not he's ready to rejoin society after brutally murdering 7 people.
We've had evidence in hearings of parole board members telling Watson to his face that they don't share his religious leanings, his Christian faith, nor any sense that God almighty has wrought, or is wringing, any significant changes in him. In his very first hearing back in '78, Stephen Kay more or less shat on his religious faith, stating that the Manson Family were very religious ¬> in other words, cleverly conflating any statement he ever makes about Jesus, God, demons, sin etc, with Charles Manson. So even though lip service is paid to him, the real subtext is: you're still operating outside of a system of our choosing or that we can measure with the means we have at our disposal and choosing to operate out of something that we do not recognize or can gauge.
In other words, he can't be trusted. There's no reality there that they can touch, read, glean understandable answers from. And from their point of view, they're right.
Yet, Watson goes to every hearing and says God has set him free, made him aware of his darkness, etc. The very thing that has made him free within his own being, is the thing that goes a mighty long way towards keeping him in jail. Of course, it's by no means the only thing. It couldn't be. It works in conjunction with other matters, but kind of overshadows all of them because he is, in effect, trying to get them to exercise the same level of faith in him that he is stating that he has in God and that's just not realistic. I don't even think it would legally permissable.
But he keeps doing it.
And they keep saying "5 year denial." And he cannot, at this point, change it, without undermining everything he has said from 1978 until now. Which, if he did that, would keep him in the same situation.
So actually, in a very real way, at least to me, Jesus is his parole preventer. It only really matters on an earthly plane, if he wants to get out of prison.

beauders said...

JerseyDevil, where did you hear Krenwinkel has cancer?

Unknown said...

No soup for YOU, Bobby Bee!!

tobiasragg said...

"There's no reality there that they can touch, read, glean understandable answers from. And from their point of view, they're right."

I think there is a lot of truth in this.

I know lots of people-of-faith. I imagine you, dear reader, do too. All of the ones I know are what we would call "normal people." They raise imperfect kids, they eat fast food, they go to work and they are comfortable in a sports bar.

Watson does not seem to be operating on that level. It is impossible to know this, of course, because we don't really KNOW the former Tex and he exists in an artificial, highly-structured environment. From all we see of him, Watson seems to have surrendered himself to Jesus with just the same over-zeal that he applied to his Manson followership. Even when he stepped away from Charlie and the family temporarily, the Gospel of Charlie still resonated in his head.

There IS a reason that Manson selected Tex on the 8th, rather than, say, Bruce or Scramblehead.

Watson's body has grown older, but his mind has not. At least as far as I've been able to discern.

Same went for Manson and Atkins, frankly.

Ajerseydevil said...

Hey beauders it's been awhile
Someone posted it on Instagram

grimtraveller said...

tobiasragg said:

All of the ones I know are what we would call "normal people." They raise imperfect kids, they eat fast food, they go to work and they are comfortable in a sports bar

Well, sometimes. Some wouldn't touch fast food or be seen dead in any place where there was booze.
But those that are serious, certainly about Christ, while existing on many of the same planes of "normal" people, do so in the recognition that there is one plane that they cannot exist on, with those that don't believe what they do. I guess, in much the same way that musicians exist on a different plane and hear music differently to those that are just consumers of music, even if knowledgable.

Watson does not seem to be operating on that level

Over the last 37 years, I've known a number of Christians, in one point or another, who resemble him. I might even have been there in some ways, myself, back in the mid 80s.

Ajerseydevil said:

I just recently read about him claiming to be a better guitar player then Zappa during there time together that's reason enough to keep him locked up

😅 😂 🤣
Even Bob might laugh heartily at that one !

Dan S said...

His being a stabby cipher is what keeps him locked up.

Gorodish said...

ColScott typed:

You just cannot be the guy who lets a "Manson" out on your watch. Cannot happen.

