Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Is Lynette Fromme an Anti-Heroine?


It's too hot outside this afternoon to work in my garden, and I gave my beloved Trek away on the promise of a new Trek. As a result, I'm inside reading and hanging out on Messenger. I found this awesome piece online about anti-heroines in literature and the question of whether Lynette Fromme fits that mold popped into my mind. 

I believe a revolutionary could make a case that Fromme is a real life anti-heroine. She pulled a pistol on the former center of the Michigan football team (Go Bucks!) who was employed at the time as the President of the United States. I know I brought this up before but I seriously wonder if Ford was scared for even five seconds. Men were tougher then. 

Boy, the way Glenn Miller played...

Anyway. Squeaky didn't kill anyone. And did her time. Is your hate for Lynette Fromme as strong as your hate for the killers, or do you see her in another light? 

55 comments:

Doug said...

"People seemed to be content
fifty dollars paid the rent
freaks were in a circus tent
Those were the days"

Lynette was very smart and, she was very loyal. She crashed committed to the larger cause (the environment, the destruction if the future by the multinational mega-corps, the devastation of a senseless war, etc).

As fiercely loyal to Charlie (the man, the magic the madness) she seemed to never get herself close enough to the MURDER - even years later with the ugliness and, ruthless carnage of the Willett's, the other AB related murders, etc....even though she was damn close to these scenes.

"The gun isn't loaded!" BUT, her pen always has been, her mind seems to have remained as focused as a Manson Family member's mind could be, considering the environment and mindset...and, she was probably the most well informed and trusted friend that Charlie Manson ever had.

She did her time. She was/is a bit scary (for an elfin teen and a weathered old lady) and her live for Charlie was frighteningly deep.

But, who do you think that you would say was more capable of pure evil and mindless carnage (with hindsight or, without hindsight)? Squeaky or Pat? Or, whi would you be more nervous about bunking down with in the forest? Squeaky or Tex?

Ha! I probably haven't even remotely addressed the question posed in GGW's post...

ColScott said...

How is Lauren Willet?

tobiasragg said...

First off, let us consider that one cannot definitively state that Fromme "didn't kill anyone". I think it probably more safe, as far as accuracy is concerned, to say that Fromme was never charged with or convicted of murder. Given the Ford matter and everything else we know about this woman, I am feeling pretty safe in offering this suggestion.

That aside, Fromme will always be something of an enigma - and a damned fascinating one, at that. With apologies to Mr. Stimson, Good has always "read" as much more the cult member/follower than Fromme. Good's wide & someone vacant eyes, that smug smile she employs and her dogged defense of all things Manson Murder have always provoked a "yep - I get it!" response in me.

Fromme, though - she is a different beast altogether. If one watches the quite excellent "Manson: The Women" documentary that is available for free on YouTube, one is treated to an extended opportunity to listen to an aging Fromme (and Good, for that matter) explain her actions and thinking. Some of what she shares makes no damned sense, but most of it does. For me, Fromme comes across as practical, down to earth and quite reasonable. Yet she remains just as opaque and confounding to me as she was in her more waif-like days.

I don't dislike Fromme - I have always found her kind of fun sometimes in how she expresses herself. But god, I will never understand her, I don't think.

Peter said...

Too many freckles. Would not tap.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Lol, Peter. I tend to group my rankings on the experience I want most when the list comes up.

*I got the first two traffic light quizzes wrong but pulled out the victory with stairs.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Col, thanks for asking. I do have new Hawthorne scenes to pitch. Right now, I have the top pop song of 8/21/1971 playing while Gypsy hops out of the back door at Western Supply wearing a macrame bikini top and blasting away at the red bubble on top of the police car.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2sN05AMV9gY

I kinda don't like the song at all though but I'm trying to stay true to the time.

Question, do you think Squeaky killed LW, went to the liquor store on foot, and then called the murder house for a ride back? Or do you think those murdering boys killed her?

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Tobias, I picture her at the Morse Rd Walmart fighting young car thieves in the trash-covered parking lot.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Doug and Tobias should post here. I've said it before and I'll say it again.

Dan S said...

Thank you. That's the insight i miss from the old days. She's old and fat too.

Loegria15 said...

"Manson: The Women"

Tobias, was it first broadcast on Oxygen? Because I'm not finding a full doco, just episodes. Thanx in advance.

tobiasragg said...

