Monday, July 25, 2022

Guest Post - Grim Traveller


Having recently done jury service here in London, I thought it might be a novel time to say a few things about a book that made absolutely no splashes or fanfare that I could see, when it came out back in 2019, a time when many things Manson were flying out of the woodwork, when 50 year anniversary {an odd concept in my mind} talk was all over the place. That book is “Inside the Manson Jury” and it was mainly written by the jury foreman, Herman Tubick. It passed well under the radar, which is interesting, considering in the four years leading up to it, there had been the deaths of Charles Manson, Vincent Bugliosi and Family documentary maker, Robert Hendrickson, as well as books by Dianne Lake, Lynette Fromme, Ed Sanders and the long awaited “Chaos” by Tom O’Neill, not to mention increased parole activity, including several recommendations for parole by the parole boards. One would have thought that a tome written by one of the actual jurors would have at least rated something of a mention, but no.

Jury foreman Herman Tubick, was the undertaker that served on the original trial and I think that he missed a trick in not having his book published at the time he wrote it, back in 1973. His nephew who writes the foreword, says that he never wanted to profit from it, which is quite commendable. In retrospect however, having gone to the trouble of writing a memoir about it, he clearly wasn’t just writing for himself.

With involvement with the co-author of Dianne Lake’s “Member of the Family,” in truth, it’s not a great book. It’s even arguable that many people interested in TLB would actually want to read it. It’s not sexy like “Chaos” and “Goodbye Helter Skelter.” It’s not controversial or definitive like “Helter Skelter” or its predecessing poor relation “The Family.” It may be an insider’s account, but it’s not exciting like “Reflexion” or “Member of the Family”  or gossippy like “Trial by your peers.” It’s not a debunker like “Crucified ~ the railroading of Charles Manson” or “False profit ~ Garbage dump to guru.”  

But in saying all that, it’s certainly not a bad book. It’s what I’d call a “point of view” account and for anyone interested in the workings of a jury, how they relate to matters and sift through the information they are given, it’s a gold mine. Had it come out in ‘73 along with William Zamora’s, it would have provided some much needed balance to his. And not only that, certain questions that only a juror could answer are answered. For example, we find out how much of an impact the 9 months of Atkins, Krenwinkel, Manson and Van Houten’s shenanigans had. We discover what the jury really thought of Linda Kasabian. We learn what they thought of the various delays, what it was like being sequestered, how they felt about being on such a famous case, how they got on {or didn’t, as the case may be}. Were the jury the “ding-a-lings” that Paul Fitzgerald hoped they would be ? Were they swayed by pre-trial publicity ? How great was their respect of and admiration for Irving Kanarek ? Did they cut Ronald Hughes any slack ? Was Judge Older viewed as weak and lacking in control ? What did they think of the Family witnesses on both sides ? Was there any bias ? Did William McBride really have the hots for Leslie ? Did they see through Bugliosi and think of him as a slick operator or hold him in high esteem ? How aware were they of the women on the corner ? Were they afraid of the Family ? Were Stephen Kay and Don Musich knights in shining armour ?

We get a sizeable and significant input from Herman’s wife, Helen, and we learn that the two spent much time in the ensuing years after the trial talking about the trial and the whole experience and she is the one that encouraged him to write his memories down in book form. As with juror John Baer’s wife Rosemary, with her book, “Reflections on the Manson Trial,” {which pre-dates even Zamora’s book}, Helen {who looked a bit like the Queen of the UK} demonstrates that at some point, the Manson episode touched people in profound ways and so perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised at the lingering interest, even 50+ years later. Both Herman and Helen appear as relics of a bygone age, yet through having to be on her own for 9 months, albeit reluctantly, Helen developed an independence and drive that she’d never had to contend with before so the book carries an interesting social dimension that William Zamora’s never had.

