Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Who was living at Myers Ranch in 1969?

 Who was living at Myers Ranch in 1969?

Now if you ask the average TLB researcher that question, they'll say "The Family was mostly living at Barker, but they hung out at Myers too." 

Paul Watkins, in his book My Life With Charles Manson, does support this view:

 Chapter 11
"... Charlie and I took Brenda and Squeaky up to the Meyers ranch to make love before dinner."

Chapter 12
"It got colder. Thanksgiving came, and we had a huge meal around the fire at the Meyers ranch.  ...It was New Year’s Eve, 1968....That night we all hiked up to the Meyers place and built a roaring fire. Everyone was back."

Chapter 19  (in the beginning of Sept. '69)
"Moments later, Bruce Davis come in to announce that everything seemed copacetic at the Meyers ranch… ready to move in.  ...
As we approached the Meyers ranch, Charlie described his plans to move in immediately.   ....
By the time it was dark, Charlie and the Family had moved, lock, stock, and barrel, into the Meyers ranch, leaving Brooks, Crockett, and me alone at the Barker ranch, just a quarter of a mile away."

Chapter 20
"On our way out, we stopped at the Meyers ranch so Stanley(Berry) could pick up his tools; Clem and Bruce were sitting outside with Brenda and Sandy. The dune buggies were pulled right up to the house; boxes of supplies lay strewn along the narrow porch. Charlie appeared on the porch with Squeaky..  ... Juan spent two days at the Meyers place with Charlie and the Family, then moved into the Barker ranch with us..."

Chapter 21 "Near the end of September(1969), Manson was making numerous forays into Death Valley... Traveling in caravans of three to five dune buggies, he led these expeditions for days at a time, leaving Clem and Bruce and a few girls behind to watch the Meyers ranch in his absence.  ...Early one morning sometime around the first of October ...  He told me he was taking an expedition over to the Saline Valley and asked if I’d take the younger girls—Snake, Kitty, Ouisch, Sherry, Barbara, and Patty—up to the Lotus Mine to “hide out” for a few days while he was gone. Charlie frequently moved his “young loves” to different locations, calling it “survival training.” Yet part of it, I knew, was his paranoia that if left alone at the Meyers ranch they would be vulnerable to outside influences.

(What 'outside influences' is he talking about?)

 

Bugliosi in Helter Skelter also tends to support this view:

pg177
Other members of the (Barker) raiding party surrounded nearby Myers Ranch, where the group had also been staying, arresting: Sandy, Ouisch, Diane Von Ahn, and Nancy Pitman.

(Though they were arrested in the canyons behind Myers, not in the actual house.)

pg180
...Cathy Gillies.. was the granddaughter of the woman who owned Myers Ranch. The Family had apparently camped there first, then moved to nearby Barker.

(Thus it sounds like they abandoned Myers for Barker--but why?)

pg224
While at Myers Ranch, in early September 1969, Barbara(Hoyt) had overheard Manson tell someone... 

pg475
One afternoon in early 1969, Barbara had been napping in the bedroom at Myers Ranch when she awoke to hear Sadie and Ouisch talking in the kitchen. ...
 
(Thus Charlie, Hoyt, Atkins, and Moorehouse are the only Mansonoids that Bugs actually places inside the Myers house.  All on the word of one witness--Barbara Hoyt.)

 

Other authors support the view that they stayed at Myers (owned by Cathy Gilles' grandmother Barbara Weddle Myers, 64 in 1969) for a very short time in October of 1968, but they avoided the place after that. 

 

From the "National Park Service Cultural Landscapes Inventory 2005 Thomason/Barker Ranch, Death Valley National Park":

"Manson eventually selected Thomason/Barker Ranch rather than the Myers Ranch as the Family's base of operations."

"Charles "Tex" Watson... described his initial perception of ... Myers Ranch when the family first arrived in 1968:

"... The ranches themselves were about a quarter of a mile apart. Myers Ranch was in very bad condition, rundown and vandalized..."


(So presumably Myers was too trashy for even the Mansonoids to live in.)

