Monday, November 28, 2022

Oct. 20, 1969 Interviews

Photo courtesy of University of Nevada

 The LASD went to Inyo County to interview those arrested in the Barker Ranch Raids. They also interviewed Paul Watkins and Brooks Poston who were not arrested.


October 20, 1969

Information Obtained from Various Subjects at Inyo County Sheriff's Department

On 10/14/69 we interviewed POSTON, Brooks Ramsey; male Caucasian, 12/15/48, home address 408 Lee Street, Boger, Texas. He has lived at Barker Ranch, Panamint Valley, since October 1968. He worked at the Spahn Movie Ranch from June until October 1968.

He met MANSON, Charles in June 1968 at Dennis Wilson's residence at 14400 Sunset Blvd., West Los Angeles. Wilson is a member of the Beach Boys singing group. Charles Manson lived with Wilson for a while, and used his car.

Poston and Manson went to work at the Spahn Ranch in June 1968. At the Spahn Ranch, Poston met GOOD, Sandy; FROMME, Lynn; BLUESTEIN, Diane; and two other girls. Poston stated he saw the females at the Spahn Ranch in possession of numerous credit cards. Poston said that the credit cards were obtained by the females either by sex or by trickery. Poston thinks the girls were working as prostitutes but has not seen anything to substantiate this.

The girls used to obtain old vegetables from markets in the Simi Valley and the San Fernando Valley. Girls also used to obtain day-old bakery goods from an unknown bakery. The girls also used to solicit food from various churches and other charitable organizations.

Poston stated that at the Death Valley area locations, Manson used to tell the girls that they must have sexual relations with the men or he (Manson) would injure the girls.

Poston also stated regarding credit cards that most of the girls in the group are runaway juveniles and, to be accepted by Manson, the girls normally had to furnish credit cards to Manson. These cards normally came from parents of the runaway juveniles. Poston said he once gave a Texaco gas credit card to Manson, and someone ran up the charges in California and Oregon.

Poston stated that Manson once gave an old panel truck, faded blue or green, to the WKFL (Fountain of the World) religious order, Box Canyon, Chatsworth. This truck was obtained at an unknown location, Manson traded this truck to the cult so that some of the females at the Spahn Ranch would have some place to live. The females involved were GLUTZ, Sadie Mae; BRUNNER, Mary; and ROWE, Stephanie.

Poston stated that the group left Spahn Ranch in October 1968 after Manson had an argument with George Spahn. The group traveled from the Spahn Ranch to Death Valley in a converted 57 passenger school bus, that was bought for $750. The money reportedly was from Juanita's insurance refund. Manson took out seats, put in mattresses, and drove it to the Golar Wash area, Death Valley. The bus is presently at Barker Ranch.

When the group left the Spahn Ranch, FROMME, Lynette; SANKSTON, Leslie; and MEYERS, Cathy, were left behind for an unknown reason. The group arrived at Golar Wash area about Thanksgiving, 1968, in the school bus with about 20 persons on the bus.

Poston states that 2-Dodge trucks, both owned by BEAUSOLIEL, Robert, are in the Golar Wash area. One truck is a black Dodge weapons carrier that is at the Barker Ranch. The other is an orange Dodge power wagon which is parked at Ballarat. Both are probably registered to Beausoleil's wife, named Gail. Beausoleil reportedly traded a speed boat he owned for the two trucks. Gail Beausoleil was last at the Spahn Ranch in July 1968, possibly now living in North Hollywood.

Poston stated he saw Manson at the Barker Ranch about 9/25/69 in possession of a .12-gauge pump shotgun, and an "over and under" shotgun. Also, Manson had a .45 caliber Buntline, blue steel revolver. This revolver was reportedly owned by a person known as "Shorty." "Shorty", [later identified as SHEA, Donald]. Poston described Shorty as male/Caucasian, 38 years, 5-11, heavy build, with a beer belly. Poston last saw Shorty in September 1968. At that time Shorty was driving a blue, 1950 to 1956 Cadillac.

Poston stated that about 9/25/69, Manson told Poston to go to the foot of Golar Wash to pickup some auto parts. Poston drove from Barker Ranch to the foot of Golar Wash in the orange Dodge power wagon. At the foot of Golar Wash he assisted DAVIS, Bruce; MOLLER?, Grant; aka "Clem"; and a male/Caucasian, 16 years, known as "Scott" in loading auto parts in truck and returned to Barker Ranch.