Speaking of Zamora, I thought it would be interesting to read his book again. “Trial by your peers”  {later rebranded as “Blood Family”} remains an excellent book and like Herman’s, takes us through each of the witnesses and what the juror remembered of each. But one thing that comes across very starkly in both books are the two specific juror’s disdain for each other. Zamora used aliases in his one and the person he cast as Herman Tubick is presented as a small minded old man that was out of touch. Herman on the other hand, names names and suffice it to say, William Zamora wouldn’t’ve been heading his Christmas card list in the early to mid 70s, if ever ! As diplomatic as he tries to be, the friction is clearly in his writing. Still, it wouldn’t be in keeping with all things Manson if there weren’t contradictions and differences relating to the same events !

I don’t want to say too much because despite it not being the greatest story ever told, I would recommend it. Heartily. And I have to give an affectionate shout out to Beauders who tipped me onto the book in the first place.

Thanks sister !

How much it actually adds to the overall story is really down to the individual. I personally enjoyed most of it and think it is valuable. I tend to think that most, if not all, of the perspectives that various participants in this saga bring to the table are really quite important, if only for balance and appreciation of nuance. And up until now, the only juror perspectives we’ve had have been that of William Zamora and a kind of second hand one in Rosemary Baer, wife of John Baer ~ and interestingly, she disagreed with her husband on matters like the death penalty and seemed to be more willing to listen to where the defendants were coming from. In Herbert’s book, we get not only his observations, taken from his notes and recorded in real time, we also have input from William McBride III who was also on the jury. He was one of the youngsters and his contribution to the book is worth a whole lotta something valuable. He actually went on to become a court reporter, inspired by his time on the jury. I rather wish he’d write his own book ! Or at least do a very long and definitive interview.

In spite of all that has been said and written about the Manson case, the defence and prosecution, dodgy activity on any side of the equation, the Family or the families etc, the simple reality is that it was those 12 people sitting on the jury that convicted the defendants. Not motives or theories or lies or lack of defence. That alone makes the book worth a read. The illustrations are top notch, even if the artist, Anna Latchmann, had a 50 year advantage that other artists didn’t in the 70s.

A number of people suffered personal losses during the trial period, Pat Krenwinkel among them, losing her half-sister. The jury members weren’t spared the clutches of the Grim Reaper , with Tubick being among those to lose close ones and/or family members. Ironically, life had to go on.

There are some nicely human moments such as when Charlie mouthed “Happy birthday” to Herman on his birthday and the female defendants sang the song “Happy birthday to you” outside the jury room. But all in all, it could hardly be described as a happy affair and it’s worth a read to understand exactly why as Herman has much to say about the wheels of justice. The book is available and the prices online range from more than reasonable to taking the mickey.

As an appetite wetter, I’ll conclude by quoting Herman from the book;

“There was sorrow in my heart for all four defendants, especially for the women. There were moments in the courtroom, as I reflected on the wasted lives of these young girls, the thought crossed my mind; by the grace of God, they could be my daughters. There is no jubilation in something like this, no sense of satisfaction; it was a task that I did not relish. The issue was not how I felt, but that it was a job that had to be done. And in a crime of this nature, the defendants were seemingly unrepentant killers. I could not let my heart rule my head.”

- GT

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

EAN (ISBN-13): 9781944068868

Paperback

Publishing year: 2019

Publisher: Micro Publishing Media

ISBN/EAN: 9781944068868

ISBN - alternate spelling: 

978-1-944068-86-8

33 comments:

ColScott said...

This is great Grim. I missed the book too and must have it for the archives. You liked Zamora? I just recall him judging other jurors for hooking up and being in general an arsehole

Doug said...

Great post Grim!

Appreciate the heads up about this book. I had no idea that it even existed.

Cheers

ColScott said...

Doug


AmiRite?

ColScott said...

You know what book I want? Or movie? A star crossed counterculture love story. Hot brunette 20 year old in cutoffs. Older man with a beard and a forehead scar. Several days (how many was it Deb) living out of the LA sewer system in 1970s. Food left for them in places. Screwing in the filth. Notes left from their guru. Then finally, time to turn themselves in- never to be alone together in a world they never made! Bruce and Brenda- A Modern Romance! It writes itself!😳

leary7 said...

