Sunday, September 3, 2023

54 Years of Remembering the Victims


 

232 comments:

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Torque said...

Forever remembering these people. Peace be on them and their families.

Tragical History Tour said...

And the ripples never really end.

Baby Paul, families, friends, Winifred Chapman, Bill Garretson, Terry Melcher, more naive Family members like Barbara Hoyt. Lives never the same.

geistmadl said...

And how many more may be mentioned in the Tex Watson attorney tapes!

Gorodish said...

geistmadl typed:

And how many more may be mentioned in the Tex Watson attorney tapes!

I guessing just one- Shorty Shea

Jenn said...

Peace to their families and their friends (though few of the later are still living, I suppose).

Unknown said...

Pardon the dumb question, but why wasn't Charles "Tex" Watson ever charged in the Shorty Shea murder? If I understand the circumstances correctly, "Clem" first hit Shea over the head with a pipe, then "Tex" stabbed him. Anyone? Thanks.

grimtraveller said...

Simple ~ there's no evidence of Watson's involvement that can stick. Clem and Bruce's evidence won't stick because of Aranda {and even if Aranda didn't get in the way, they contradict each other in a way that would blow any prosecution case}, Kitty's and Danny DeCarlo's evidence was no good because it was "Well, I heard...." and would never stand up, because it wasn't from Tex himself, and Mary Brunner's would've been useless because she was as reliable as a three legged elephant on ice skates, after the way she farted about with LE over Bobby's trial.
There was no independent corroboration of any Watson involvement, unlike Manson {Babs Hoyt, Ruby Pearl}, Grogan {Paul Watkins}, or Bruce {fingerprints}. Whereas there were pieces of evidence that, used cleverly, could nail him for TLB.
Although the LA DA's office said that they didn't go after Watson because they were already after him for TLB, that's bollocks, because the same applied to Charlie ~ but they still went after him. They still went after Susan for Hinman. They didn't go after Tex for Shorty for the same reason they don't do so now ~ they have no case.

Matt said...

Grim is correct. Same principal with Clem and LaBianca. There must be corroborating evidence other than the testimony of co-conspirators.


grimtraveller said...

Unknown said:

Pardon the dumb question, but

It's not a dumb question at all. In fact, it's one of the best and smartest questions that can be asked regarding all the aspects of this case that have been poured over for the last 53 years. For one thing, it encourages one to attempt to understand certain aspects of the law that existed in California at the time {and subsequently}. It also points in the direction of possible answers regarding why Vince Bugliosi made some of the moves he did. It also twins with Charlie Manson's attitude of "I didn't break God's law or man's law," and why, as bright as he was, he was also condemningly ignorant of the law, so when he used to say that he wasn't going to get caught up in any conspiracy because he knew what conspiracy was, well, he clearly did not know what he was talking about.
Actually, your question touches on so much, not least Charles Watson's conversion to Christ and the subsequent changes he has gone through. I personally think that he was involved in Shorty's murder, but I sincerely hope to God that he wasn't.

Torque said:

Forever remembering these people. Peace be on them and their families

I have mixed feelings about remembering the victims. But I accept that I'm in a tiny minority, maybe even a minority of 1.
And, providing that it is genuinely her, Leno's daughter, Louise, has been a recent and very interesting contributor to discussions in the comments over at Cielo's site.

Louise said...

Yes, it's really me! This profile photo is one taken c. 1968 or 69 with my mom--our beautiful house on Lido that we ended up selling soon after the murders, too many memories I guess. I was not too happy about moving either but luckily we stayed in Newport long enough for me to finish high school etc (marriage & family and hopefully a life of anonymity--that was my thinking at the time). Ah, but there are many residual effects to be reckoned with--it has turned out to be a lifelong process. So glad I finally decided to speak out, or in my case write about it, and to be an interesting contributor. Thank you.

Louise said...

I just realized how faded and blurry my photo is--I will definitely work on fixing it soon.

Torque said...

Louise, many thanks for visiting this blog. I don't believe I've personally read any posts or comments from you here before. It would be great to see a more clear copy of the photo. Hope you don't mind me asking, but any chance you may want to write a post and share additional photos? Thanks again.

Louise said...

Yes, I can post a few photos-- most likely in a week or so. I need to get a better photo shop app for my computer this weekend!

Louise said...

Today is the first time I posted here, although I follow some of the posts.

grimtraveller said...

Louise said:

Yes, it's really me!

I wasn't meaning to be rude or cast aspersions. It's just that there is a history on Manson-related blogs of people claiming to be one of the characters involved, or claiming to have been part of the Family, or claiming to have been close to one of the Family or spoken with or beaten up Charles Manson, not to mention the plethora of people that have shoehorned their way into the saga over the years {indeed, right from the first day}, with dodgy info or claims that they should have been at Cielo on that night or were driving the sports car that stopped at the lights, or saw the murderers driving about, hours after they were supposed to have been back at Spahn, or heard screams and shots from the house hours after we know the killers had left or were at a party that Sharon Tate was at that Charles Manson also happened to have been at or whatever it is.
I'm always cautious before I take on board peoples' claims !

Louise said...

I totally understand, believe me. Speaking out publicly was a major topic of discussion in my family over the decades, especially when my mom decided to self-publish her book! That was a long time ago (1990). I think it was a good thing she did, back then there were people like Geraldo show and others still trying to bring in some kind of Mafia connection. We all thought that was absurd. My dad was an Italian-American, born in LA and always trying to distance himself from his Italian roots-no way would he get involved with that kind of thing.
So yes, I am definitely aware of the different types of claims people are prone to espouse for no good reason! I am here to share whatever I know, which isn't all that much when it comes to the LA scene back in the 60s. They had me safely sequestered in the conservative enclave of Newport Beach and that was just the right place for me at that time. My dad was really conservative that way. I will always be sad for what happened to him and it has actually made me feel better to talk about my memories with others!