Poston stated that when one Officer Pursell was at Barker Ranch, a BRENDA and RUTH ANN were the females that Officer Pursell spoke to, Manson was hiding in the rocks. After Pursell left, Manson took a double barrel shotgun, owned by Stanley Berry, and went into the hills and fired the weapon three times stating officers had been "jacking up his people."

Poston stated that VANCE, Bill, aka COLE, William Rex; had burglarized singer Jack Jones' residence in San Fernando Valley, and that a white-felt Western hat was at the Barker Ranch.

Poston stated regarding the stolen vehicles that a dune buggy, yellow or gold with a black vinyl top, was driven into the Barker Ranch by "Gypsy" (WRIGHT, Kathleen Kay) about 9/24/69.

The gray rail dune buggy was driven to the Barker Ranch by "Tex" (MONTGOMERY, Charles) just prior to 9/24/69.

The blue metal flake dune buggy arrived at Barker Ranch the week of 9/24/69, unknown who drove the vehicle in.

The dune buggy with "Yankee Go Home" on rear was driven to Barker Ranch by Manson, accompanied by Gypsy.

The red Toyota was driven to Barker Ranch by Bruce Davis.


The 1969 Ford was brought to the foot of Golar Wash by Gypsy and MCCANN, Brenda. Vehicle was possibly rented by Brenda McCann with a stolen credit card. The 1969 Ford was also driven around Golar Wash by Manson. The blue or green stock Volkswagen owned by SMITH, Claudia, was driven several times by Bruce Davis.

A white, flatbed truck arrived at Golar Wash about 9/15/69. Truck had a wing tank, tools, welding tanks, leopard skins, and brand new tires in wrappings. (This truck may have been from Spahn Ranch).

The red Toyota had a 40 gallon gas tank mounted on rear.

The interview was concluded at 10:00 p.m., on 10/14/69. Poston said he could be contacted again if more information is needed. He is known to Deputy Ward - Inyo County Sheriff's Department. Poston may be used to testify in court, although he said he would not testify against Manson.

This writer then talked to MCCANN, Brenda aka PITMAN, Nancy. She was very vague in her answers. When questioned about her actions the past few weeks, she stated she had been at her parents home about 3 weeks ago. She stated she had been driving to her parents home in Malibu by Leslie Sankston, who was enroute to Santa Monica. She then said her father drove her to a friend's home in Malibu. The friend, by her description, is TERRY MELCHER, 22146 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. (He is the step-son of actress Doris Day.) Brenda stated she stayed the rest of that day at Melcher's, then hitchhiked to San Fernando Valley and stayed a couple of days in the mountains near the Nike? Missile Base, Brown's Canyon, Chatsworth. She then went to the Topanga Canyon area, went to the "Corral Bar", 2034 North Topanga Blvd., Topanga, and met a person known to her as "Evan." She then was transported to the Death Valley area about 9/25/69 in a blue metal flake dune buggy, very fancy chrome, etc. The dune buggy was driven by "Evan."

Brenda stated she was at Barker Ranch with MORSE, Rachel the day the Park Ranger and CHP officer were at the ranch.

Brenda stated that when she was home about three weeks ago, she purchased gasoline for Leslie Sankston's car with a credit card of her father's. She stated purchase was made at a Texaco station probably at Pacific Coast Highway and Crosscreek Road, Malibu. She stated she either lost card after purchase or left card in Leslie Sankston's car.

The interview was halted at this time as subject caught herself in a lie and refused to make any further statement.

At 10:30 a.m., 10/15/69, the writers attempted to interview BLUESTEIN, Diane Elizabeth, but she refused to make any statement.

At 10:40 a.m., 10/15/69, the writers interviewed SANKSTON, Leslie, who would not make any statements regarding the groups activity, other than stating she had not driven a motor vehicle in a year.

At 10:50 a.m., 10/15/69, the writers interviewed MORSE, Rachel Susan, who would make no statements other than she had never ridden in any of the dune buggies or the trucks in the Death Valley area.

At 11:00 a.m., 10/15/69, the writers attempted to interview PUGH, Sandra, but she refused to make any statements regarding the groups activity.

At 2:00 p.m., 10/15/69, writers interviewed WATKINS, Paul; 1/25/50, 5-5, 130 lbs., brn hair, brn eyes, CII #3-507-517, who currently lives in Shoshone area of Death Valley. Watkins used to be a member of the "family". Watkins had been previously arrested with the family by Antelope Valley Station on 4/25/69, when a Dodge power wagon he was riding in was impounded as a stolen vehicle. Regarding this Dodge power wagon, Watkins stated Charles Manson had tried to buy the truck from a person in Canoga Park for $1,500. The person who had the truck had no paperwork on the vehicle. Truck was later stolen by LIPISETT, David, and it was driven to the location where all the persons were arrested in Antelope Valley Station for GTA, file #469-02595-1173-029. The truck was stolen from an unknown address on Parthenia Street, west of Desoto Avenue, Canoga Park, and may have already been a stolen vehicle at time it was taken.