I did read the book. Believe it or not, my town library had it.
Don't shoot, Col, but I don't see it. Who but the most dedicated TLB folk would pay to see a movie about two delusional, deranged sociopaths who lived the mad life fifty years ago. Neither Bruce or Brenda were even remotely entertaining or interesting. Charlie was, of course one the most fascinating characters in history - all evilness aside. Lynette was alluring.
Patty, Susan and Lulu were a trip.
But Brenda and Bruce. All good books and movies have characters who are compelling. Watch the tape of Bruce being interviewed on the street as he abdicated his free life. Why would there be a need for a movie about such a moron. Brenda and Bruce...the original Dumb and Dumber.

David Lane said...

Thankfully I have never been summoned for Jury service. I have however given evidence at 2 proceedings and the thought of turning up to court for 9 months for something as disturbing as the Manson trial would fill me with trepidation.

Ok, the book is written by one of the jurors, however how accurate is his understanding and reporting of the other 11 members. To confuse the matter more there were the antics of the 4 on trial. I understand it is reported (and was also reported by the media) that some who observed the trial started to feel ‘sorry’ (probably too strong a word) for the 3 girls. The jurors minds must have been all over the place. I’ll try to read the book as I’d be interested to hear about the discussions they had in private. Having attended many meetings with around a dozen people in attendance it never ceased to amaze me the variety of views on even the simplest point could be.

There was a petition started in the UK many years ago proposing that ‘professional’ jurors be employed on a full time basis, especially for complex subjects such as cybercrime. Understanding the technical side is only one issue, just as important to consider are perceptions of guilt and dispositional attributions due to race.
Back to my own attendance at court, they only lasted a short time and some of the jury members looked bewildered, some tired and others disinterested, even thinking about the dinner party they were going to throw that weekend. Only 1 day, but 9 months.

Seems an inordinate amount of time when they appeared to be confessing to the crimes anyway.

Doug said...

Bwahahaha! Yesssss!

Married in Vegas on the 81st anniversary of Hitler's birthday...

orwhut said...

Good job, Grim. As usual, clear as a bell.

Jay said...

Great review. This one has been on my list for a bit, I might have to bump it up a few spots. I’m really curious to see what they thought of Linda.

Gaspar G.W. said...

I'd like to volunteer to help choose Brender's clothes for the film.

Dan S said...

Grim, what was your jury experience like and what was the case? I always get excused for financial hardship

ColScott said...

Leary- I dunno I was just spitballing- I think Nancy was attractive and I sort of like the idea of making the audience feel for the "lovers on the run" then twist it by OH it's these two psychos. I'll never do it, just thinking

leary7 said...

Sorry Col, spitballing is always a good thing. I just think sometimes us TLB junkies tend to glorify the players.
Dress Bremda, GW? To skinny and scowly. I would go with Gypsy, but only if she shaved first.

Vera Dreiser said...

Spithballing.

Vera Dreiser said...

(Anybody have an umbrella?).

grimtraveller said...

Dan S said:

Grim, what was your jury experience like and what was the case?

I enjoyed it overall. There were definitely some moments where I really struggled to stay awake, even when I'd gone to bed early the night before and had a really good night's sleep. Sitting down and listening to information for up to 3 hours at a time was hard. I mean, I've been known to fall asleep during a film, if I'm tired {I fell asleep 6 times during "The Phantom Menace" !} but I never do if I'm fresh. I almost did a few times during the case though !
Basically, the case lasted for 3 weeks and it was a Trading Standards case, pretty much bordering on fraud. Usually, when one gets called to jury service here, one is told that they'll be needed for 2 weeks. But of course, few cases are exact sciences and can be less or longer.
The judge was brilliant and was really on the ball ~ although he didn't look it. He looked like some old geezer, but he was really sharp and you could tell that by some of the questions he asked. He picked up on things that most of us missed. He was always jovial and cheerful ~ until our guy had been found guilty on 3 of the 6 counts. Then his manner changed and it was kind of chilling ! When he started talking about the possibility of a custodial sentence, a number of us caught our breath. The case hadn't felt that serious.
But when I thought about it after, I thought, well, yeah, it was serious. The Judge made a point to the convicted about how the public needed to be protected from people like him and that caused me to look at trading standards in a slightly different light. It came home to me all the harder because I'd recently been involved in a dispute with an online store and basically could do absolutely nothing about it and it was infuriating.
The counsel were interesting, both women. I wasn't greatly impressed by the prosecutor, whereas the defence counsel was a bright spark. She was good at sowing little seeds of doubt.
I thought the defendant was fortunate to be found not guilty on 3 of the charges. I thought he was guilty on every count. But 'not guilty' is the default position and ∴ for a person to be found guilty, it has to be unanimous. On one of the counts, 11 of us thought he was guilty, but one didn't, so according to what the judge directed, a verdict of not guilty had to be recorded.
The sentencing was about 6 weeks after the verdict and this little article in Trucker World {!} gives a bit of detail, but not much !