--------------------------------- 

Ed Sanders in The Family:

pg125
..(the Family) encountered the Meyers Ranch, which is a well-kept series of buildings, including the ranch house, a trailer and several outbuildings. ....They stayed for a couple of days at the Meyers Ranch but were unable to secure permission from Meyers' grandmother to remain so the family established headquarters at the dilapidated Barker Ranch just a quarter mile west...
 
(Though there is no solid evidence that the Family ever established contact with granny, or that granny was ever interviewed by investigators.  It is also curious that Charlie's thievin' band of cutthroats would have been intimidated by somebody's grandmother living 200 miles away in Fresno, with Helter Skelter being so imminent.  Yes it's true that Charlie got permission for the Family to live at Spahn, at Dennis Wilson's, and at Barker, but they had previously squatted at the 'Basement House' in Topanga Canyon, at the 'Iron Butterfly House' near Malibu, and then later at the Newman Cabin down in Goler Wash.

Or maybe Cappy DID reach out to grandma:

My Life With Charles Manson by Paul Watkins, Chapter 10

“What exactly did you tell your grandmother?” Charlie wanted to know.

Gilles: “I just said me and some friends were going to come up and stay at the ranch.”

Manson:  “But you didn’t say how many, right?”

Gilles  “I just said some girls and me, mostly.”

Manson: “What if she gets nosy and sends someone up to check?”

Gilles  “She won’t.”

--------------------------------

Nuel Emmons in Manson in his Own Words:

pg154
"... first look at Myers Ranch. ...a fair-sized dwelling surrounded by unexpected green vegetation.. The house had a large front room with a big fireplace, two bedrooms, a small kitchen and a back porch with an attached bathroom. It was more than just an old miner's shack and a hell of a lot better than some of the places we had called home before.

"The next morning I (Manson) quizzed Cathy as to how receptive her grandmother would be if a bunch of us moved into her desert home. Cathy was a little uneasy about so many being there, and we decided to look at the only neighboring ranch, about a quarter of mile back. The Myer house and surroundings were the best, but I didn't want to get Cathy in a cross with her grandmother, so I decided to speak to the owner of the second choice."
 
(So Cappy and Charlie eagerly lead the pack up Goler Wash to go live at Granny's vacation cabin, but when they get there, Cappy gets cold feet about the pack living at Granny's vacation cabin.  Hmmm...   And Charlie doesn't even try to use his considerable persuasive powers to counter Cappy's doubts.  Hmmm... )

 ----------------------------------

Superintendent of Death Valley National Monument Bob Murphy in Desert Shadows :

pg101, re the Barker Ranch raid
"The officers checked the nearby Myers Ranch. The location had obviously been cleaned up. The floors were neat and the bed made with the bedspread carefully tucked over the top.  No Family items were found. Charlie told the arresting officers that the Family avoided the Myers Ranch because "the ghost of Bill Myers still lived there."

(Charlie scared of ghosts? Hmmmm....)

None of these explanations sound realistic.  I just don't see Charlie giving up on this valuable asset just because Granny might show up. And you'll notice that Crockett/Posten/Watkins/Flynn never opted to set up camp at Myers when things with Charlie started getting nasty.  I suspect the reason that the Mansonoids did not claim Myers is because someone was already living there.  At least intermittently, meaning someone who came up on weekends or one week per month or something similar.

Further evidence that Myers was occupied: 

https://www.dailybreeze.com/2009/10/11/memories-of-charles-manson-remain-fresh-in-death-valley/ The people who lived on the nearby Myers Ranch and the Barker family did not like the Manson family squatting on the property but were afraid to do much about it, said Jay Snow, an interpretive park ranger at Death Valley National Park. 

But then the question becomes:  What were these people's names?  Why have we never heard them before? Wouldn't the cops have wanted to interview them?  Was this just a trivial oversight, or is there some BIG SECRET that has to be protected?  I suspect the latter.  I suspect that this person or persons was associated with Law Enforcement, and that Myers Ranch was being used to maintain surveillance on the Family.

oo-ee-oo!