Indeed. Proving this point is one Danny Wayne Townsend, who was discussed in a post on this blog around 2 years ago. Danny is the brother of Herb Townsend Jr., who was arrested at the August 16th, 1969 Spahn Ranch raid. He and his buddy Fred Mendez Medina stabbed two female teenage hitchhikers to death in April 1972. Danny and Fred were crashing at the Fountain Of The World, at Ann Todd's house. She was the mother of post-TLB hanger-on Hugh Rocky Todd. The girls were stabbed many times in a barbiturate-induced Tex Watson-style frenzy. Danny even remarked after the killings, when asked why they stabbed the girls so many times, that "maybe they'll think the Manson Family did it". Three other friends of theirs were also involved, but skated in exchange for testimony. Danny and Fred were sentenced to life in May 1973. I believe Fred may have died around 2004, but Danny was still in prison as of 2020. He had been turned down for parole 16 times. Well lo and behold, I was scouring the CDCR parole schedules looking for an unrelated case, and I discovered that Danny Wayne Townsend was granted parole on June 3, 2021, after 48 years in the slammer. He's no longer found in the inmate locator, so Newsom must have given him the green light. I'm guessing nobody told the parole board or the guv about his Manson Family remark. Hitching your star to Charlie is definitely the kiss of death for any parole hopes.
(Clem seemingly slipped through the cracks in the pre-Doris Tate, pre-internet days. He had something that they wanted, the location of the corpus delicti, and had a judge championing his cause).

grimtraveller said...

Dan S said:

His being a stabby cipher is what keeps him locked up

I think you miss the point, Dan. His being a stabby cipher is what brings him to parole hearings. It is almost universally acknowledged among the board members and LE that apart from accepting some fruit from a member of the jail staff back in something daft, like 1973, he has a damn near blameless jail record over almost half a century. You would struggle to not step out of line in 50 years, most of us would. Furthermore, plenty of people that have committed murder have been paroled. Why ? Why has it not just been the case, that parole boards look at what they did and say "forget it, pal !" There's a lot more going on than that.
It's fairly clear that Watson gives them the chills. He has tried as hard as it is possible, to show them that he has changed, not just since yesterday, but since 1975. But whereas Leslie can point to tangible things that demonstrate her changes, Watson can't. Leslie can talk about her teenage drug use, her countercultural leanings in urban 1960s USA, her parents' divorce shattering her world, the games her parents used to play in pitching her, the child, as a confidant against one another, her relationship, running off to the Haight and pregnancy with Bobby Mackie, her enforced abortion in the days it was illegal, and this in supposedly right-thinking middle class suburbia etc and how this contributed towards a mindset that Charles Manson was able to hone and refine into where it ended up on August 9th & 10th '69. She can openly speak of how she was ready and willing to kill.
And then she can point to all the lectures Karlene Faith took her through, with feminists and Black teachers, showing her the error of her ways; she can talk about her guilt and how it led to anorexia, she can point to what she has done to co~operate with LE etc, all of which is documentable.
Watson can do hardly any of that. The board is at a loss how he got to the point where in 2 nights he killed 7 people. And as he refuses to undergo what they are comfortable with, in terms of therapy, and goes instead with Jesus, in the cruellest of paradoxes, he continually ties his own hands. And because he can't remember certain things, he tries to fill in gaps with stuff he does not know for sure and I think it's pretty obvious the board members don't buy much of what he says, because he has contradicted himself quite a bit ~ and been called out for it.
Personally, as a fellow Christian, I think he has the better deal. But only because we happen to believe that life doesn't end here. And he's old. He doesn't have much further to go in this life.
Yes, if he hadn't murdered, he wouldn't be facing all this. But there's more to him continually being incarcerated than just that, and his allegiance to Christ is a big part of that.

grimtraveller said...


Gorodish said:

ColScott typed:
You just cannot be the guy who lets a "Manson" out on your watch. Cannot happen.


Indeed.


I don't know when the Guv'nor in California was given the power to veto parole board decisions {1988 ? Did it exist in 1966 ?} but George Deukmejian, who was a hard, tough on crime guv'nor, was in the seat when Clem was paroled.