grimtraveller said...

Dan S said:

I always get excused for financial hardship

I was talking to a colleague of mine and she told me that she'd been excused from jury duty twice, but you only get two opportunities to not do it so if her name ever comes up again, she has to do it.
We were told by the judge that he would listen to anyone that had exceptional reasons for not doing it, but they had to be like exceptionally exceptional. They won't brook financial hardship here most of the time, because we can claim for loss of wages and the dept of justice pays for your lunch and fares.
There's been such a backlog of cases for so long {it even goes back further than covid} that they've been requisitioning magistrates courts and holding crown court trials in them. There's a magistrates court 17 minutes walk from where I live and it was held there so I walked each day, which was great.
I was originally meant to be at a crown court in Wood Green which is about 7 or 8 miles from where I am, but an awkward and convoluted journey by bus or train. I got these e-mails and texts telling me to go to West Hendon instead, but the spelling was so bad, I thought they were fakes so I ignored them. So I went to the crown court {I thought I left in good time, but I was still late} and they told me I should have been in West Hendon ! That happened to a few people {the court staff said it happens every week} so we made our way there. The people I travelled with ended up on juries in different cases so I rarely saw them again. I was glad to be where I was though. The weather was great in that late April/early May period. And I knew I'd never be late and knew exactly when I'd be home.

leary7 said:

I did read the book. Believe it or not, my town library had it

That's a pretty go-ahead library. What did you make of it and have you ever read Zamora's one ?

ColScott said:

You liked Zamora? I just recall him judging other jurors for hooking up and being in general an arsehole

I read Zamora immediately after reading "Goodbye Helter Skelter" and getting involved here and I was surprised that it got nary a mention anywhere. Although the lack of chapter markings is ridiculous, it's a good book. I think many insider accounts have something that most others struggle to compensate for, even when they're pretty tame.
He definitely comes across as arrogant and conceited and I don't think he needed to go where he went with his views of his fellow jurors. But what makes his book good is not his views of his fellow jurors as people, but rather, his views of the trial. It's diamond-studded, from that perspective.

brownrice said...

Cool post, Grim.

grimtraveller said...

David Lane said:

Thankfully I have never been summoned for Jury service

For some reason, I thought in the past that a person only got called once in their lifetime but my wife was called twice, once in ‘97 and the other time around 2014 or 15. There was a guy on our jury that was sitting for the 3rd time. He’d first done it 20 years ago, then last September. There seems to be no rhyme nor reason in how people are selected.
Ironically, the week before I got my letter back in Feb or March, I was talking to one of the kids at the school I work at and they were asking me if it was true one of the teachers had to go to court every day so I explained that he was doing jury service and they asked me “what’s that ?” and I explained. They then asked me if I’d ever done it and I told them, no, never. Obviously the govt doesn’t want the benefit of my analysis and insight !