Louise said...

My mom was way more outspoken than I was; like I said, I was in NB and never went to the house after the murders. My mom did go to the house, accompanied by my grandmother. Anything they found there that appeared odd or unusual was turned over to the police. She was quite chummy with Sgt. Patchett, as I vaguely recall.

Louise said...

Note to above: Photo of Lido house, me and Mom standing in front, has been brightened up a bit.

ColScott said...

GRIM

"I'm Ouisch. No I'm Ouisch. I'm Ruth Ann and so is my wife"

ColScott said...

Louise nice to see you and obviously welcome. I have racked my brains for questions for you and it doesn't sound like you can offer much in the way towards my goal- the motive,

That said I do have a few questions

1- Sources say Rosemary left a comparably HUGE estate. I think sources are wrong. Did she?

2- Regarding why Waverly was chosen by the killers did your family every come to a feeling regarding motivation?

3- An early researcher named Nelson (who sadly was a convicted kiddie diddler) believed that Suzan through her bf Joe Dorgan knew Tex who lived down the street on Waverly. Does this make any sense to you?

4- Do you know if Frank Struthers stayed close to Suzan while he lived?

Thank you

Louise said...

I'm just as much in the dark as anyone about why the killers picked the Waverly Dr house. The house had been in the family since 1940 when my dad was still in high school. Obviously, the neighborhood had changed over the years. Dad and Rose had only been living there a few months (Nov 1968) before they noticed some uninvited intruders were coming in there during the day, leaving tell tale signs and taking things like coins, Frank's music equipment (a drum set? Amps? Can't recall exactly)and Rose's blue chip stamps. She had a whole cookie jar full. Odd I remember that detail. I remember feeling nervous about staying overnight a couple of times, mainly because they were a bit edgy--especially Rose. I'm just noting my impressions, I have literally no inside info about Rose's inner thoughts or a possible double life!

After the murders, my mom often speculated that perhaps my dad had gotten riled up, you know like telling the neighbors to knock off the wild parties or something like that? Well I don't know if that is true or not but I do personally feel that my dad was singled out by Manson for some unknown reason. It would be great if someone ever figured it out for certain.

1. I agree with you. Sources don't seem to be based on much at all, and Rose went along with the plan to downsize from Woking Way to Waverly Dr. Why would she do that if she had $2 million? Answer. She probably wouldn't.

2. No consensus or overall agreed-upon feeling. My mom was the only one who talked about it that much, mainly on the level of why didn't he lock his doors and/or what about Rose's children? Weren't they involved in the drug scene? (This is my mom talking) And I must tell you in all honesty that my mom was usually drinking before she started talking about it! She knew all of us--the LaBianca "children"--were trying to move on with our lives without too much more stress.

3. My sister and I met the infamous Bill Nelson once because he and my mom were chatting together quite a bit c. 1990s. He arranged a couple of talk show interviews for her. While he was certainly entitled to his own opinion, I don't agree with him that Suzan knew Tex. I've watched her interviews and I honestly believe she was just trying to let go of her anger by forgiving him via their shared Christian beliefs. Sue was not a person who could hide her feelings. She was always very outspoken in her growing up years. Lots of stories but will save them for another time!

4. No knowledge of whether or not Sue and Frank stayed in contact much longer after the murders. I'm guessing not, mainly because Frank went to go live with his dad and Sue had a different father. I did know that until a few years later.

Louise said...

Correction: I did NOT know that until a few years later.

Doug said...

Louise!

It was so great to "meet" you over at the Cielo website (I'm Dusty Doug FYI) and, especially to be able to gain some extremely personal perspective and, be able to gain a much deeper, largely unheard of before your brutally honest, extremely honest and often unfiltered experiences that you and your family have been dealt with in 1969 and, had to (so cruelly) deal with forever since your tremendous loss.

I'm so pleased to see you here. The members of this blog will be very interested in reading about your memories and, those of your family. You're a wonderful person and your memories are very important to us.

I'm not sure that I'm saying this very well but I have a feeling that you understand what I am trying to get across.

-Doug

Louise said...

Hey DUSTY DOG, Good to see you too! Once again, to be honest, my friends and family in "real life" are probably tiring of my stories by now. It's been a very strange couple of months for me. I am now officially the only one of the 3 LaBianca "children" still residing in California as my brother recently retired and moved away. My sister left years ago. I have no plans to leave and I actually hope to do some major research in LA, nothing about the murders--more focused on the history of the Gateway markets. Who knows if I will ever get around to it but the thought intrigues me anyway. My mom's side of the family tree also has some interesting California history going back to the Gold Rush era so I have plenty to do yet here in the Golden State!

Louise said...

Correction: The above post is in response to DUSTY DOUG, not DUSTY DOG! I hadn't had my morning cup of coffee yet.

Cielodrive.com said...

Louise, I really like the photos you shared on Facebook

Louise said...

Thank you, hopefully more to come but after 50+ years they all need to be worked on--so faded, unlike my memories that seem to still be pretty clear. My sons (I have two, no daughters) are helping me with the photo restorations in-between job responsibilities etc. All good, we're getting there!

TabOrFresca said...

Louise,

Your profile picture of you and your mother looks nice.

A few years back there was a six part
documentary that aired on EPIX and is available on 3 DVDs. It is called, “Helter Skelter an American Myth” and it contains a small clip from a home movie that shows Leno at a beach. It was nice to see him in that setting.

You mentioned “Rose’s Blue Chip Stamps” and this triggered two thoughts.

First, some say that Rosemary may have accumulated wealth by investing in Blue Chip Stocks. But maybe this rumor was fueled by misinterpreting her savings Blue Chip Stamps and thinking she invested in Blue Chip Stocks.