Proving this point is one Danny Wayne Townsend....the brother of Herb Townsend Jr., who was arrested at the August 16th, 1969 Spahn Ranch raid...Danny even remarked after the killings, when asked why they stabbed the girls so many times, that "maybe they'll think the Manson Family did it". Three other friends of theirs were also involved, but skated in exchange for testimony.....I'm guessing nobody told the parole board or the guv about his Manson Family remark. Hitching your star to Charlie is definitely the kiss of death for any parole hopes

I think much of that is a stretch, at best. None of those people involved had anything to do with the Manson Family. Cultural and criminal references are not the same as being.

Clem seemingly slipped through the cracks in the pre-Doris Tate, pre-internet days. He had something that they wanted, the location of the corpus delicti, and had a judge championing his cause

It is often mooted that Clem got through the system because he led LE to the body of Shorty, but it was another 8 years after that event that he was granted parole.
I actually wouldn't be at all surprised if his release is what galvanized Stephen Kay a few years later to talk Doris into getting involved in opposing parole for that crowd. He wasn't very happy that Clem got out and, rather like when Leslie got a hung jury in her second trial after once having been sentenced to death, I think he felt some drastic measures were needed to prevent a momentum of positive parole decisions. In Leslie's case, the charges were changed. In the others' cases, he needed some serious emotional firepower on his side. He got it.
But it shouldn't be forgotten that at the height of Doris' "powers", there was no internet either.
But overall, I agree that in this day and age, anything that could be made to look bad against a politician will be by their opponents, and so today's Western politicians are very careful about what they put their names to.

tobiasragg said...

A lot of folks say that, had these crimes not been associated with the name "Manson", the murderers would have achieved parole by now. This may be part of the equation, but it is not as cut-and-dried as that. I stumbled upon this enlightening observation this morning:

"Every year, over 1800 of these lifers go before the Board of Parole Hearings, and
around 75% are denied parole." (Stanford Law Review, Vol. 66:173).

Can you imagine 1800 of these parole hearings each and every year? And can you imagine where in the comparative heap these four particular murderers lay? If 75% of your garden-variety lifers (mostly, but not exclusively, murderers) are denied each year, what result might we expect for these especially brutal offenders?

Which brings us to Lawrence, which I think weighs most heavily on these Manson-related denials. Susan Melanson, past CA Parole Commissioner, said in denying Krenwinkel a few hearings ago:

"...a commitment offense may continue to be predictive of current danger if after decades of maturation, if it was especially brutal . . . and the fact that the victims were allegedly tortured. They were bound and threatened and then repeatedly stabbed to death .
. . The notorious murders for which the petitioner was so heinous and atrocious or cruel that her due process rights are not violated by the denial of parole based on the gravity of the offense."

Gravity of the offense, in and of itself, trumps age and Manson and imperfect childhoods. "Gravity of the offense" never goes away.

Dan S said...

Being a cipher is what makes him so dangerous. The nature of the crime IS the point anyway. Too heinous (that's the stabby part) and by a guy who does anything to please his peer group (that's the cipher) part.
It seems a lot of maniac killers do well in prison under the structure.e.g. brudos, alcala, hierens

AndyTaylor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AndyTaylor said...

Grim makes some great points about Tex choosing the religious path instead of the secular. But there's no reason he can't do both the religious path and the secular path if he really wanted out. Weighing heavily on the board's decision and the governor's is the fact that Tex killed SEVEN people in two nights. Even though there is credible speculation that he knew at least 2 of the victims, the official account is that these were complete strangers. Even if we accept the idea that (in California) murderers serve at least ten years before they can be potentially released, that sees Tex being released in 2042-ish. I think the parole board is right in keeping this guy where he is on body count alone. He practices an unmeasurable belief system that has broad, personal interpretations and an extremely bloody, death-soaked history, simultaneously refusing to participate in any sort of recognized therapy that will increase his chances of release. He's still the kid from 1969 who insists on accepting a reality based in fantasy which basically means he's unchanged in the parole board's mind.

tobiasragg said...

While credibility lies in the eye of the beholder, there is nothing to suggest that Watson knew any of the seven people he offed.