Then came the letter !!

the thought of turning up to court for 9 months for something as disturbing as the Manson trial would fill me with trepidation

What I found really difficult, and this was just a 3 week trial, was processing all the information. You never really got a chance to think anything through, because there were a few witnesses, questions from both sides, the judge would interject now and then, we had 6 or 7 bundles of stuff with so much information. Both the prosecution and defence referred to the various bundles quite often and sometimes, my mind went momentarily blank when trying to recall which bundle we were supposed to be looking at or where in the bundle we were supposed to be. I’d look around at the jurors on either side of me and I’d see which bundle they were looking at then I’d be trying to locate it and sometimes, by the time I’d found the bundle, we were on a totally different page. But I wasn’t the only one. Most of us went through that ! On top of trying to keep awake at times or stopping my imagination wandering or just losing a train of thought, I was also taking notes. I ended up with what looked like it could pass for a university dissertation of notes. I originally wasn’t going to take notes, but it was a good way to stay alert. It felt almost like a waste of time….until it came time to deliberate. Then those notes became gold, in them thar hills !
Incidentally, the judge truly came into his own when it came to taking notes. There was one day when the recording machine had broken down, unbeknownst to anyone. So they missed 2½ hours of evidence. But he’d captured most it !
Because our guy had battled with mental health issues, there was quite a disturbing aspect to it. Although beforehand I’d been saying to friends that I hoped I be on a juicy case because I was worried I’d have trouble staying awake, I’m glad I didn’t get a harrowing case like TLB.

leary7 said:

Who but the most dedicated TLB folk would pay to see a movie about two delusional, deranged sociopaths who lived the mad life fifty years ago

You’d be surprised. Loads of people who don’t know anything about TLB would watch it. My kids and their ilk would probably watch it and the YouTube videos and introspective commentaries that all these deep film makers would make in 7 months time !

grimtraveller said...

David Lane said:

Ok, the book is written by one of the jurors, however how accurate is his understanding and reporting of the other 11 members

Well, I guess it’s as accurate as anyone that is giving their opinion on how a group whose heads one can’t get into, is thinking. In a way, Herman’s book {at one point in the post, I called him Herbert !} isn’t really any different to what you’d find in any interview or autobiography. I remember back in the late 80s, I read a book that came out about Arsenal FC’s centenary and there is a great chapter in it called “Arsenal’s double” which is about how the team that won the league championship and FA cup in ‘71 came together and was built. It’s a fantastic chapter, in fact I later bought the book purely on the basis of that chapter ~ and I’ve never liked Arsenal. Never even read the rest of the book ! Anyway, their coach, Don Howe, when talking about Charlie George’s winning goal against Liverpool said that Charlie had done so much running {remember, the game went to extra time} that he was out on his feet, knackered, and was just wandering about in no man’s land, tired, which is how he came to be where he was when he received the ball before smashing in the winner. That’s been in my memory for 30+ years. Well, I read Charlie’s autobiography a few years back and he addressed what Howe said and denied it categorically. As he put it, “how the heck would he know ?”
Herman was just like any of us in a group situation, assessing people by their words, actions, body language and behaviour. If one reads William Zamora’s book, one will glean a somewhat different view, but then, they were completely different people so that’s to be expected. They could’ve both been totally wrong. Or right. Or half way.

To confuse the matter more there were the antics of the 4 on trial

If anything, all the antics of the defendants did was to prove that the prosecution just might have a point. They said Charlie was anti~establishment and here he was, showing no respect to the establishment or authority, which wouldn’t have been a problem except that he went out of his way to be disruptive. That was just stupid, given the situation he was in. Then the prosecution said this case was about Manson’s domination and what did the jury see ? Charlie does this, the women then follow. The prosecution tied these attitudes to the defendants’ actions and the guilt thereof.
However, they were convicted by the evidence that was presented and their defence’s inability to explain or counter any of that evidence.