Another truck, described as a white stake body truck, was driven to Death Valley from Spahn Ranch by Bruce Davis. This truck was later sold by Davis.

A dune buggy that was in control of "Tex" Montgomery at Barker Ranch, had a stolen engine in it. The engine was hidden under a pile of trash at Barker Ranch, the day Officer Purcell was at Barker Ranch. After officers left, "Tex" had a man known as "Leon" from Henry Biggs' house do some welding on the transmission mounts on the dune buggy, and the stolen engine was installed and the dune buggy was driven to Willow Springs.

The family bought tires, oil, gas, and auto accessories with stolen credit cards, and items were brought to desert. The girls in the family furnish credit cards to Charlie Manson, these cards usually belong to parents of the families.

A Phillips 66 oil credit card was used in Baker by Bruce Davis about 10/6/69. This same card was used in Las Vegas by Davis to fill 5 x 55 gallon drums of gasoline. These drums were returned to Death Valley and left at the Anderson Ranch.


Thanks to Surf Bat

Watkins also saw the "Dougs-U-Rent" stake body truck in Death Valley.

Watkins said Manson gave him $300 to buy supplies with. This was done about 10/5/69.

The shotguns mentioned in the memo written by Inyo County Deputy Cox arrived in Death Valley after Sandy Pugh was released from hospital. (This would have been after 9/16/69.) Guns were brought to Death Valley by Brenda McCann and Sandy Pugh.

John Flynn told Watkins on 10/14/69, that checks were taken from the Spahn Movie Ranch.

Watkins said that about May of 1969, a 1968 Dodge van camper owned by "Juanita" was traded to a person named "Bill" at the Hancock Station across the street from the Hacienda Hotel, Las Vegas. The van camper was traded for an International 4-wheel drive Scout, white in color. The Scout was returned to the Spahn Ranch where it was abandoned about July 1969 due to clutch trouble. This vehicle had Nevada plates when abandoned.

Watkins also stated that "Juanita" received a $3,000 check of some kind, probably from her parents, cashed it, and bought two dune buggies from Butler's Buggy Shop, Chatsworth.

Regarding the large school bus parked at Barker Ranch, Watkins stated it was purchased from Mintern P. Collins, Cheseboro Road, Agoura. It was bought for $500, the money coming from the father of Sandy Pugh who lives in Boulder Creek, California.

Watkins said that most of the family lived at 31062 Mulholland Highway, Malibu Station area, in February 1969. During this time, William Rex Cole stole a white 1967 VW and left it parked on a fire road two miles off Mulholland Highway. Also, during this time, Charlie Manson took a large wing tank from this area, and hauled it from the area in a 1936 Ford pickup, orange with an Oldsmobile engine. This pickup is owned by DECARLO, Danny. After this incident, Manson was arrested by Malibu Station for an unknown offense.

Watkins stated that the red Toyota recovered at Death Valley was stolen from Van Nuys by Bruce Davis. Two days after taking the Toyota, Davis bought about 95 gallons of gas in Ridgecrest, using a stolen credit card. TUFTS, Garth, accompanied Davis during this time.

About 9/5/69, Brenda McCann rented a 1969 Ford with a stolen credit card. With her when the Ford was rented were Paul Watkins, Gypsy, and "Scotty." Some credit cards were taken in a burglary at singer Jack Jones' residence in Sherman Oaks. Watkins stated this burglary was pulled by William Rex Cole. Some of the credit cards were used by Brenda McCann, Gypsy, and Patty; and were used at Bullocks. Also gasoline was purchased with a stolen credit card at a gas station next to Denny's Restaurant, Sand Canyon Road, Saugus.

Watkins said he saw a person known as BARRY, Stanley aka "Lanier," at Barker Ranch about 9/2/69, driving a 3/4 ton Chevrolet truck, brown or gold in color. Barry lives in Kingman, Arizona, can be contacted by phone #753-5005. Watkins said he had heard that Barry had been killed for an unknown reason. Watkins last saw Barry wearing black pants and a white shirt.

(Note: Stanley "Lanier" Berry was Robert "Bob" Berry's brother. Bob Berry married Juanita Wildebush. He was not killed. He passed May 10, 2009 and was living in Las Vegas.)