Second, and this borders on silly, the Blue Chip Stamps are stolen/go missing. There is a rumor that some of the Manson Family “Creepy Crawled” Leno’s house. The thought of the Manson Family collecting and redeeming Blue Chip Stamps is kind of funny. I think it’s also possible that some of Frank’s friends/acquaintances were possible suspects.

Just thoughts triggered by your memories.

Did you ever meet Joe Dorgan and if so did he ever give you a ride on his Motorcycle and did he come across to you as “being bad news”?

Thanks again for you posts.

Louise said...

TABORFRESCA, thank you and I always will cherish the photo of our house on Via Nice/NB with my mom. I was tall for 13 which was also pretty funny, looking back. Everything I wanted to do like go to concerts and parties was answered with "You're ONLY 13"-- Sadly, this was where we got the news about the murders and then it became no more a house of laughter and merriment.

Blue chip stamps to blue chip stocks, that's a good one! I like to bring up these types of little details in the hope that someone might be able to connect the dots. You're right, anyone could have been stealing from the house--even friends of Frank's or even some hippies hanging around at Griffith Park. My dad was well aware of the strangeness in the Los Feliz area during the late 60s, alot different than back in his high school days. He even hired a private detective to check on the house while they were at work. Sad but true.
I met Joe Dorgan several times. We all celebrated Christmas together at the Waverly Dr house in 1968. He seemed very nice and not "bad news." He and Frank were close, everything seemed very normal. Of course, I was not aware of his motorcycle and even if I was they would never allow me to ride on it. After all, I was ONLY 13!!

Louise said...

Yes, that is an attempt at humor and to demonstrate a bit of LaBianca style discourse. We are a fun group :)

Louise said...

TABORFRESCA: The EPIX show, Helter Skelter: An American Myth, is one that I am familiar with. I actually provided the home video clip for that very short segment of my dad at the beach, and it is my voice narrating in the background. I believe it's right at the beginning of Episode 5. I worked with Lesley Chilcott and her associates because I thought they were very nice and understanding. l generally have no interest in taped interviews but they were really looking for something different--as she called it, Love letters to the victims.

Torque said...

Louise, thanks for being here and participating in the comments. Please if I may I'd like to ask you a question. It has been said that Leno and Rosemary would never park the car with the speedboat on the trailer in the street. Yet, there it was in the photos on the street.

As the story goes, the waterskis were removed from the boat, and brought up to the garage. Are you able to possibly clear this up from your experience? Thanks.

Incidentally I do have a theory of my own on this issue. Namely, when Leno and Rosemary arrived back at Waverly late(certainly after 2:00AM), they decided not to drive up(or back up)the driveway and unhook the boat trailer. This may have been for a couple of reasons. One is the fact that they were on the road for hours, and were tired. Second is that Rosemary's Thunderbird was at the top of the driveway, potentially in the way. Your thoughts? Thanks again.

Louise said...

I thought I read somewhere that they always kept the boat at my grandmother's house. She lived close by on Avanel St. nextdoor to my Auntie Emma and Uncle Pete at that time. I imagine they must have been planning to take it there in the morning. I doubt if it was anything simple to do to go up the steep, narrow driveway with a boat especially given they must have been very tired. So that part makes sense--they were tired and Nana was getting on in years. Hope this helps .

Louise said...

My dad was a very thoughtful man especially where it concerned his mother. He probably didn't want to disturb her late at night and she always went to church on Sundays. How ironic this all sounds now, but honestly it makes sense to me.

Louise said...

What I think is weird is why didn't they just stay another night at Lake Isabella. Oh that's right. They drove Suzan home because she was scheduled to work the next day. Still...

Torque said...

Louise, many thanks for your replies. Yes, that makes sense.

TabOrFresca said...

Louise,

Was your mother Italian-American?

Did Leno play bocce/bocci and did you ever play it with him?

Did Leno celebrate the “Feast of the Seven Fishes” and do you keep that tradition?

Did Leno like porketta? Did he cook porketta? When I was a teenager, an Italian man showed me how to prepare and cook portketta. Shaving the pig was the toughest part. I still cook porketta in either a crockpot or the oven using pork-butt.

At the Gateway Markets did the deli have a selection of Italian cold cuts? In the 1960’s in the north-east, the delis in the grocery stores only carried American cheese, Swiss cheese, a couple of types of ham, a half-dozen types of bologna, salami, and liver wurst. It would be years before roast beef, turkey, and chicken would be available. About 1970 chicken loaf, which was by like pressed ham, became available. To get provolone, capicola, prosciutto, mortadella, or sorpresa you needed to go to a small mom and pop Italian market.

Did Leno ever talk about people dumpster diving for food at the markets?

Did Leno cook his own spaghetti sauce and did he teach you how?

Did Rosemary cook? And if so did Leno enjoy it and did you enjoy it? Did her cooking have a Mexican flair?

Were Leno’s dogs friendly and quiet?

Did Leno have a maid or cleaning lady?

Did Leno do his own yard work or did he hire someone?

Did a milkman deliver milk to the house?

Did a dry cleaner make regular visits to the house?

Did a paperboy deliver papers to the house?

Did you ever see any of Leno’s race horses?

Did you ever waterski from the boat previously mentioned? Or were you too young!!

Did you ever see any younger people (20s) at the house next door (the house Harold True once lived in)?

Thanks again for your contributions.

Louise said...

TABORFRESCA: I think I will start from the bottom of the list. I never saw anyone in the houses around my dad's house but I wasn't really looking? I was more interested in checking out the old wine cellar or the garden, back when my grandmother lived there. Later I enjoyed looking at the view of all the city lights at night.