I understand it is reported (and was also reported by the media) that some who observed the trial started to feel ‘sorry’ (probably too strong a word) for the 3 girls

I think that’s just how things were in the late 60s/early 70s. Many people still carried the notion that if males and females were involved together in a crime, the man must have made the women do it, or at least been the lynchpin. And let’s be honest, Charlie came across as smart, funny and streetwise and it seemed inconceivable that he could have been hoodwinked by these youngsters.
Interestingly, it’s as rare as hen’s teeth to find someone who felt sorry for Charles Watson !

leary7 said:


Neither Bruce or Brenda were even remotely entertaining or interesting….Why would there be a need for a movie about such a moron. Brenda and Bruce...the original Dumb and Dumber

I must admit, Brenda on the stand and sometimes in Robert’s film and book, really came across as what an old mate of mine used to call “pigshit ignorant.” But she was young. I have to say, by the 90s, Bruce came across as quite articulate and wise.

grimtraveller said...

David Lane said:

The jurors minds must have been all over the place

Believe me, there’s nothing unusual about that !
They had to go through more than 80 witnesses, saw 3 lawyers leave the trial, were continually sent out while a matter of law was debated, sometimes for days or weeks at a time, sometimes never knowing why, sometimes the windows of their bus were blacked out, their newspapers were gone through and any reference to the trial or crime or lawyers or criminals were cut out, they were followed everywhere they went, they couldn’t watch the news, they weren’t allowed to discuss the case with one another while being locked together for 9 months !
From what people said in the case we were on, I don’t think anyone had formed any clear decision prior to us deliberating. It really needed a sifting of info and the thing is, our notes and bundles had to remain in the court so we couldn’t take them out during lunch or at the end of the day to look over. And we couldn’t discuss the case unless all 12 of us were in the jury room. We couldn’t discuss it if the door was open. If one or more person went to the toilet, we couldn’t discuss it. And on the few occasions we did discuss it, there was so much we couldn’t say or ascertain, because it would have meant being biased or possibly nudging another jury member in a direction that they hadn’t come to or one might have had questions that had not yet come up and might be covered later.
Yes, juries minds can be all over the place ! But that’s pretty human.

Having attended many meetings with around a dozen people in attendance it never ceased to amaze me the variety of views on even the simplest point could be

Well, just witness the comments section on this blog.
And in life there are different people with different points of view. Coming from very different places. Some open to persuasion, some completely and intractably closed-minded, some strong in their view but ready to listen to others, some easily malleable, etc. Many groups are like that. The Family was like that. The DA’s office was like that. Bugliosi and Stovitz weren’t exactly at one for much of the time, over the direction of the investigation.
The jury I was on was fairly well mixed. 3 White English guys and me a Black English guy. 2 Asian {over here, ‘Asian’ refers to people from India/Pakistan/Bangla Desh/Sri Lanka} women and one lady that I think was Asian but could have been Arabic or North African. There were 2 White English women, one Iranian woman, one White American woman and a Canadian Chinese woman. Age wise, we were everything from mid 20s to early 60s. I think we got on well and apart from one of the Asian women that rarely spoke, and one the guys that was a bit shy and didn’t say much, everyone had things to say throughout the 3 weeks. It was the same in deliberation, most of us had no qualms about saying our piece.
But of course, it’s not until people speak up that you start to find things that you differ over. Most of those things aren’t important, although they can seem that way for a while. But yeah, we seemed to get on well and I’m still in contact with a couple of the people.

There was a petition started in the UK many years ago proposing that ‘professional’ jurors be employed on a full time basis

Funny you should bring that up. Afterwards, I was talking about jury service with a colleague that had done it earlier in the year or last year and we were both saying that we’d be full time jurors if it ever became such a thing.
One thing that I found fascinating was just how things in a Californian court in 1970/71 were identical to things happening in a London court in 2022. Obviously things move on, but there’s a certain stability that makes the idea of professional jurors an attractive proposition to some.
I’d do it, but I don’t actually think it’s a good idea. For better or for worse, with all its flaws, I think the system just about works as it is.

grimtraveller said...