56 comments:

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Good job, Starviego. So what are your thoughts on who the residents were?

Rock N. Roll said...

Fascinating!

tobiasragg said...
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tobiasragg said...
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tobiasragg said...
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tobiasragg said...

This is great stuff, Star - thank you.

I love little Paul and I am rereading him now. He's not the greatest for minute accuracy and detail, probably because as Gypsy said of him "he was stoned out of his mind all ... of ... the ... time!" But he is a very good read and he gives one a wonderful and highly personal view into his experiences with Charlie & Co. Watkin's writings are akin to Hendrickson's films in terms of offering a pretty intimate look at the non-murderous aspects of life in the Manson Family.

On "outside influences" I believe what might be referred to here is Paul Crockett and his increasingly worrisome influence over Little Paul and Brooks, along with others. Crockett was in the process of luring people - deprogramming some - away from Manson and that can't have played well with Manson. Little Paul was essentially Bobby B's replacement when it came to luring the truly young "loves" into the fold, and that loss had to have smarted. Timelines and hard facts can be incredibly difficult to nail down with this rather free-form group, but Paul Crockett played an enormous role in Watkins' life at the time and I feel confident that is who/what he is referring to in the quote you pulled.

On Myers, you leave out two details that might have been instructive in answering (ha!) some of the questions you raise. The first is that Manson, Cappy and Watkins did supposedly drive to see granny and secured her permission to dwell at Myers, "long as you keep my property up!" According to Watkins, Charlie did a whole rap about needing to write music for the Beach Boys and declaring that the ranch would serve as the ultimate, isolated space free of distractions in which to do so. Manson also reportedly gifted granny a Beach Boy gold record as a thank you, or perhaps payment, once she'd granted her permission. I've always found this gesture highly amusing. Grandma Cappy seemed primarily occupied with her solitary porch time and tending to her cat, one wonders what on earth she might have done with a framed gold record.

The other anecdote omitted was the apparent plan to murder old granny, so that Cappy would inherit the Myers property and the family would set. As I'm sure we all recall, a flat tire reportedly foiled this trip to grandma's house and the old lady survived to rock away another day, but it does call into question Watkin's gold record story. If Charlie had secured the permission to occupy Myers, as Little Paul reports, what need would there be to do the old lady in?

The Bob Murphy book might help fill in some of these gaps. It's been a few years since I've read it, but I found this one to be a fairly interesting, neutral/dispassionate first-hand account of this rather under-explored period in the Manson Family history. Murphy's POV is more one of the "square" outsider, law-enforcement view on the whole thing, but he does provide a good idea on just how disruptive the Family's presence was to these various desert communities, and he gives a unique perspective on the whole earthmover burning incident that led to the Family's downfall.

Personally, I've always felt that Barker was a bit more spacious and amenity-rich than was Myer, so the family settled on Barker on a primary residence and utilized Myer as a kind of ancillary outpost. The questionable nature of granny's permission may have played a role in this decision, and there might have been other family members in the mix that have gone unnamed in the histories. It is a slight shame that these places have burned down, but there are some great videos out there on YouTube that explore them both pre- and post-fire. Spahn was a comparative paradise.

tobiasragg said...

P.S. The other thing I should have mentioned in my initial response is that the family was very spread out during this post-murderous period. As the family moved out to Barker, Squeaky and one of the other girls was left behind at Spahn to care for George and, one supposes, to keep Spahn in reserve as a space the group could continue to live in, if/when needed. Members variously lived at Barker and Myer, but also out in the outposts and in a couple of mining caves in the surrounding hills. Still other members were scattered to the winds - Tex took a (literal) hike, Krenwinkel was sent off to Alabama, Schram and Lutsinger had split, Bobby was in jail. Watkins and Postin were gone, though Little Paul did drop in at times once Manson was safely locked up. Sadie never returned from jail after the big raid and Hoyt went home. This is one of the joys in the Hendrickson film for me, as he captures that whole period when the family was in the process of falling apart. Sorry for the deletes above - gah!

tobiasragg said...