Regarding the rumor that a person known as "Shorty" had been killed, Watkins said Manson told him that Tufts had killed "Shorty". Watkins also stated that Tufts told him that he had killed "Shorty", that some of the girls dug a hole and put the body in it. Also at the site where Shorty was buried were Tufts, Manson, Bruce Davis, Tex Montgomery. Watkins did not know the location of burial site.

Watkins was asked to identify some of the members of the family. He stated that Ruth Ann SMITH is from Ukiah, and is 16 years old. Her father is Dean Moorehouse who is an ex-preacher from Ukiah, and was recently arrested for possession of LSD. Her maiden name is MOOREHOUSE, but recently she married a man named HUEVELHURST, who is in Hawaii.


Kathleen Wright's true name is thought to be SCHER or SHEARER and is from Woodland Hills. She used to live at Happy Trail, Topanga with Bob Beausoliel. She is 25 years old.

Diane Bluestein, aka "Snake," is her true name. Her mother works for Summer Hills School in San Fernando Valley. She is 16 years old, and lives in Canoga Park.

Leslie Sankston is from San Jose and came to Southern California with Bob Beausoliel.

Carol Matthews is 16 years old and is from the Glendale area.

Lynette Fromme is from the Huntington Beach area.

Interview with Watkins concluded at 3:30 p.m., on 10/15/69.

At 4:00 p.m., on 10/15/69, writers interviewed BARTELL, Susan Phyllis; who was only person of the group who had a driver's license showing her true identity. She stated she has been with the family only since about June 1969. She owns a 1958 Olds, #LTF 188, which was impounded by CHP. Found in her car was a Gulf credit card in name of J.C. Relles, #60-720-063-4. Bartell states this card was given to her in Sylmar by a WEBB, Bob. This card was reported as a stolen card to Gulf main office in Texas on 10/8/69. Bartell said she bought gas in Ridgecrest and signed the purchase receipt. She also bought gas in Barstow signing the purchase receipt. Bartell stated the card was used at the Holiday Inn on 10/12/69 in Barstow, purchase receipt signed by GILLIES, Catherine; she signed as RELLES, Penelope, with address in Mission Hills, California.

Next writers interviewed SCHWARM, Mary Ann. She stated she came to California from Portland, Oregon, about 9-15-69. She drove down from Portland in a red car, unknown make, with Vern THOMPSON, William Rex COLE, and Ed BAILEY. They all lived at 1109 W. Victory, Burbank, from 9-21-69 to 10-4-69, then they went to Death Valley.

SCHWARM said she rode from Burbank to Goler Wash in a rented white truck. She said Duane, Denny and COLE took turns driving the truck. Upon arriving at Goler Wash, the truck became stuck in the sand and was abandoned, later impounded by CHP.

SCHWARM said that on 10-4-69 Vern THOMPSON and Ed BAILEY took all her clothing, and left the residence at 1109 Victory, Burbank.

SCHWARM said that other persons followed the rented truck to Goler Wash in a 1958 Oldsmobile.

At this point in the interview, SCHWARM was shown some papers found in Bartell’s 1958 Ols, and SCHWARM then admitted her true name was VON AHN, Diane Marie; dob 11-16-50, and that she was a runaway from a probation department facility at 3543 South-East Belmont, Portland, Oregon. She left the facility 9-15-69.

At 9:00 pm, 10-15-69, writers interviewed COLE, William Rex; who was booked as HAMIC, David Lee. COLE was semi-cooperative during the interview. He stated he formerly lived at 1109 Victory Blvd., Burbank, with Duane SCHWARM. COLE said he formerly worked at Spahn Ranch, Chatsworth. When questioned if he knew anyone named “Shorty” at Spahn Ranch, COLE said he knew Donald SHEA who married a colored dancer in Las Vegas about two months ago. She owns an unknown type compact car.

COLE was then released by Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, as they had dropped their charges.

At 10:00 pm writers interviewed Bruce DAVIS who was uncooperative, would not answer any questions. A partial handwriting card was completed by DAVIS. This handwriting card was prepared for Agent Michaels, Alcohol, Firearms, Tax Unit, L.A. Office, as Mr. Michael’s office is preparing a case against DAVIS, who purchased a weapon signing forms in his alias name of Jack MC MILLAN.

At 10:40 pm, 10-15-69, Madeline COTTAGE, while being released by Inyo County Sheriff’s Department, told jailer she wanted to have charges filed on her as she helped steal the dune buggy with “Yankee Go Home” written on the rear of it. Writers then spoke to COTTAGE, and she again made same statement.


 The original report