David Lane said:

just as important to consider are perceptions of guilt and dispositional attributions due to race

None of us likes to think this applies to us but I have to tell you, it damn well applied to me. In the same way that being married or becoming a parent or getting sacked or being in hospital or being the victim of some injustice brings out of us or highlights things in us that we either never knew were there or had never really focused on before, being on a jury really exposes one, if only in one’s own mind, to one’s own self, to prejudices, warped perceptions, lingering judgementalism, the “sin crouching at the door, seeking to master.”
It wasn’t comfortable !
On occasion during the 3 weeks, I found myself having to fight myself because of a thought that strayed to the forefront of my mind. Me, being me, I would then start asking myself if I really thought or believed the thought and if so, why, how ? And if not, where the heck did it come from ? Was it just humour ? Or something more sinister, masquerading as humour ? Is there a huge gulf between what I consciously think and believe and what I really, deep down think and believe ? From time to time, I felt stretched like a hairband on 4 heads when it came to race, culture, sex/gender, profession, articulacy, nationality, justice, age, political persuasion, sociability, weight, accent, mental health, some more than others, but all part of that particular stew. And on top of that, trying to determine exactly what the prosecution was saying, because their case really wasn’t clear initially. Or at least, it wasn’t to me !
It is really easy to look at someone and decide their guilt or innocence purely based on whether or not you like their look, or don’t like their look. On whether they come across as arrogant or smooth. On whether or not they’re of the same background, race or culture as you {either way}. Or how they talk. Things that have nothing to do with the evidence presented.
I noticed in both Herman and William Zamora’s book that there were bits of evidence that they say came from their notes, that are actually incorrect. Nothing that fundamentally altered anything important, but as we all know, juries aren’t perfect and jurors aren’t perfect. Both Herman and Zamora indicate that certain jurors were sometimes at the end of their tether and just wanted to get home. But at the end of the day, they seemed to pull together to reach the verdicts. But I can see why some of them felt like they’d been put through a mangle.

Doug said:

Married in Vegas on the 81st anniversary of Hitler's birthday

In Robert’s book, he said that Ronald Hughes was supposed to be married to Brenda but it all got called off at the last minute.

Jay said:

I’m really curious to see what they thought of Linda

When I read Zamora’s book, I was quite interested to note that probably the first question they asked themselves when they came to deliberate, was whether or not she was believable.

ColScott said:

I sort of like the idea of making the audience feel for the "lovers on the run"

I’ve been watching a lot of “CSI Miami” and “Alfred Hitchcock presents” with my kids lately and it fascinates me how one can be “made” to feel positively for the baddie or negatively for the goody. That is really what happens in a court room during a trial. I kind of felt for the defence counsel, because the defendant undid much of her good work with his attitude and even more so with the words that were carriers of his attitude.

Vera Dreiser said:

Anybody have an umbrella?

We’ve just had the driest July in the UK since 1911 !
But I saw more umbrellas than I can ever recall seeing during hot weather.

grimtraveller said...

David Lane said:

some of the jury members looked bewildered, some tired and others disinterested, even thinking about the dinner party they were going to throw that weekend

I do think some people take it more seriously than others. I thought that even from watching dramas on TV with juries. “12 Angry Men” is a fantastic film and I love it to bits and it does touch on a number of issues, even if some of it isn’t particularly realistic. But one of the things I could see was that just by the law of averages, there’d be some people that just want to get out of there and wouldn’t necessarily be thinking about the life of the person they were judging.
And it goes without saying that some jurors might be disinterested. That’s the human way, especially as jury service isn’t a choice for anyone and in many cases, is an inconvenience and sometimes, financially awkward, even though here we generally get reimbursed. But it might be a while before that money comes back.
As for bewilderment, there was a lot of that. Interestingly, until we came to deliberate. That was a truly useful exercise, listening to everybody’s view, actually having a chance to put certain bits of evidence together, thrashing out what we thought. Sometimes, a person may make a point that suddenly brings clarity to one’s thinking. It’s not even necessarily that you agree or disagree {it could be either or neither}, just that the way a point is put helps to make something clear that was previously murky.
In the end, we deliberated for 2 days, which doesn’t sound like much, though actually, it was. That said, we could easily have gone on for another day.