P.P.S. Upon re-reading, I noted that you did quote the Bob Murphy book - sorries! I do have to wonder why you suggest of the available source material "None of these explanations sound realistic." The source material *is* what we have to go on. If nothing there sounds realistic, then we are just replacing all knowns with imagination and musing. Alternate theories are one thing, but a valid alternate theory has to be based on *something* to be worthy of consideration.

orwhut said...

The "Kill Grandma" story has puzzled me for years. If Grandma had willed Meyers Ranch directly to Cathy, it would have shown a small amount of logic even though a terrible idea.
Weren't there other people in Grandma's line of inheritance ahead of Cathy?
Did Grandma even have a will?

Gorodish said...

tobiasragg typed:

On Myers, you leave out two details that might have been instructive in answering (ha!) some of the questions you raise. The first is that Manson, Cappy and Watkins did supposedly drive to see granny and secured her permission to dwell at Myers, "long as you keep my property up!" According to Watkins, Charlie did a whole rap about needing to write music for the Beach Boys and declaring that the ranch would serve as the ultimate, isolated space free of distractions in which to do so. Manson also reportedly gifted granny a Beach Boy gold record as a thank you, or perhaps payment, once she'd granted her permission. I've always found this gesture highly amusing. Grandma Cappy seemed primarily occupied with her solitary porch time and tending to her cat, one wonders what on earth she might have done with a framed gold record.

You're getting your grannies mixed up, tobias. Arlene Barker, owner of Barker Ranch, was the one you are describing in the above paragraph. She was the one who was the recipient of the Beach Boys gold record, not Myers. I don't believe Manson ever met Cappy's grandma Barbara Myers.

orwhut said...

Star,
I really like the way you cited your sources in this post. Your hard work is appreciated.

tobiasragg said...

"You're getting your grannies mixed up"

Yes, you're right. Too many grannies!

It does appear the family lived at Myer for a week or so, but scooted over to Barker when Cappy became a bit wishy-washy over the nature of the permission.

I think it also ought to be observed that the family, still a couple-dozen strong at this point, didn't all live in a certain spot in the way we think of living in a place. They were pretty scattered throughout the area at this miserable point in time. Gypsy speaks of sub-groups of girls sleeping and resting all day under canopied shelters out in the desert (to avoid detection from above) and then being active all night. Other small collections of people slept in the various mining caves in the area, and of course there were sentries on duty. It seems like the actual ranch structures were mainly used for meal prep and as a general gathering place & base of operations.

shoegazer said...

Very interesting post.

starviego said...

orwhut said...
"The "Kill Grandma" story has puzzled me for years. If Grandma had willed Meyers Ranch directly to Cathy, it would have shown a small amount of logic even though a terrible idea.
Weren't there other people in Grandma's line of inheritance ahead of Cathy?"

I had always thought that the 'kill granny' story was more aspirational than real, but Tex thought is was real:

Will You Die For Me? by Tex Watson, pg12
Charlie decided he wanted to own Myers Ranch so he sent Catherine Gillies — the one we called “Capistrano,” to Fresno to murder her grandmother who happened to own it. She was also supposed to kill any other members of her family who might be in line to claim title. One of the newer boys went with her and I never found out exactly what went wrong. It was something to do with a flat tire and their getting caught trying to pose as man and wife.

The words 'getting caught' is interesting. Did Gilles and friend have another encounter with law enforcement that we don't know of?

tobiasragg said...

"It was something to do with a flat tire and their getting caught trying to pose as man and wife."

Bugliosi speaks of this in HS on Kindle page 212 with a footnote. Apparently Cappy & two companions were sent to LA on a triple-murder mission: to kill Hoyt & Simi Valley Sherrie, who'd run from the family, and also Cappy's grandmother. Bugs does note that they were never able to prove the supposed mission for this trip, however.

Gorodish said...

starviego typed:

The words 'getting caught' is interesting. Did Gilles and friend have another encounter with law enforcement that we don't know of?