AndyTaylor said...

tobiasragg, you're correct there. Although the operative term is "credible speculation." Ed Sanders wrote that Tex had been to the Cielo house and was a drug dealer as were Frykowski and (to a much lesser extent) Sebring. And, according to the girls who went to Cielo with Watson on August 8, he told them they were going to the house Melcher used to live in because he knew the layout of the house. Speculation, indeed, but so much of this case is speculation including the evidence presented in court.

tobiasragg said...

Yes, Watson had been in the living room of Cielo once and as far as the front gate perhaps another time - but this was when Melcher was living in the home, long before any of the victims were involved with the place.

And the fact that both Watson and possibly Frykowski were dealing isn't a possible indicator of any sort of relationship. It's not like both were attending the annual drug dealer convention at the same time or anything like that:)

In other words: speculation, yes - but not even close to credibility.

grimtraveller said...

tobiasragg said:

"Every year, over 1800 of these lifers go before the Board of Parole Hearings, and around 75% are denied parole."
Can you imagine 1800 of these parole hearings each and every year? And can you imagine where in the comparative heap these four particular murderers lay?


I think that's a really good point. Naturally, there are minutiae in every individual case, and we, by dint of our interest, focus on the minutiae of the particular perps in these set of parole hearings ~ as do the parole boards and those that come to oppose any possible parole granting.

"Gravity of the offense" never goes away

True. But it's fairly clear that there is an unconscious or even conscious league table in the minds of many concerned, including the Guv'nors that get to have the final say in a positive result for the parolee.

Dan S said:

Being a cipher is what makes him so dangerous....a guy who does anything to please his peer group (that's the cipher) part

Except that this has not been the case with Charles Watson since he jumped ship from the Family freighter in 1969. Where has there been any evidence in the last 50+ years that he's been trying to please his peer group ? I don't see it. Unless, of course, you count all these parole boards as the peers he's trying to please...😱

It seems a lot of maniac killers do well in prison under the structure

Over a 52-year period ? And then is there much evidence that after half a century, they've come out and gone back to Maniacking again ?
Watson showed no real signs of any violent inclination before 8th August 1969. He wasn't even accepted by the army !!

AndyTaylor said:

But there's no reason he can't do both the religious path and the secular path if he really wanted out

If you were a Christian with understanding of the world you simultaneously live in but have left, you'd understand why that statement doesn't really jibe.

Weighing heavily on the board's decision and the governor's is the fact that Tex killed SEVEN people in two nights

True, but it might be a different story if he had jumped through 50 years of hoops that they've set up for him to jump through. He, in effect, has, by his actions, shown that he thinks his way is better. That does not sit well with people who have the say in whether you get to leave jail !

Even though there is credible speculation that he knew at least 2 of the victims

I don't think the speculation is remotely credible. Anyone can speculate. As I said to Manson Mythos in 2015, not once has anyone ever come forward and connected Watson with either Frykowski or Sebring. Their first contact with each other was their last.


I think the parole board is right in keeping this guy where he is on body count alone

I agree. Ironically, I'd've said the same thing about Charlie. And Pat faces pretty much the same body count, at least, legally.

He practices an unmeasurable belief system

It's not really unmeasurable to those being changed within it. But it is for many people that don't share it, whose task is to decide whether to let a 7 time murderer out of prison, especially when his stories show marked signs of change !

that has an extremely bloody, death-soaked history

Careful. One could say exactly the same thing about America, past & present. And so many other nations, systems and philosophies that parade themselves as good, right and noble.

who insists on accepting a reality based in fantasy

Ouch !
However, recognizing your own flaws and opening yourself up to God to iron those out, over the course of one's life, isn't such a bad thing.

which basically means he's unchanged in the parole board's mind

Even though many of the members haven't said this, I think it is an accurate representation of where many of them have stood, and continue to do so.

grimtraveller said...