I did have the opportunity to waterski with Dad and Rose, also Frank: we stayed for a week at Mission Bay motel, the Bahia? August 1968. It was interesting. My dad was not too confident but he did alright on skis! I also went to the place where they kept some of his horses for awhile, out by Sunnymead which is actually in Moreno Valley, Riverside County. Back then it was all just ranches and very much "in the middle of nowhere"! He was very proud of the horses. So was Rose. They told me all about their plans to live on a ranch someday.

The day to day details like having a paperboy or a milkman etc., I can only surmise. Last thing he did on that fateful night was stop to buy a newspaper and talk with Fokianos (sp.?) so I guess he preferred to go to a newsstand. I vaguely recall stopping there with him once or twice; it was probably one of his favorite stops to chat with that guy (Fokianos). The dogs were friendly and didn't bark much. But all of this may sound like I spent alot of time there when it was really mainly on school vacations and special occasions like weddings and birthdays. Big Italian family, lots of great Italian food but more from the southern part of Italy where the food is less spicy. My grandparents were from Bari. My dad was not a cook. All the cooking
was done by the women for hours and hours while the men watched sports and/or talked about Gateway. Dinners were mostly spaghetti and fried artichokes, that's all I can remember offhand. I don't know about the Italian traditions or food you mentioned.
Last but not least, my mother was definitely not Italian--more of the early American stock from the Mayflower, lol! Anyway I think I have covered at least half the questions--phew! I am actually all talked out! Have a great evening and thank you for all the memory jogs.

Louise said...

So, a little more about my background--my very opinionated yet loving mother, who was not Italian, walked away from the LaBianca family with all their traditions such as the Catholic Church and those wonderful Italian feasts. This is how I happened to NOT be raised as a Catholic much to my grandmother Nana's dismay. I also don't know as much about Gateway markets as I would like to know; I imagine they had a deli section with all the traditional Italian foods you mentioned yesterday! My research continues :)

ColScott said...

I apologize for the vapid questions from Tabby

They aren't even Enquirer level stupid

Louise said...

Lol!

Louise said...

I think the questions were fine until he got to the part about dumpster diving, lol!

Louise said...

It has crossed my mind before, I must admit--mainly because of the depictions in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It's just that I can't imagine discussing dumpster diving with my dad. He would never bring it up, guaranteed. It would not be a topic of discussion with me at age 13, lol!

Louise said...

We mainly talked about how I was doing in school :)

cielodrivecom said...

That's part of the reason why I asked you about all the Gateway locations. I figured we could probably rule out the Gateway dumpster diving theories if the locations weren't near places where the Manson's lived. I mean, if you're going to a supermarket, you go to one that is close to you. Not one in another town. At least that's how I roll

Louise said...

I'll send you the list soon!

Dan S said...

Garbage people with cars go to the one with the best trash food

TabOrFresca said...

Louise,
Pt1 of 2
You have been very generous with your answers and your time. I was not trying to waste your time with the questions I asked. Below is a short explanation for you and just you. Please don’t spend any further time regarding this or replying further.

The title of this thread, or article, is “54 Years of Remembering the Victims”. My questions, not understood by some, did focus primarily on people that little is known of in a positive way and were worded in a non-leading way and an open way so that your answer would not be influenced by my question and that maybe you would provide information relating to this tragedy. If the thread was specifically about Leno and Rose’s tragedy, I would have specifically asked questions pertaining to the tragedy and not to them as people.

You definitely have been positive about Leno and Rose. I’m guessing that because you grew up with both your mother and Rose being there, and not as Rose being a replacement, that there was no animosity towards her. The things you have mentioned about your mother are also quite interesting. Those answers were triggered by questions.

It’s common for small independent family grocery chains to familiarize their children (at an early age) with the business. I can infer from how you answered the questions that you knew very little about the stores. But there was a possibility that you did and maybe you would have noticed something curious. We also learn more about your father.

I could also infer from your not being familiar with the food that you were not raised in an Italian-American household and it was unlikely that you were Catholic. But you did provide that information separately and it doesn’t contradict.

As opposed to just asking, “ Did you notice anything unusual with people being around the house, I mentioned a small list of questions. You provided two interesting pieces of info. First, you mentioned watching the city lights. While this is commonly mentioned for the Tate house, it is either new or rarely mentioned information. Second, you mentioned the wine cellar. That was something that I don’t remember hearing about, but I do know that the “house plan” or “floor plan” of the house shows an entrance to the cellar. If there were people searching for “something”, they probably wouldn’t have looked in the “wine cellar”. Thank you for sharing this information.

It was common for home delivery service of newspapers to run Monday to Saturday. Sunday was a separate delivery and many people picked up the Sunday paper at a newsstand. I knew that Leno bought the early edition of the Sunday paper from a newsstand. But you’ve provided some new info in that you were with him previously when he bought a paper at the newsstand.

TabOrFresca said...

Louise,
Pt2
While I know that Leno once fired a gardener, it’s never been specified who took his place. Frank was old enough to do the work, as were Franks friends/acquaintances. The answer, which could vary, might explain or eliminate some of possible reasons for missing stuff. It also tells us more about Leno interacting with Frank. It would have been a good way for Frank to responsibly earn spending money.

From the cooking questions, you mentioned that the women cooked and the men watched sports and talked about Gateway. Not talking about business at the table or in front of the family is an expected answer. You never know, a nosy busybody teenage girl might have heard something interesting relating to the business. I guess you weren’t nosy.

Your response to Leno waterskiing was quite believable. My experience, during the same period of time, was that people of Leno’s weight could either never get up, after many tries, or were not smooth if they were successful. This was true for boys half his age.

If I am with someone, I don’t ask, “Would you like pizza?”, I ask, “What would you like to eat?”.

From your writing style answering questions: I believe that you have a writing background; that you are the same person who wrote the opinion when LVH was first paroled; and that you are genuine and not an imposter - wouldn’t have to ask that question.

Best wishes on your research and writing.

Louise said...

Thank you! All good :)

Louise said...