Yes, I'm sorry - this was aired on Oxygen, not Epix. And I think you are correct, it's been a while since I've viewed this one but I do think it might have involved multiple episodes.

I think I have watched this twice and I was able to somehow locate all of the episodes on YouTube. For what it's worth the first installment can be found here: https://youtu.be/4QO0XNc68YM

I found this fascinating viewing, as it focuses on the female experience in this Manson matter and because here we hear from a nice variety of former family members, including the likes of Fromme and Good, who we have been more reluctant in recent decades to speak of their experiences. Definitely worth the watch.

Jay said...

Squeaky always fascinated the hell out of me. I do think that she could be looked at as an anti-heroine in a broad sense. She can write pretty damn good too.
Manson:The Women aired on Oxygen as a two hour special when I recorded it. Judging from the way the breaks are, it makes sense that it could be easily split into two-four episodes without losing cohesion. It’s a great documentary that has a lot of Squeaky, Gypsy, Sandy, and Snake in it. I’m guessing Leslie and Katie won’t do these things anymore due to legal concerns.

Loegria15 said...

@Tobias: I got to watch compilations of highlights of the episodes. What I did see was very interesting and informative.

I found this, too, done the same year as the Oxygen special, profiling five of the girls. I almost stopped watching it when the narrator pronounced her admiration for Bugliosi (and makes it sound like he made up the quote she uses at the beginning, when it was made by one of the witnesses).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4QO0XNc68YM&t=55s

Loegria15 said...

And to answer the question about Squeaky:

She's an antiheroine like Ayn Rand is an antiheroine.

Loegria15 said...

And there's this, the after show of the 2-hour special.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyTYQrnBzVY

orwhut said...

The quote about ice ratteling in cocktail shakers is my favourite part of the whole book. Things quickly go down hill from there.

Unknown said...

I am a firm believer in Manson having the cultural zeitgeist but in future historical terms he will be regarded as an associate of Fromme.
She was the first woman to be charged with the attempted assassination of a serving PUSA.
Manson was a genius at going with the legend rather than the truth. Fromme will be a genuine historical footnote in her own right.
I also wonder how she came across as so adorable and naive but was associated with so many murders and murderers during her youth. That hammer attack she did to a fellow inmate also makes me wonder about whether or not I would trust her to run around my house with a pair of scissors.
The only Manson Girl I would have married.

Loegria15 said...

Tobias...

"For what it's worth the first installment can be found here: https://youtu.be/4QO0XNc68YM"

This is a podcast, not the 1st episode of the documentary; it's the one in which the narrator thinks Bugliosi was a great writer.

tobiasragg said...

Sorry about the misdirection on the "Women" link . . . I did a spot check and it looked like the real deal.

For what it's worth, I was able to find the actual doc on the Oxygen website. It required me to log in with my TV provider (satellite in my case) but it is allowing me to watch this again at no cost:

https://www.oxygen.com/manson-the-women

tobiasragg said...

Adding onto the above . . . I am five minutes into this rewatch and I am instantly reminded of how awesome this 1:27 documentary is. The women included here (Snake, Blue, Red, Gypsy - there may be one more, I can't remember) all bring vastly different perspectives to the matter and this one is very revealing, indeed.

Honestly, the very best documentary of any sort on this Manson stuff I have ever seen (Hendrickson's work excluded) is the six-part Epix series that ran a few years ago. It is out there on Amazon Prime Video and via Epix itself and elsewhere, but you'll probably have to pay a small amount ($20ish? Can't remember) to view. It is also available on DVD and every once in a while someone will post the episodes to YouTube. I just looked and found the first episode posted, the others may still be there as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWTMR3EVJzI&t=2889s Epix does offer a seven-day trial option and one can easily view all six episodes in that time then cancel, which is what I did originally.

This is pretty straightforward stuff. If you are looking for in-depth explorations of alt theories and all of that, don't bother. The value here is the authenticity & research that went into this thing, and the very deep-dive the (female) filmmakers take. An entire episode is devoted to Charlie's life story - we travel to West Virgina and talk to classmates and family friends. The cameras take us inside the Dennis Wilson home. We hear from the expected (Snake) but also the surprising (Bobby B, who granted an interview to these folks & was called out on it in a parole hearing, Steph Schram, etc.). The archival video that has been discovered & included here is quite impressive, too. I am surprised this one wasn't given more attention here on this site - it is the one truly serious & in-depth documentary devoted to this mess.