AndyTaylor said:

Ed Sanders wrote that Tex had been to the Cielo house and was a drug dealer

It is no secret Watson had been to the house. If he had been there when someone else lived there, how does that connect him with the present resident ?

as were Frykowski and (to a much lesser extent) Sebring

Frykowski was a taker of drugs, that was looking to get into drug dealing, hence his meeting with the Canadian dealer the day before his murder. He wasn't yet the finished article, according to all the evidence.
Sebring seems to have been someone who could pass coke onto friends. That's hardly drug dealing. He was much less of a drug dealer than the friendly neighbourhood chemist !

according to the girls who went to Cielo with Watson on August 8, he told them they were going to the house Melcher used to live in because he knew the layout of the house

Look at that the other way around. The fact that he was open and clear with them about this, indicates he knew his way around the house ~ but not who was actually there. "The house Terry Melcher used to live in..."
And frankly, anyone trying to tie Watson to Frykowski is always going to have to do serious gymnastics with Frykowski's 2nd statement, "Who are you and what do you want ?" Have you ever noticed that not a soul ever addresses this ?
As for a Sebring prior connection, why in the world would Watson send Sadie to go and bring him out if he knew him ? He had a gun, he had a knife. I think he'd go and get Jay himself if he knew him. It would make no difference to Watson if he knew he was going to kill him.

so much of this case is speculation including the evidence presented in court

There was some speculation presented in court, for sure. And you know what ? Bugliosi pretty much always said when he was speculating.
That's not what you're talking about though, is it ? So what are you referring to specifically ?

Dan S said...

Uh the Christians ate his be peer group ( i like the swipe typos and I'm leaving them!

grimtraveller said...

Yes.....and no.
Certainly not in the way you're trying to portray it.

Dan S said...

Yes it is. The prison and it's church is his frat and he rose to the top eagerly following and doing more than he was told.

Doug said...

Bummer...Bob

grimtraveller said...


Dan S said:

Yes it is. The prison and it's church is his frat and he rose to the top eagerly following and doing more than he was told

Sorry Dan, old bean. You've got that wrong. His old time frat and the Family were choices he made to be part of. A totally different mentality from that, which he would find in the prison and in the church. Now, I'm not at all saying that jails and churches don't have people {maybe even many people} that are seeking to impress their peers. There's no grouping of people anywhere, at any point in history where that isn't a "thing." If you look hard enough, it's happened on this blog at points in its existence. It happens in government. In sports teams. Among the film making fraternity. In bands and studios and schools and within refuse collection teams, etc, etc.
If you look at Watson during his time in prison, there are some things that may not have changed that greatly from his pre~incarceration persona ~ but being a "follow fashion monkey" in the way he was in the 60s, with all that went with that, has. Many would actually argue that rather than being the follower trying to please those around him so he can be in with the big guns, he has taken a more insidious approach to existence and survival.....

shoegazer said...

tobiasragg said...

"Yes, Watson had been in the living room of Cielo once and as far as the front gate perhaps another time - but this was when Melcher was living in the home, long before any of the victims were involved with the place."

Watson's apparent level of familiarity with 10050 Cielo has intrigued me ever since I thought for a while about the fact that the group went to Cielo equipped with cable cutters, stopped at just the right place to cut the intercom and the phone lines and went in around the gate.

Consider the photos you've all seen of the utility pole that Watson climbed to cut the wires. Does it seem likely to you that a casual visitor to Cielo, such as Watson and Manson were supposed to have been, would have taken concrete note of the placement of the pole and of the cables, and inferred their use?

I can see where they'd notice the gate, and that someone inside had had to open it for them to enter (if it was closed, as seems likely). My guess is that the gate could be opened remotely from inside the house, after a visitor used the intercom. To have then taken note of the apparent mechanism for operating the gate is pretty canny--or hint at even greater familiarity with the property than has been considered.

Branching a bit, two points about the gate. As I understand it, there were two separate lines from the utility pole: a standard phone line and an intercom line to the house, to notify the residents that someone was outside and wanted to get in. I had read that at the time of the investigation, the intercom had been inoperable for a while. I wonder if this is accurate, and if so, if it was operable when Manson/Watson had been up there. I think that it probably was operable at that time.

And yet they'd have no real reason to cut the intercom line, because they had not intention of using it to notify those insider. If so, then they might have thought they were cutting the phone line that night--the intercom line was a incidental: when he got up there and saw two lines, he cut both, to be sure.