TABORFRESCA: Just a short response while I am thinking about it! The city lights could be viewed from the back area where they parked their cars--up the long, steep hill etc. I'm not real great with exactly where all the different towns are in LA county, but I suppose it was Glendale? The Woking Way house was even more amazing for a view, looking towards the west. Good memories for sure.

Doug said...

You should shoot Matt or Deb a message via the email addresses posted on the blogs cover page in the top right corner area. I'm sure that they would be very interested in your work on the history of the Gateway Grocery Stores history. Perhaps you could be a guest post author (if you are up for sharing on the blog).

Cheers

Tragical History Tour said...

Hello and welcome to Louise.

I think it's very generous of you to spend some time here and indulge in answering a few questions. It is appreciated. I have a couple of (non-dumpster) questions in a few parts that I'd like to ask if I may.

When Frank Jr was dropped home from the lake on Sunday night he stated that he went to the rear door as customary but found it locked. He called out through a louvred window but received no reply. He became alarmed and walked several blocks to a hamburger stand to call Suzan at her workplace though she was not there that night. Her boss called her at home and she calls Joe Dorgan to drive her to the hamburger stand and pick up Frank. The 3 of them arrive at the Waverley house at 10.25pm, almost some 2 hours after Frank was first dropped off.

Given the above, if you were aware at the time (did and) do you find any of this sequence of events to be perplexing, considering that 1. Frank did not try the front door (apparently closed but unlocked) 2. Frank did not try the side door (apparently ajar), 3. Frank did not retrieve Rosemary's housekeys from the Thunderbird (apparently well known in the family that she kept them there)?

Further, after arriving at the house Frank and Dorgan DO retrieve Rosemary's keys and unlock the rear door and proceed through the kitchen and discover Leno in the living room. Joe is composed enough to prevent Suzan from going any further than the kitchen, begins a phone call to police but then 'becomes alarmed about disturbing the scene' and all 3 retreat to try to rouse a neighbor to make that call - one of whom eventually does on their behalf.

Again, my question would be, knowing Dorgan, did/does that sequence of events make sense to you? That he wouldn't or couldn't complete that phone call to police from the house?

Finally, did any of the above give you a sense that either Frank or Suzan or both were at the time expecting some kind of unfortunate event to befall the family - something that Rosemary apparently felt herself at the time?

Thank you.

Louise said...

I'm sorry, I really don't have any insights about the sequence of events although I don't see anywhere in the court testimony that Suzan called us. The words she said to Cory were "Leno's been shot." Then we all panicked but the way Suzan put it gave us the sense of hope that he might not have been dead but only injured? The reason being, as you mentioned, Suzan and Frank didn't go further into the house. They were obviously freaked out by the sight as anyone would be. They didn't seem to really know the extent of what had happened, including the murder of their mother.

I have no idea what was going on in their minds. I would imagine terror, fear, shock and a horrible sense of impending doom and loss. Sue obviously wanted to make sure we knew and maybe even to call the police or Uncle Pete or someone. I thought they said they were calling us from the hamburger stand. I have no idea why they left out the part about calling us in Newport Beach.

I totally understand why Frank would have wanted Joe and Suzan to accompany him and he knew something was wrong, which he explained in his testimony--the boat still out front, no one answering him from the louvered windows AND how they never used the front door but always came in from the back porch. All true, tradition since my grandmother lived there was always go in the back door.
I had not seen Sue or Frank since the previous Christmas (1968) as they were never at Waverly Dr on my later visits in 1969, or if Frank was there he was probably in the back apartment where he stayed most of the time. This is why I really don't have much to offer in the way of insight. I only saw Dad and Rose on the last few visits.

Louise said...

In my mom's book, she gives her version of the details of that Sunday night when we got the call from Sue and what happened next, from our perspective, in the prologue. If you have No More Tomorrows I think it is an interesting read and possibly can help fill in a few details.

Louise said...

More on same subject--calling from the house sounds upsetting and I can understand why they wanted to get out of there. Maybe they were afraid the killers were still lurking around and they would be next? All of this would set them into a panicky response rather than a logical one such as calling from the house. I am just trying to explain the fear factor. I know it well; even though we were in Newport we were scared too, for several weeks if not months. If Sue's odd behavior (I know all about that, too) was due to something more sinister, I have not seen evidence to support it.

Tragical History Tour said...

Thanks for the responses.

Yes I wasn't necessarily suggesting any nefarious behavior and understand the fear factor they would have had.

It was more that I was wondering, as you knew them, whether any red flags were raised in your mind, or anything struck you as unusual for their character, even allowing for what must have been surreal circumstances.

Louise said...

I understand! All I remember is that Suzan distanced herself from the LaBianca side of the family. There was alot of back and forth about funeral arrangements, for example. Nana wanted both of them to have the traditional Rosary and Mass but Suzan dissented. She agreed to the Friday night rosary service, though. Catholic mass and funeral the next day, a Saturday, was held only for my dad and neither Frank or Sue attended. I find that very sad and even pathetic after all he did for them for so many years. Red flag? Not really, just odd behavior that we couldn't understand.

Louise said...

Never heard a word again about Joe Dorgan. I assume they broke up shortly after the murders but that's just speculation on my part.

Torque said...

Louise, please if I may, I'd like to return for a moment to the neighbors of Leno and Rosemary on Waverly, and the possibility of them or other persons entering the house when it was unattended. Namely, Leonard Posella, Jr. Do you recall if Leno or Rosemary ever discussed Posella or other neighbors? Thanks.

Louise said...

The name Posella sounds very familiar but wasn't he or that whole family around for several years when my grandmother was living there? Honestly, my dad was not one to discuss the neighbors much. He was out and about more than a stay at home person, and always more animated/chatty driving around town!

Louise said...

Was Posella Jr. one of Frank's friends or was he older?

Louise said...