Gillies' partner in this caper was supposedly John "Zero" Haught. And we all know what happened to him....

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Gorodish - Was a third guy with them when the flat tire kept her from killing her granny?

Gorodish said...

I've never heard that, but if there was, it was most likely Kenneth "Scotty" Davis, Zero's partner from Ohio.

tobiasragg said...

Multiple websites list Cappy and two others being sent on this mission (example: https://www.mansonfamily.net/news/remembering-cappy) but the affair seems largely shrouded in mystery. Not nearly as mysterious as Manson's supposed Cielo visit, but the firm details seem a bit question-marky.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Thank you.

orwhut said...

Thanks Star. If the grandma hit team was going to kill everybody else in line to inherit, it might have worked...until, detectives looked to see who stood to benefit from the killings. Even the Keystone Cops could have solved that one.

tobiasragg said...

Sanders mentions the granny matter on page 291 of the print version, though it is a scant paragraph that sheds no real light on the matter. He names Cappy & Zero but no mention of a third. He attributes the story to Diane Lake, so there might be something in her book. I'm kind of immersed in something at the moment and can't pull Diane's book up, but I may take a look later unless someone here beats me to it.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Ugh, I suddenly can't find my copy.

orwhut said...

Thanks to everyone who added details on the alleged trip to kill Grandma.

Nelson was right there shooting the last film of Cappy that I remember. I wonder if he pressed her on the matter.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Oh he wanted to press her all right.

orwhut said...

Tobias,
I didn't get any worthwhile hits in a search of the Kinda version of Snake's book. Someone else might think of some search terms I didn't come up with.

tobiasragg said...

Yeah, I didn't either. Thanks for looking. Ah well, it was never gonna be solved anyway. Would be nice if Bruce Davis would somhow be motivated to share all he knows, eh?

Gorodish said...

From everything I've read, Myers was the borderline oasis, while Barker had more of the rat shack feel. Here's the Paul Watkins version: ...instead, we trudged another quarter mile to the Myers ranch. Cappy had not exaggerated; the surrounding property was lush with vegetation: salt cedar, tamarisk, fig, cottonwood, willow, and apple trees, and behind the house, a rolling expanse of vineyards and wildflowers. The ranch house itself was small and unpretentious, with a fair-sized living room (fifteen by thirty), a fireplace, two small bedrooms, a tiny kitchen, and an outdoor bathroom just off the back porch. The foundations of the house were made of narrow-gauge railroad ties, taken years before from a defunct Epsom-salts mine, then plastered over with stucco. It was a rustic, cozy little place and we moved right in and built a fire before gathering around... And here's the Tex Watson version: Myers Ranch came first and was in very bad condition, rundown and vandalized, but Barker Ranch had a solid little stone ranch house and a swimming pool, even sheets on the beds. I'm going with Paul on this one. Like a lot of other things he tries to recall, Tex seems to have mixed up the two ranches. And honestly, how can you trust the memory of a guy who, for 18 months or so, was a fearless, voracious lab rat - a consumer of various plant roots, rosewood seeds, bushels of weed and hashish, methamphetamine, LSD, and god knows what else. Even the prison shrinks were astounded at the amount of drugs he consumed. Whether it's his remembrances from 50 years ago or his most recent parole hearing, the whole Family experience (other than the murders) was probably just a giant blur.
As far as reasons for not staying at Myers, the fall 1968 version of Manson was probably nervous about Cappy's grandma, and went to see current Barker Ranch denizen Ballarat Bob, who sent him to talk to Arlene Barker about staying there, hence the gold record gift. But I really don't think the fall 1969 incarnation, the King of the Bottomless Pit, with 9 murders behind him, gave a rat's ass about anyone's permission (although he did pay another visit to Arlene Barker, who wanted cash or nothing for the ranch). My belief is that the move to Barker was to dislodge his nemesis, Paul Crockett, and his former disciples Watkins and Poston, giving him him a psychic victory in front of his followers (and ex-followers).

tobiasragg said...

"I'm going with Paul on this one."