It also seems like Watson had a good idea that he was *not* cutting the powerline: he apparently pressed the "open" button from inside the property, when they left.

Of course, there was that "bug light" that was on near the garage--this would tell him that the power was still working. The paper delivery guy testified that it was on at about 4-5 AM the next morning, if I recall correctly.

This is a lot for a supposedly drug-addled mind to analyze and appropriately react to. Seems like he was fairly lucid and focused. It was also pretty thoughtful preparation for the entry--recalling the pole and they lines--and inferring that that line might be the phone.

All of this implies a sort of scouting trip, with intent, during daylight, prior to the actual entry. Has anyone read anything about this possibility?

tobiasragg said...

"Does it seem likely to you that a casual visitor to Cielo, such as Watson and Manson were supposed to have been, would have taken concrete note of the placement of the pole and of the cables, and inferred their use?"

I think you are putting a lot more thought into this than anyone connected to the crimes ever did. While a scouting trip is certainly possible, it seems completely unknowable at this point - especially given the rather hazy state of Watson's memory these days.

In his first book, Watson simply says that he climbed the pole and cut the two lowest lines there, figuring they would be the telephone lines. He did also note that the fact that the bug light remained on made him feel confident that he hadn't killed the power.

And yes, the intercom was inoperable by that point. I believe they had installed a bell for visitors to ring instead.

Torque said...

Shoegazer, Tobias, remember also that there was a light over or near the gate. The significance of this is important when we consider the interview of Maureen Serot, step daughter of Mr Asin two doors down from 10050 Cielo Dr. According to Maureen, when interviewed by a TV reporter, she arrived home to Cielo about 1AM on the night of the murders. Maureen said that it was odd the light over the gate was out when she arrived home, indicating that it was on every other night, at least when she and her family lived there.

This may indicate that not only were the phones and intercom disabled by Tex, but the light as well. However, there is no indication by Tex or the girls(that I'm aware of)that the light went out when Tex cut the wires. Why?

Also, as I've said before, the fact that Maureen arrived home about 1AM would have placed her out on the street just minutes after the killers walked past her house. This interview can be seen on Michaels Backporch Tapes.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

One could make the argument that the true posts are in the comments sections. Really cool. Thanks Torque and Shoe. Friday night will always baffle me.

Speculator said...

I’m a bit late into this thread and I hadn’t realised that it had taken this interesting turn with regards to Cielo. I like the term “credible speculation”. I like to think of it as logical speculation too. I think it is really all that can be applied to this case at this stage. It amazes me how many gaps can potentially be filled with a bit of logical speculation. The cutting of the wires at the gate being one of them. When Watson decided to take the cutters up to Cielo your first question is why if you just follow events step by step. Watson answers that point in his evidence where he climbs the pole and cuts the wire. He goes to length to point out that he only wanted to cut the telephone wire. He’s very specific about this and was anxious that he didn’t cut the power line too - his concern about that presumably being that he would alert the residents that something was amiss. He then appears to have consciously checked this and was able to see that the garage light was still on. You might think this is all pretty basic and what’s the point of needless analysis of something pretty minor in the overall scheme of things. But if you then think of the evidence given by the tv guy who visited Sebring’s the day after the Cielo Murders and was adamant that the power line had been recently cut by cutters there is it beyond the realms of credible speculation to link the two? Whilst I don’t think it’s apparent in any of the statements, it’s pretty clear that a key part of the plan at Cielo was to isolate the property from any means of outward communication and this must’ve been discussed by Watson/Manson before departure. Is it too far of a stretch to wonder if the same plan was tried and failed at Sebring’s?

tobiasragg said...

"Is it too far of a stretch to wonder if the same plan was tried and failed at Sebring’s?"

Well yeah, it is.

There isn't a shred of evidence that Watson, Manson or anyone else in that flea-bitten collection of dirty people had the foggiest idea who Jay Sebring was.

"Well Sebring did drugs and Watson kinda wanted to be a drug dealer, so . . . " and "Sebring was a male hairstylist or growing prominence and Watson was scamming young girls into buying wiglets on Sunset for a while, so yeah - they could have met at a hair convention or something like that!"