Seems an inordinate amount of time when they appeared to be confessing to the crimes anyway

The defendants all put in a plea of ‘not guilty.’ The trial lasted a long time for a variety of reasons. It would have lasted even longer if the defence lawyers had put on an actual defence. The main reason it lasted so long though, was due to the disappearance of Ronald Hughes and then Maxwell Keith being brought up to speed by reading thousands of pages of transcripts. I’ve read that transcript ~ taking it all in in the short time he had is hardly possible. In the end, though, that length of time benefitted Leslie because it was due to that that her original sentence was quashed and she got 2 more trials ~ not that it worked out for her.
But the women didn’t start confessing until the prosecution had rested and then when they had a chance to testify, they chose not to. And some of those confessions, even at the time, were adjudged to be fake ones. Then the penalty phase came and they put on their defence then, by which time it was too late, then their lawyers tried a psychiatric defence during the penalty phase, where some head doctors were called.

Dan S said...

Wow crime does pay! Suspended sentence and a tiny fine (netting massive profits for the crook in comparison). Reminds me of Trump's fake university

Doug said...

Grim Said

Doug said:

Married in Vegas on the 81st anniversary of Hitler's birthday

In Robert’s book, he said that Ronald Hughes was supposed to be married to Brenda but it all got called off at the last minute.

**there are some who recall a Brenda/Bruce "wedding" witnessed by Clem/Gypsy on April 20, 1970. I believe this union was referenced on Bruce's intake papers as lasting between 68-whenBruce and Nancy "suddenly" appeared from the sewers when Bruce turned himself in. So, perhaps Brenda/Nancy achieved her emancipation status via Davis...

orwhut said...

Doug,
Wikipedia lists Nancy's DOB AS Jan 1, 1951. How old did she have to be to be emancipated because of her age?

DebS said...

orwhut said...
Doug,
Wikipedia lists Nancy's DOB AS Jan 1, 1951. How old did she have to be to be emancipated because of her age?

I'm not Doug but the legal age was 21 back then. It wasn't until the age to vote became 18, I think in 1972, that 18 was the legal age though you still need to be 21 to legally drink alcohol in California.

orwhut said...

Deb,
Thanks! If I ever knew, I'd forgotten.

Doug said...

Thanks Deb!

grimtraveller said...

Dan S said:

Wow crime does pay! Suspended sentence and a tiny fine (netting massive profits for the crook in comparison)

The irony is that he didn't really make much money on the scheme, especially when one takes into account his court costs !
Also, the sentence part that would generally be overlooked is the being disqualified from running a company for 5 years. But that's the kind of thing that may well come to haunt him at some point in the future. As I often say, be careful what you sign.....

Peter said...

Hitchcock said that a turning point in Psyco is when Norman pushes the car into the swamp and for a moment it gets stuck. He said that after that pause, when the car slid below the surface, the audience would always let out a sigh of relief.

grimtraveller said...

It's one of the tensest moments in the film.

grimtraveller said...

leary7 said:

Interesting assertion, Grim. Your kids and many others would flock to a movie about Bruce Davis and Nancy Pitman regardless of their interest in TLB as a whole

My older son, 18 at the time, was interested in "Once upon a time in America." We had some interesting discussions on why I wasn't interested ! His interest stemmed more from Tarantino's involvement than the TLB aspect.
I don't think people would necessarily want to watch a Bruce and Brenda film specifically because of Bruce and Brenda, but because of the subject matter of two wanted people, "lovers", on the run and living in sewers while evading capture from one of the most sophisticated police forces in the world, or so we're told. There's a coterie of young people out there that explore films for their depth, screwed-up anti-heroes, interpersonal interaction, and emotional content rather than just action.
The TLB factor wouldn't do any harm, but it wouldn't be the thing that raises the initial eyebrows. I guess the director would also be one of the deciding factors.

my personal belief is that interest in Manson has seriously faded and interest in Brenda and Bruce has never existed...A movie about Bruce and Brenda has no hook

I agree on both counts. I'd be surprised if even a tiny minority could tell you who Bruce Davis is.
As for Nancy Pitman....being the one-time teen buddy of Angela Lansbury's daughter is hardly premier league kudos.