I actually came to the opposite conclusion, for a few different reasons. Well first, Little Paul was every bit the stoner that Watson was. Paul seemed to prefer pot over many things, but he confessed to taking 100s of trips over those years. Paul was also equally vague on most things. His book is a lovely read but quite loose with the details.

Myers was very rich in terms of vegetation, but it is a scant and small property compared to Barker. Barker was simply a bigger structure with more rooms and far more amenities (if you will) than was Myer. Even the post-fire videos posted to YouTube bear this out pretty well.

You could be right about the Crockett conflict matter, he was in the process of really denting Charlie's groove. The Watkins-Manson relationship was quite a fascinating one, to me - as was Watkins' altogether too-brief life.

tobiasragg said...

This is funny, have to share. I hit YouTube to look up something unrelated to Manson, when what pops up on the left-side suggestion bar was this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEVv9nqtZXQ

The October 1969 Paul Crockett interview with the Inyo County sheriff. It has been years and years since I have listened to these, so I'm giving them another go. Part One is pretty fascinating, given what we are discussing here. This is Crockett speaking as all of this plays out, he explains how he wooed Brooks, then Paul, then Juan away from Manson and how enraged Manson was with him over this . . . Paul Watkins was an excellent "fucker" and Juan was beautiful, according to Crockett . . . he details Manson's rant over "the blacks" and how they are planning to rise up . . . as he speaks, Manson is still on the loose of course, Watkins is away from the area and Crockett is trying to motivate the sheriff to go after this man. Paul details a few of the threats to his life that have been made, the most recent one being only 4-5 days prior to this interview. Juan also makes a cameo and explains a bit about Manson's lyrics and what they mean. Just starting Part II now, it's pretty interesting stuff and Crockett is quite the character. One wonders just how much of this the sheriff is actually believing, as the tale being told is pretty wild.

orwhut said...

Tobias,
Thank you for putting up the inks. I hadn't heard this interview before.

orwhut said...

My suggestion bar is on my right. Further down it had an interview with Ruth Ann The acoustics were awful or maybe it's my ears. From what I could understand it was a different interview from one I heard several years ago where the officers were replinishing her supply of cigarettes.

Penny lane said...

*snort*

tobiasragg said...

I've been reading Paul Watkins' book bit-by-bit each night, and I am just getting into the holiday season of 1968. Paul has the family (mostly) living at Myers over Thanksgiving and going into December. Squeaky and Juanita were still staying at Spahn to maintain a toehold there, but around the holiday weekend they switched things up, sending Big Patty out to Spahn and bring Juanita to Myers.

It was cold as shit at this time, according to Paul, and everyone was wearing sweaters and whatever heavy clothing they could get ahold of, and huddling together for warmth at night. They had a big feast and bonfire Thanksgiving night. The White Album had just released, Charlie and a couple of others heard this for the first time on a supply run to L.A. Manson's mindset and messaging immediately began to change over this weekend, Paul says. The "I am he as you are me" gayety that had been inspired by the Magical Mystery Tour "era" was very quickly being replaced with something darker, as Manson began piecing together the clues and messages he says he was hearing in this new Beatles' release. He'd already been predicting a race-based clash - indeed, he issued several warnings to the others over that autumn after returning from LA or Los Vegas. But now the Beatles were being worked into the mix.

An interesting and rather pivotal weekend, that Thanksgiving at Myers was.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Schizophrenia.

grimtraveller said...

😀 😃 😄 😁 😆 😅 😂 🤣

Your signature is priceless, Star. As soon as I read that final paragraph, I knew it had to be you or a seriously high class imposter !

starviego said...

Desert Shadows :
"The officers checked the nearby Myers Ranch. The location had obviously been cleaned up. The floors were neat and the bed made with the bedspread carefully tucked over the top. No Family items were found."

IF the Family were using the Myers Ranch, Charlie probably told them to keep it spotless and not to store any items, so at the first sign of anybody coming up the wash they could leave very quickly. And this wasn't because nobody had been up there for the past year. Most likely, this was because someone had been coming up there regularly.

