Monday, November 14, 2022

Steve Grogan aka Garth Tufts and the Shotgun


Grogan and Todd courtesy of

Inyo County District Attorney Frank Fowles had an agenda. I expect that he was a bit miffed that Los Angeles County had swooped up most of the people arrested in the Barker Ranch Raids. His county had spent a lot of time, manpower and money on the Manson Family and Los Angeles was getting all of the press. Few, if any, of the people arrested in Inyo County were convicted of anything in that county. They had either been released for lack of evidence or transferred to LA to face more serious charges.

By December 3, 1969 only 11 of those arrested remained in the Inyo County jail and the announcement had just been made that Charles Manson and a few of his Family members were responsible for the Tate and LaBianca murders.


One person that Fowles set his sights on was Steve Grogan. This letter sounds like he wanted Grogan in the worst way. By this time Grogan had been transferred to Los Angeles to answer for the stolen truck charges and the wanted charge for the escape from a mental hospital in Ventura County. Grogan settled both of those charges and had been frequenting the Los Angeles County Court House with other Family members.

August 3, 1970


Sergeant Paul Whitely

Homicide Bureau

Los Angeles Sheriff's Department

Hall of Justice

Los Angeles, California


Dear Paul:

                             Re: Randy J Morglea

The last time you were up here I mentioned that there was a Randy Morglea who was apprehended with Tufts during one of the California Highway Patrol raids which occurred on October 10, 1969.  Enclosed is a California Highway Patrol report concerning the particular raid, and on page 3, in the last paragraph, you will see Morglea's name mentioned.  Morglea was charged with possession of a sawed-off shotgun and when it appeared he was 15 years old he was certified as a juvenile.  Subsequently, he was sent to Patton State Hospital along with Dianne Lake under a conservatorship.  His treatment was terminated at Patton and he was released by our court into the custody of his mother.

I have received a request from Vincent Bugliosi to recharge Tufts, aka Steve Grogan, with the possession of the sawed-off shotgun.  The only possible defense would be that the shotgun was actually possessed by Morglea instead of Tufts.  A statement from Morglea would be very interesting and even an admission that the shotgun was possessed by Tufts would give me perhaps all I need to put Tufts away following a conviction when I re-file.

Sgt. Paul Whitely

Page 2

August 3, 1970

You indicated that you had never talked to Morglea, who also was known by the name Scott Bell Davis and Todd.  He was with the Family for quite a while and might have some interesting information for you.  In any case, when you question him, I would appreciate it if you slip in a question or two about who possessed the shotgun.  This would be very helpful to me and any statement in that regard would be valuable as the least I could do is use it as a prior inconsistent statement when he called as a witness.

His mother is a member of the "Fountain of the World" religious sect.  She appears to me to be a very nice lady although rather strange.  She is totally against Manson and I am sure she would help us any way she can.  Morglea is supposed to be with Mrs. Todd at this point.  Her address is as follows.

Mrs. Todd

Route 5 Box 523

Box Canyon Road

Canoga Park, California


Her phone number at her employment is Area Code 213-348-5161.  She also has a friend where she may be reached and her address is as follows:

Harriet Irving

27 Box Canyon Road

Canoga Park, California

Phone: (213) 347-9281

I am also including a psychiatric report on this boy for background information for you. If you have any luck and can help me out let me know.  We are all anxious to see Tufts put away.


Very truly yours,

Frank H. Fowles

District Attorney

*The psychiatric report on Morglea was not with the documents I received.


Apparently Frank Fowles did get his wish. Grogan was to appear in court, in Inyo County, for possession of the sawed-off shotgun November 11, 1970.

Fowles victory was short lived because on December 18, 1970 Grogan was released from the Inyo County jail to Los Angeles County to be charged and prosecuted for the murder of Shorty Shea.

By the time Grogan was paroled in 1985 the statute of limitations for the sawed-off shotgun charge had long since run out.

While I knew that Dianne Lake aka Diane Bluestein had been sent to Patton State Hospital, I did not know that Hugh Rocky Todd aka Randy Morglea had also been sent there. The first article in this post is dated December 3, 1969 stating that all 11 with charges pending were still in Inyo County’s custody, it was quite some time before they were sent to the state hospital apparently.

A previous post about the Fountain of the World quotes a December 11, 1969 article where Rocky Todd’s mother says that she has not seen or heard from her son since around October 1, 1969. That’s a long time for a juvenile not to have been identified and reunited with a parent. Rocky did not look particularly old for his age, he was only 15 years old.