This Epix "women" doc stand a close second to the above, though. This one is much more limited in length and scope, but the fact that we get to hear from Fromme & Good makes it worth the while for me.

tobiasragg said...

Yet another comment related to my above posts (sure wish there were an edit option here!). The Epix link I provided above seems to involve five or all six of episodes of the Epix doc strung together. Over five hours, at any rate. If one has any interest in viewing this thing, this might be a good opportunity. Sampling this compilation reminds me again of how good this material is. I'd forgotten about the LaBianca vacation videos and the very unique, extended POV shot they discovered, of a camera following just behind Manson & shooting over his head as he descended the stairs in the old LA Justice Hall during that very first "perp walk" . . . we've read about the masses of press squeezed into that hallway to get the first look a this mythical, murderous man and of the water fountain that was dislodged from the wall in the crush, flooding the hallway as everyone continued to concentrate on this strange little man in buckskins. But here we actually follow just behind him and wade into that crush, seeing things as Manson did, from his POV, that afternoon.

Sorry to gush so, but I am a geek when it comes to this stuff and this documentary is amazing stuff: https://youtu.be/RWTMR3EVJzI

Loegria15 said...

I have no TV provider, so watching it on Oxygen is not an option.

I've seen the six-part Epix series. It's what made me want to travel back in time and kidnap little Charlie and then raise him with love that didn't mean pain and/or the wrath of god.

And there's this, from the Biography Documentary channel on YT
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KO8x2gmiF_E&t=597s

The music's a bit bombastic, but *sigh*...

I did very much like the clips with Sandy and Squeaky. Sandy scares me, and so does Squeaky, but in different ways.

tobiasragg said...

"Sandy scares me, and so does Squeaky, but in different ways."

Oh yeah, Sandy is def freaky. And yet still, I respect her in a really weird way. I mean, she is batshit crazy and it seems like it would be very challenging to be chill and have an actual conversation with her (SO defensive!) but she has a distinct POV and she sticks to it. Her reality seems to be her reality and I have to respect that. Hell, some folks out there think I'm weird, so who am I to judge?

Echoing some of the above comments, Lyn remains quite a mystery to me. The young Lyn was bizarrely "tough" in a really goofy, funny way. Hard to put my finger on it, but man - she would narrow those eyes, start bobbing her head as she spoke, and just *insist* on whatever point she was trying to make. And then you watch the Hendrickson outtakes featured in his second (and quite entertaining) film, watch her weeping beside her shotgun, just tortured, and you wonder wtf is going on within her. And then you view the Lyn of today, at least s presented in this Epix doc, and you discover a much more calm, resigned, down to earth and almost weary aging woman. She expresses no regrets, and yet you can tell she's done some pretty serious time.

Blue is deflection and noise, Red is action and determination. I hope you do get to see the Oxygen film, it really is worth the hour and a half.

Doug said...

Sucks that Oxygen has blocked it from being viewed in Canaduh

Doug said...

Some kind soul has uploaded the ENTIRE Epix series as ONE 5+ hour extravaganza!

I downloaded the 6 episodes way back but here's a YouTube link

Hopefully it stays uploaded for a while and isn't removed

https://youtu.be/RWTMR3EVJzI

Doug said...

This mega upload is a freebie too

Doug said...

Bwahahaha...I had an itchy trigger finger and should have read this comment before adding the exact same link as you had already posted Tobias

Oops

Dan S said...

Did she mean to shoot ford? I think she did

Peter said...

Just thought I'd get right to the point.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Dan, only Harold Boro knew for sure.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Peter, as someone who remembers your every comment on this illustrious blog, please accept my thanks for your sense of humor.

Dan S said...

https://www.gunsamerica.com/digest/squeaky-fromme-and-her-1911-pistol-a-whole-lot-of-crazy-in-one-tiny-package/

look i did some research! If she really meant not to fire i think the gun would ve been not loaded at all. How stoned was she?

G. Greene-Whyte said...

She meant to cap his ass. I always wonder why no one thought to roll over to Squeaky Fromme in a red nun costume and ask her why she was there.

tobiasragg said...

Dan, that link led to a great piece - thank you for sharing this!

Yes, in the Oxygen film an aging Squeaky offers a really bizarre version of her thinking prior to deciding to do her thing on Ford. It made no sense at all, given the facts we know.