As for the surveillance, why wouldn't they? They had been keeping Charlie and crew under close surveillance at Spahn; I doubt they would have simply stopped when they went to the desert. It is telling that investigators didn't interview Granny--she would have told them who was up there.

tobiasragg said...

"As for the surveillance, why wouldn't they?"

Yes - definitely a high level of awareness of this. On all sides.

Toward mid-late '69, Manson not only had sentries on duty and a gerry-rigged communication system in place, he had the girls spending their days under sand-coloured tarps out in the desert, away from the permanent structures, as the group was being air-surveilled.

We were discussing a Paul Crockett interview recording from October '68 above in these comments, and there we hear him giving law enforcement the low-down on the very point you raise, Star. Since radio communications were nearly impossible in that area, the sheriff suggests that Crockett travel into town to warn them when the family had come back. Law enforcement had been trying to catch up with the family, but every time they visited these ranches they found them empty and they had grown very frustrated. Crockett then lays out the nature of the sentry system and states that as soon as he drove out of the area to give them the heads up, the family would have spotted him leaving and cleared out. It was then decided that Crockett should instead WALK out of the area and travel on foot over the mountains to deliver the warning.

Crockett also outlines the nature and number of weapons the family has at its disposal, it's pretty interesting "in the moment" stuff.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Desert Shadows :
"The officers checked the nearby Myers Ranch. The location had obviously been cleaned up. The floors were neat and the bed made with the bedspread carefully tucked over the top. No Family items were found."

Then they went into the parlour, and the Big Bear growled:
“SOMEBODY HAS BEEN SITTING IN MY CHAIR!”
and the Middle-sized Bear said:
“Somebody Has Been Sitting In My Chair!”
and the Little Bear piped:
“Somebody has been sitting in my chair, and has broken it all to pieces!”

(Sorry. Could not resist.)

Mavric said...

I have a theory that there was a fourth person in that granny murder squad.
My picks are Tex, Sadie, Capistrano, and I lean toward Katie as the fourth.
I suspect the the flat tire story to be true but incomplete.
Perhaps the flat tire began a process that resulted in the murder of Carl Stubbs
A crew with murder on their mind due to a situation where the wrong target was murdered, a d the plan was abandoned

shoegazer said...

Here's a general question for those with much more knowledge of the Family phenomenon than I have...

My understanding is that when Manson was released into society in the mid-60s, he gradually cultivated adherents--mainly female--and for a while they appear to have actually been more-or-less legitimate hippies of the era: pan-handling, perhaps busking, maybe minor drugs sales, odd jobs/low skill temporary employment, etc.

Many people did this back then, and it would raise few eyebrows.

But at a certain point the Family began to transition to crime as a way of life. There were credit card thefts, car thefts, pimping for favors, and eventually it transitioned to strongarm tactics as with Hinman.

Can anyone pinpoint a time when the transition from bohemianism to significant criminal activity began, if that's how it developed?

When did Manson stop being Mr. Natural and start being Ma Barker?

starviego said...

shoegazer said...
"Can anyone pinpoint a time when the transition from bohemianism to significant criminal activity began, if that's how it developed?"

I place that about July of '69, starting with the burn of LotsaPoppa.

shoegazer said...

Star:

Thanks!

Before that they were pretty much legit, not much serious stuff?

tobiasragg said...

"I place that about July of '69, starting with the burn of LotsaPoppa."

Oh, I think the criminal stuff never really stopped. Manson may have done a bit more panhandling/favor collecting than overt theft and fraud in the early Haight months, but even the early-version family group was never truly "hippy". Manson always stated he hated that term, anyway.

shoegazer said...

...but even the early-version family group was never truly "hippy".

It's good to get a handle what youth sentiments were at that time.

In Kasabian's testimony I kept reading over and over about how there's no such thing as personal property. Now the Manson interpretation was carried to the logical extreme, in that if you have something that I feel I need, you have no better claim to it than I do. Most people in the 60s who were into any sort of youth culture would very likely agree with the idea of "no personal property", but they conceptualized it vaguely as surplus, sorta. They tended to think that luxury items, or anything above basic necessities and a few folksy luxuries (musical instruments, beads, etc.) was what was meant.