LOL, no.

On the 7th, Manson was still away from Spahn, so not in the position to issue any kind of "kill" orders that day. Watson showed no ability to think his way through much of anything at all, and there was no reason for them to target a house they had zero connection with.

Back to your point, it's speculation alright but there is nothing remotely "credible" about it.

Waste of time and energy.

tobiasragg said...

"This may indicate that not only were the phones and intercom disabled by Tex, but the light as well. However, there is no indication by Tex or the girls(that I'm aware of)that the light went out when Tex cut the wires. Why?"

Quite the contrary, Watson indicates that the fact that the bug light was still on after his wire-snipping came as a relief to him, as it indicated that he hadn't severed any power lines.

Have you ever walked or driven up Cielo? The house that Serot lived in was not even positioned in a good sight line to the garage at Cielo. Standing in front of the Serot house and looking up toward the Tate house, you could see the gate but the garage & house were around a bend from where that gate was. And there was foliage growing around that bend. In other words, not at all visible to Miss Serot that night, unless she decided to take a stroll up the drive prior to going home. I am not saying the gal was lying, but her story seems more than a bit far-fetched . . . especially given Chapman's police interview in which she was concerned that the bug light was still on when she arrived to work on the 9th, which she said was unusual.

People seem to pick these individual statements out and point to them as proof of something or other, even when all of the other evidence and quotes point in the opposite direction.

There is simply no "there" there.

Speculator said...

Yes, I have to admit that it was one of my more outlandish thoughts on the case!!! Still, never say never, stranger things have happened etc etc!! ;-)

Speculator said...

I wonder if there’s a police interview with the Serot girl anywhere. You’d think they’d have asked her if she recalled seeing the car parked down the road or not.

Torque said...

Tobias, no I have not been up Cielo Drive when 10050 stood there, and not since. You are quite right about the sight lines from the Asin residence looking up toward 10050, as this is clearly evidenced from available aerial photos taken shortly after the crime.

That said, the bug light, located on the garage, would no doubt not be visible to Maureen. However, in her interview with the TV reporter, she is not referring to that light. She is, as I understand her, referring to a light over the gate itself. In fact, she goes so far as to say that this light was always on at night, at least when she and her family lived in Cielo Drive. I have seen, of course, many photos of the gate area. One showcasing the light over the gate shows this light to be on the left side of the gate. But this may be a later addition by Rudi Altobelli after the murders for added security.

One other light, rarely described in my experience, is a pole light perched atop the limestone wall next to the gate button inside the property. I of course don't know if Maureen could have been referring to this.

Then of course is the issue of which circuit any of these lights could have been on. I have no doubt there may have been several on this area. A close look of the gate area, inside of the property, shows a rather short private utility pole. This thing is festooned with multiple lines. It is located just behind the gate button one would have to press to exit the property.

At any rate, I cannot speak for Maureen Serot, but she made it clear on camera that a light was out that Friday night that illuminated the gate. My point here is simply to determine which light she was speaking about.

tobiasragg said...

I had a look at what pics of the gate I could find from that weekend, and I saw no evidence of a light there. There WAS the bell they put in when the intercom stopped working, and that could be mistaken for a light pretty easily, I'd say.

But then I read the Serot interview and she seems quite clear on this point, so I do believe what she is suggesting here. I imagine the light was there and just not able to be seen in the photos available online, though of course mine was not an exhaustive search.

I guess it doesn't really matter either way, but it is kind of interesting. Serot arriving home around 1am meant that she narrowly missed the killers walking down the drive, if the timing information all of the offered is to be believed. One shudders to imagine what might have happened if she'd arrived home five, ten minutes later. I suppose the quartet might have just said "sup?" or it could have been stabby stabby time again. Yikes.

Speculator said...

The most shocking thing about that interview is at the end where the guy asks her had she ever been in the house and then something like “was it a good place for a murder?!” And she says oh yeah followed by giggles by both!! Unbelievable. Also her comment about Cielo being a spooky place - not the first to say that.