Side tidbit: about 20 years ago I was staying at the St. Francis Hotel, the site of the second, Sarah Jane Moore attempt. On the exterior wall, perhaps 10-12 feet up, there still exists a divot in the stone. This was the spot where Moore's bullet struck when the marine bumped her arm up, causing her to miss Ford. They've installed an ATM machine just below this spot, if you're ever in San Francisco and care to check it out. I have pictures of this somewhere, it's kinda cool.

Dan S said...

Come to think of it, SHE should have his estate. And where did my brilliant comment go? Are you trying to make me look bad on front if the Col?
Thank you t-rag; would you try to say why squeaky did it according to her?

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Dan, I see your comment sitting in spam but I'm not sure why. Maybe Blogger has it in for you.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

Dunno if it's a Blogger issue or what but I see several comments in there that should not have been. People saying nice things to one another and xyz. Maybe that's the reason. Blogger saying commenters being friendly and said nope something is up.

G. Greene-Whyte said...

*seeing

tobiasragg said...

DAN: "Thank you t-rag; would you try to say why squeaky did it according to her?"

Yes, I can paraphrase very accurately what Fromme shares of the Ford matter. Fromme appears to be very subdued or toned down in this Oxygen documentary on the Manson women compared to her previous self. Her face has filled out with time and age and her hair has been dyed a very nice darker auburn-red, rather than the brilliant red of old or the frazzled gray we've seen in more recent parking lot pics. Her face is weathered and deeply creased with age, and she wears little granny bifocal specs. She sits quite comfortably in a nice, comforting setting, with an electric fireplace flickering to her side. Her tone and demeanor are very sober and reasonable. A hint of the old Squeaky peeks through, but here she speaks as an older and perhaps wiser - or at least more grounded - Squeaky Fromme. In fact, she seems almost crazily normal, which is part of why she remains such a mystery to me.

Lyn tells us that she had some serious concerns over the state of the environment and, when she heard that the President would be coming to town, she decided to try and talk to him about it. And then, she says, she did a rethink - thinking to herself, "oh, he'll never talk to ME!" That is when the idea to take a gun occurred to her, she says. That way, she will attract his attention and then he'll sit down and pause to talk with her. I believe she says that she didn't load the gun, could be wrong on that point. But she does state that she had no intention of shooting the President or even trying to.

I cannot remember if Lyn speaks of the immediate aftermath (her trial resembled the original Manson trials in some ways), but she does state that she did a whole lot of years for that action and she speaks of resisting the idea of parole or release for a very long time. Finally she states that she was experiencing struggles with her health and that it is very difficult to look after your health behind bars, so her attitude toward parole began to change. Her tone and demeanor throughout is, again, hauntingly normal. I don't know what to make of it, other than to say that it seems to me that prison may have subdued her - rather than actually breaking her. She doesn't seem angry or resentful or indignant or anything of the sort. Just kind of factual, and without much emotional expression at all.

Again, one can watch this on Oxygen's website if one has a cable or satellite (or streaming, I guess) account. I rewatched maybe ten minutes last night and I'll do another dip here in a few moments. Another thing that stuck with me is that Blue speaks quite extensively about Charlie and her time within the family, but I cannot recall Lyn ever really mentioning much about it. I could be forgetting things that she said though, I imagine I'll find out shortly.

Loegria15 said...

Here's Squeaky & Dianne:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHCeX27buug

Loegria15 said...

...from 2019, in reference to the above.

Loegria15 said...

Wah, why isn't there an edit function here, lol?

And there's this ABC - not Oxygen - docoseries, from which the last link I posted has been taken.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHCeX27buug

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

Here is the link to the Oxygen documentary: https://www.oxygen.com/manson-the-women/season-1/manson-the-women

If you have a TV provider that you subscribe to (they offer a long list to choose from) you can log in using your credentials with that provider and view this for free.

It is about one hour and twenty seven minutes and well worth the watch. The basic background information on Charlie and the formation and evolution of the family is presented, but it is in service to these four women and their personal stories. Squeaky, Sandy, Gypsy & Snake, each speaks in very personal terms about their thoughts and experiences throughout the entire journey. Two Manson-related authors are included to provide context, but the emphasis is on the "why" and "this is how I felt about what was happening" versus the factual, murder-focused stuff.

This is exactly why I love this documentary as much as I do. While something like the six-part Epix documentary does an excellent historical & sociological deep-dive (perhaps the deepest we've seen on video) into the entire thing, "Manson: The Women" provides an experiential and highly personal insight into why and how it all evolved the way it did. I find this to be about the most intimate view into the Manson experience as we're ever likely to get, all told by four women with vastly different points-of-view on that period in their lives.

tobiasragg said...