And they drew the line at acting on this sentiment in that few really tried to "liberate" things (yep, that's the term) but mainly used it as a model of the ideal.

There was the notion of free love as an ideal, but outside of the communes Kasabian described that she'd been a part of, and the Manson group was in many ways very much like all the others, this never took hold in any broad sense. It was one thing to say "Yeah, man. It's a righteous way to live..." (yep, we really did say stuff like that--"dude" was used much less than now, for sure), but if you had a girl you particularly liked, all this open sharing of sex fell by the wayside real fast.

The ideal of "living off of the land" was greatly esteemed, though few actually understand the limitations of it; I know I sure didn't. It was fine to eat brown rice in the company of other adherents of a return to nature--but by yourself, after toking up, what you wanted was PIZZA.

You never paid to cut your hair. From about '68 to the mid-70s, if I needed it trimmed, my girl friend at the time would do it. I had various types of untrimmed mustaches or beards until about '73 or so.

Of course, many. many people had Bugs or VW buses, and somehow great virtue was affixed to them, although they were a disproportionate contributor to air pollution. But they were fun as hell, and over the years I had two: a 63 bug, and later a 70 Ghia. You could do all your own work on them: they were more like working on a gas lawn mower than like working on an American car.

But yeah: "The System BAADDD!, The People GOOOODDD!".

Indeed it really was that neat and simple, in our minds...

Now I'll leave you with an early 70s joke...

"I knew I had been living in Berkeley too long when one day I passed a sign on the street that said 'FREE WOOD', and I caught myself thinking: 'I wonder what Wood did to make the pigs throw him in jail?'."

tobiasragg said...

Out of curiosity, I did a bit of digging and discovered arrests in July '67 and twice in July of '68. These were not for anything violent and in each case he ended up getting off relatively lightly with penalties mainly being time extensions of the parole he was already living under.

There was a ton of familial crime happening in 68-69, of course, and all of this has been well documented over the years, but no arrests associated with any of this self-reported activity.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

They were Slippies. Index finger in the air and et cetera.

starviego said...


I compiled a list of all the known Family encounters with police in the two years Charlie was free. This will give you an idea of the extant of their criminal activity.

https://murdersofaugust69.freeforums.net/thread/1466/timeline-family-enforcement-1967-1969

tobiasragg said...

Star, thank you for sharing this but clicking the link yields a "You do not have permission . . ." message. I am unfamiliar with this site/page, whom must I suck off to gain a view? Asking for a morbidly-curious friend, of course:)

starviego said...

Just go to the main page, and to the 'Case Timelines' subforum to see my post.

https://murdersofaugust69.freeforums.net/

If that doesn't work you may have to register there to view the posts....

shoegazer said...

Star:

All that I needed was to sign in...I had probably created an account in 2019.

Surely, all the heavy dudes here already have an account.

Heavens!

grimtraveller said...

shoegazer said:

Surely, all the heavy dudes here already have an account

It used to be free.

grimtraveller said...

Now registration has been disabled.

shoegazer said...

GT:

I didn't pay.

In fact, I still like to boast:

"I've never paid for it in my life..."

beauders said...

I would say that when the bikers started hanging out at Spahn that, that was when things started changing towards violence.
Tobias from what I've heard Bruce Davis has age related dementia, anything he knew is lost.

shoegazer said...

I would say that when the bikers started hanging out at Spahn that, that was when things started changing towards violence.

You could flip the arrow of causation and say that when Manson started having plans that involved violence and paranoia, he more actively recruited bikers for muscle.

Basically, he was a very wily pimp who was surrounded by a cadre of adoring females, but he recognized that he needed males as a sort of enforcement arm. So he used the women to try to enlist men, with only moderate success as compared to his success rate in recruiting women.

We need to bear in mind he was in actuality a sort of trailer trash Don Juan.