Never mind, I looked it up and I see that Leonard Posella Jr lived with his mother etc. Just guessing here but I think the mother and my grandmother were probably friends over the years? I heard that name alot.

Torque said...

Ok, thanks.

Louise said...

For sure. Sorry I don't have more information--I think I will do better researching Gateway!

Louise said...

I am very much looking forward to researching the history of Gateway further, interspersed with a few memories. Thank you for the good thoughts--much appreciated!

starviego said...

Louise,

Thanks for coming on this board to answer questions. I have two:

--Did Leno have any stores in the ghetto? How many stores did Leno own at his peak?

--Did you ever meet Leno's friend and LAPD cop Roxie Lucarelli?

Louise said...

I am doing my own background research on Gateway, in addition to family discussions. So far I have found up to Gateway store #15, during the peak years c. 1962. Stores were located in various areas of L.A. and San Gabriel Valley in middle-class neighborhoods. The motto at Gateway was Quality for Less.

Louise said...

Yes, I remember Roxie. He was a good friend of my dad's who also knew my mom in high school. After the murders, I believe we went to a ranch where he was taking care of my dad's horses for awhile. Nice guy. That's all I know about him on a personal level.

Louise said...

Btw, I am not sidestepping your question about the ghetto factor--I just am not too familiar which areas were considered ghetto back then! First Gateway stores were in Cypress Park, predominantly an Italian neighborhood in the 30s and 40s when store #1 opened. Store #3 evidently was in Highland Park, etc.

Louise said...

I am so glad that this remembering the victims post is here. I feel like the victims were really ignored by the media or generally portrayed in a negative way for decades--or, as Anthony Dimaria points out in Cutting to the Truth--his uncle was just "Sharon Tate and others." Nowadays with the internet and many opportunities to interact with the general public, this gives us a chance to speak out without going on a talk show, lol! Nobody really likes that, do they? I never did anyway.
One person I would like to know more about is Abigail Folger; from what I have read, she had many socially conscious projects going on in her life. I know the Folger family rarely, if ever, granted interviews which is a loss for history. That was a nice tribute to her on her birthday!

Louise said...

One more aside about me--when it became labeled as the Tate-LaBianca murders, there went the anonymity I wanted so much. Problem being there were generally two different types of reactions: complete looks of shock and horror from people I hardly knew (teachers on the first day of class, new friends, whoever asked as soon as they heard my last name); or, the opposite reaction, being overwhelmed with questions all about the murders. Either way, very difficult.

Torque said...

Louise, thanks. Like Sharon Tate this year, I decided to create the video on Abigail to celebrate what would have been her 80th birthday. True, not much is known about Abigail, other than what I consider the Wikipedia version of her life. You can find several posts here on the blog about her, though. At present, my research into Abigail's life continues.

Very shortly after her passing, her family essentially withdrew from all discussion and interviews concerning her. To my knowledge no member of Abigail's family has ever attended a parole hearing.

TabOrFresca said...

Louise said:

“One person I would like to know more about is Abigail Folger.”

This link points to the 5-part series of articles on Folger written by “David”.

https://www.mansonblog.com/2018/06/the-coffee-heiress-part-one.html?m=1

Torque, wrote a couple more articles on Folger.

https://www.mansonblog.com/2020/12/abigail-folger-time-in-new-york.html?m=1

https://www.mansonblog.com/2022/03/abigail-folger-la-woman.html?m=0

Mr. Humphrat said...

Hi Louise, thank you for sharing your memories with us. To you and Star Viego regarding Gateway Market locations I looked through old newspaper records and wrote down some of the addresses and some dates which I hope is helpful. I don't know L.A. well, so hopefully the addresses will mean more to you than to me. I'm sorry if it takes up too much space. I truly am grateful, Louise for you joining us.

Gateway Markets
1. 1. 1922 at 1525 Cypress st. at Elm
2. 2. 1930 1159 Cypress st.
3. 3. 1933
4. 4. 1941 at 3342 Verdugo Rd

Others:

-Opened in 1948 513 w. Figueroa (Altadena?)
-1950 was groundbreaking ceremony for market at 1007 Cypress Ave., L.A.
-In 1959 at 1527 Cypress Ave. L.A.
-1st Gateway Market in San Gabriel Valley was on North Rosemead
-In 1960 three Gateway Markets had late night hours: 513 West Ave., 26; 5449 N. Rosemead Blvd in San Gabriel; and 2050 West Central Ave in La Habra
-In 1960 Leno La Bianca stated there were 12 large markets in the chain.
-649 W. Duarte, Arcadia mentioned in 1960 article.
-In 1965 article holdup suspect Armando Cardenas shot and killed by police-holdup was at Gateway Market at 536 West Ave.
-In 1967 there was a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new market at 2619 N. Figueroa St., which was the site of one of the original stores in the chain, according to the article.
-1962 article said there were 9 markets in the chain
-In 1961 a Gateway Market in Fresno was mentioned, maybe a different chain?
-In 1959 article said there were stores in San Gabriel Valley, Monterey Park, Los Angeles metropolitan area, and La Habra.

Louise said...

Great finds! Thank you for sharing your research. I did not know about a Gateway on West Ave. The Fresno store definitely sounds like something different. The LaBianca Gateway stores were all in southern California.

grimtraveller said...