Okay, it turns out I combined other interviews with the Oxygen interviews to tell a more complete story of the Ford matter than what is described in the Oxygen doc. BLue later described the environment-related motivations but, rewatching this now, here are the relevant quotes for those who cannot view. This is preceded by an explanation that one of the other motivations was to be committed to prison so that they could be reunited with the other imprisoned Manson women and stand in incarceration with them:

SQUEAKY: I heard that Ford was coming and I thought "oh, I'll go and - I'll go and talk to him." And then I thought "he's not going to talk to YOU, he's not going to stop on his way, he's not going to stop!" And then I thought well, maybe I'll bring a GUN! And I just put the gun out and stuck it in there . . . a secret service agent grabbed it and they had me on the ground, and I was telling them "it's okay - it didn't go off, it's okay!" The guy walked over and he picked up my hand and it was SO relaxed ... and then he was talking to me, and the secret service agent said "who are YOU?"

SANDY: We were living together, so they arrested me. And they took me to jail and they wanted to ascertain if there was a conspiracy to assassinate the president of the united states.

Some filler narration follows, then:

SQUEAKY: I was able to go to the parole board after ten years, but I didn't go to the parole board. I wanted to stay with the girls, with Charlie, with everybody who was inside . . .

Narration describes Sandy's crimes and conviction, then:

SANDY: I didn't snivel and cry and go to the parole board, I did my time. And then I refused to leave. I said "I don't want out until my people get a fair trial." They had to basically kick me out.

We are told that Squeaky was finally paroled after 34 years.

SQUEAKY: I've been out for almost ten years. It's hard to be sorry if you're going by your heart.

There is further footage out there from these interviews (it might be a part of the "Aftershow" associated with this doc, I can't remember) in which Squeaky speaks of her health-related concerns over remaining in prison, but these are the quotes included in the core doc.

Dan S said...

Thank you

Dan S said...

She brought a gun to catalyze a conversation....And Charlie built a dune buggy death squad misogynist pimpdom for the sake of ATWA.

Mario George Nitrini 111 said...

Thank you Doug & tobiasragg for posting this Epix YouTube video
⬇️
https://youtu.be/RWTMR3EVJzI
This is why I read this blog every day.

Right around 3:44:00 into the video, Diane lake mentions bikers, and that corroborated for me.....
Interesting about the 2 bikers on motorcycles. One was the former Hell's Angels National President George Christie.
(Christie has me blocked on Twitter).

I would sure like to have a friendly discussion with Diane Lake. I'll bet she could corroborate a lot more of what my Charles Manson Case main focus is about.
Hopefully some day.

Mario George Nitrini 111
------
The OJ Simpson Case

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

Mario George Nitrini 111 said:

I would sure like to have a friendly discussion with Diane Lake. I'll bet she could corroborate a lot more of what my Charles Manson Case main focus is about

You mean Dianne could actually corroborate what you've spent the last 5½ years not telling us and obfuscating about ?
Snakes alive ! 🪱 😸 😹

Mario George Nitrini 111 said...

Yes grimtraveller, I do believe that Diane Lake could corroborate lots of situations of what I have commented about on this blog

Mario George Nitrini 111
-------
The OJ Simpson Case

tobiasragg said...

I do have to wonder how much help Ms. Lake would be to anyone with areas of inquiry on that brief "era". Given her age and relative status within the Manson group, one imagines there was a whole lot that she was not really privy too - and the relevant bits that were of broader interest have long since been shared in the book and various interviews.

There could be things that Lake has held back on sharing for whatever reasons, but it is reasonable to imagine her not wanting to share such things (if they even exist) with curious internet dwellers.

Monica said...

I am a bit behind catching up on this blog and apologize in advance if this has already been addressed... but Lynnette...oh Lynette...she is one odd duck. I wonder what Lauren Willet's family thinks of her.

grimtraveller said...

Mario George Nitrini 111 said...

Yes, I do believe that Diane Lake could corroborate lots of situations of what I have commented about on this blog

Yep, should be pretty easy for her to corroborate the fact that there was a January in 1969 and that someone rode a motorbike in California, sometime.🤫

Dan S said...

I dunno they didn't have clocks or calendars at the ranch....btw thanks for the laugh, Grim