TabOrFresca said:

There is a rumor that some of the Manson Family “Creepy Crawled” Leno’s house

Interestingly, the famous statement about people coming in the house and moving things about and the dogs being in the house when they shouldn't be came from Lucille Ellen Larsen and is detailed in the second LaBianca police report, the one that mentions Charlie as a suspect and speaks of the Hinman murder. Many have seized on this as an indication that the Family were familiar with the LaBianca house and that they had been there prior to the murders.
But the police report, specifically referring to Larsen's comment, state that she'd been told this information prior to 1968. They also stated that there were reported burglaries at the LaBianca house, even though it was common knowledge that Rosemary kept the house keys in her car. The report implies that the burglary reports referred to the Waverly house.
It strikes me that Vince Bugliosi and Curt Gentry spiced up actual facts to lend some drama to their book, by mentioning Rosemary speaking about the house being entered while they were away. They didn't lie....they simply uttered a fact ¬> a fact that didn't correspond to the Waverly address. It's not dissimilar to the way they threw in all those sounds that were heard on the night of the Cielo murders, arguments, loud bangs, barking dogs waking up their owner....things that probably happened all the time, but which seemed to acquire a significance because of what happened that night. Yet none of those things could have had anything to do with the murders, just for the times they took place.
But it adds tension and drama to the start of the book when one is reading it for the first time.
Ironically, Manson and other Family members {though not Van Houten and Watson} had been inside the LaBianca house during 1968. Manson himself admitted this on at least 4 occasions {5 if you include Emmons}. But Bugliosi didn't know this because it wasn't public knowledge until 1988.

starviego said...

Great info! Louise, do you know anything about the State Wholesale Grocery corporation? Where did they have their facilities?

starviego said...



Louise, do you know anything about a cop living across the street from Leno?

Interview of Harold True by Aaron Stovitz on Jan 27, 1970
--True says "an officer was one of our neighbors" (police officer) lived "right across the street" at Waverly

Louise said...

STARVIEGO: The burglaries were a real thing at Waverly Drive. They happened in 1969 and I don't know why the witness, Lucille Larsen, got the date wrong. Maybe she was older and/or addlepated but it's wrong.

Louise said...

I should send you a copy of the letter my dad wrote to Cory about the burglaries (printed on pg. 409-410 No More Tomorrows by Alice LaBianca), in case you don't have a copy of the book. Lots of information about State Wholesale too! More later, busy day lol!

Louise said...

STARVIEGO: My apologies, the above comments were in reference to the comments made by TABORFRESCA. Like I said, busy day--I read three different messages and got them mixed up. I love to answer the questions but I need to be more precise and focused! More later.

Louise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TabOrFresca said...

grimtraveller said:
“spiced up actual facts to lend some drama”

I lean in the direction that
Robert Hendrickson created the myth of the Manson girls doing garbage runs at Gateway Markets from Spahn Ranch. The known Gateway Markets were in the same general area, many miles away from Spahn. It would have taken 5 gallons of gas to make the round trip and quite a bit of time. There had to be closer markets. I see RH as being like Schreck. They are entertainers and not historians or journalists.

TabOrFresca said...

Louise,

I have not read your mothers book, but I have purchased a copy; it’s in the mail. I know that Starviego has read the book, for he posted an outline on another site about 18 months ago.

This is a small clip of Starviego’s post.

pg410  Letter from Leno to his daughter Cory, dated April 9, 1969:  "There are a group of hippies that have taken over Griffith Park and two 'pot parties' have been broken up by the police just next door. That's a little too close for comfort."

[Is Leno referring to the Harold True house?  Were the police visits to that house done when True was living at the house the year before?  Or afterwards?  Anyway this is first I've heard about any police visits to the True house.  Did the LaBianca murder detectives ever check out this lead?]


pg409  Letter from Leno to his daughter Cory, dated April 9, 1969: "Not much happening here. No new burglaries, thank goodness! No new clues, either, There has been a plain clothes detective hanging around here occasionally, but I'm beginning to doubt as to whether the 'culprits' will ever be caught."

pg412  Letter from Rosemary LaBianca to Cory LaBianca dated May 21, 1969: "We haven't had any more robberies, but every time I come home I expect to find either someone in the house or something missing. I think the police have stopped working on the case and we haven't heard anything from the insurance company."

[So it sounds like there was a break-in at Waverly in late March or early April of '69. That 'plain clothes detective' should have been interviewed by the homicide detectives. Strange that he would have had time to 'hang around' the site of a home burglary.]

Louise said...

TABORFRESCA: Thank you for posting the letters! I'm going to say, going by personal memory of conversations with both of them, that there were at least 3 break-ins.

grimtraveller said...

I definitely had the impression that Ms. Larsen's comments were in reference to something different to the actual burglaries, which are clearly referenced.

TabOrFresca said:

Is Leno referring to the Harold True house? Were the police visits to that house done when True was living at the house the year before? Or afterwards? Anyway this is first I've heard about any police visits to the True house

Harold mentions in his interview with Aaron Stovitz in January '70 that a policeman came to the house once and he also mentions, either there or at trial, that he always knew the LaBianca house as empty. He himself was gone from Waverly before Leno and Rosemary moved in.

Louise said...

GRIMTRAVELLER: Maybe Ms.Larsen was referring to something different such as ? I heard Rosemary talk about weird rug cuttings? Someone came in and cut up their carpet, things like that. Of course, her close friends would be hearing alot more than I did. She was getting pretty tight-lipped towards the end. It makes me feel like Rose knew, or
had a bad feeling about, something that my dad was unaware of. He's acting all normal 2 weeks before the murders (last time I saw him) and she's acting like a different person since the days at Woking Way. What she "knew" or "had a bad feeling about" seems totally unknowable to me. It could have been problems they were having on a personal level because of money problems etc.--leaving the big beautiful house and how it affected Frankie's life etc.; she doted on that boy. Had they lived, it is quite possible they might have split up although I never saw them argue or anything like that. Just things Rosemary's friends and/or business acquaintances said, off the record to my mom and/or in interviews.


Harold True wasn't paying too much attention to the house or he would have known a little old Italian lady, my grandmother, lived at the Waverly Dr house up until about spring or summer of 1968. I don't know the exact date she moved out. The house was empty for a few months while the various workers/redecorators were updating a few things for Dad and Rose to move in. Knowing Rose's wonderful talent for redecorating and style, I imagine she must have been very hands-on with the projects. That's why I say, I don't think Harold True was paying attention.

Louise said...

I bet my dad was over at Waverly Drive alot when my grandmother still lived there, especially as she was getting older and needed more help. The "pot parties" mentioned could have been any time, before or after he officially moved back in. He doesn't really say in that letter to Cory. It sounds like the True house was the house he referred to.

Louise said...

STARVIEGO: State Wholesale was started by my grandfather early on. Per usual, quite a bit on the topic in my mom's book. She worked there during the wartime years when my dad was overseas. Main office and warehouse located at 4770 E. 50th St. Vernon

Louise said...

STARVIEGO: I don't know anything about a cop living in the neighborhood at that time. My dad didn't talk to me about the neighbors.

Louise said...

TABORFRESCA: I am glad you were able to find a copy of No More Tomorrows. I hope it reaches your doorstep soon, and please let me know if you have any questions--one or two at a time lol! It's a long read and she definitely goes into great detail about so many things. Someday soon, I hope, I will work on an abridged version for young readers with short attention spans... and then after that, do something with all of her home videos. Provided, of course, that my siblings consent to such a project.

Note to above: The title to No More Tomorrows was a reference to a habit of my dad's, where according to my mom he was always talking about his great plans for the future...living in a world of tomorrows where they would be so happy and free from their everyday responsibilities.

Louise said...

I think I take after my dad more than my mom. I've been talking about working on the book and videos for several years now. I can almost hear my mom now, lol: "I won't hold my breath waiting." Sad but true.

grimtraveller said...


1/4

Louise said:

I'm just as much in the dark as anyone about why the killers picked the Waverly Dr house...I do personally feel that my dad was singled out by Manson for some unknown reason. It would be great if someone ever figured it out for certain

The killers didn’t pick out the house. Neither night was a joint effort in terms of the direction of the mission. While Watson was involved actively in the death of each of the people, the framework belonged to Charlie Manson and it is therefore to him that one must look. And that’s virtually an impossibility, although it is possible to put some facts together and speculate. One has to. We’re dealing with the thoughts of another person’s mind. Who knows what motivates anyone to do anything ?

Well, actually, it’s not always that difficult.

In his superb book on the Beatles, their music and the 60s, “Revolution in the Head,” the late Ian McDonald correlates the place of the Beatles and their songs with the wider cultures and subcultures that both gave rise to, influenced and were influenced by them. David Rowley’s “Beatles for Sale”, which was written in the same year and follows the same song-by-song format {though it didn’t actually get published until about 2002} does a similar thing, but it majors more on how the Beatles took from musical and cultural happenings around them and reworked this into mass acceptance.
A good example of this is the rise of following gurus and Eastern philosophies. This wasn’t something invented by or unique to George Harrison. There had been a growing interest in Eastern things for quite a while before Harrison got interested, and his initial interest was piqued by something quite accidental. A number of self-styled gurus were finding their way to the West before 1965. And people like John Mayer, the Indian violinist, were already experimenting with fusing Indian and Western music. And Joe Harriott and others did so from ‘66 on. But they didn’t make any kind of cultural dent on a large scale. However, the Beatles did, with songs like “Love you to,” “Within You, Without You,” and “The Inner Light” and their use of Indian instruments on non-Harrison compositions like “Norwegian Wood,” “Strawberry Fields Forever,” “Getting Better,” and “Across the universe.” And once they did, then it became almost de rigeur to have some Indian instrumentation {or Indian sounding instruments} in songs. That kind of influence spread far and wide.
McDonald in his book, when commenting on songs like “All You Need Is Love”, “All together now” and “Glass Onion” speaks of how the notion of chance determination {ie, random}, the theory of the diceman, were becoming important tools in the Beatles’ songwriting. What makes this significant is that things that had permeated the Beatles’ circle of influence were already out there ~ and being simultaneously introduced to the wider culture. And chance determination as a practical application was a large part of the various groupings that made up the counterculture.
What has all this to do with how Charles Manson and a group of people out to kill ended up at Waverly Drive at close to 2 in the morning ?

From where I stand, everything.

Random action was very much a part of Charlie’s stock-in-trade. His ability to come through, seemingly at the drop of a hat, was one of the things that had so impressed people that ended up staying in the Family. When they needed somewhere to live, he’d say something would happen, and it did. When they needed food, his confidence that they wouldn’t starve was always rewarded. When he needed transportation to get him, Mary, Pat & Squeaky around, he blagged a piano and swapped it for a bus. The reason he had so many problems in the recording studio was down to the random, improvised nature of his music. Recording engineers simply couldn’t handle someone who never played a song the same way twice. Someone who improvised at will.

grimtraveller said...

2/4

His approach to murder was even out of the ordinary. If one thinks about it, the shooting of Lotsapoppa, the murder of Gary Hinman and the Cielo slaughter all carried with them a huge amount of chance determination. For better or for worse, one has to acknowledge that one thing Manson did well was think on his feet. What he actually thought on his feet may have left a lot to be desired, and his impulse control was pretty rubbish, but he could think on his feet.

That’s what happened on the night of August 9/10.

From the very outset, there was supposed to be an element of chance determination. Manson’s thing was to show murderers who had already made international news with their exploits “how it should be done.” Getting HS started involved ‘random’. And the very fact that the troupe ended up on Waverly was random. Ending up in the LaBianca house was almost the epitome of chance determination. That Leno and Rosemary were there, even more so.

Col Scott once made an interesting comment that there were, over the two nights of murder, so many things that by chance fell into place and that a different move in any one of many events in a short space of time could have netted such a different result. For example, when the Saffie’s wanted Frank to remain with them, Leno, Rosemary and Suzan could have elected to stay and leave at midday the next day. Sharon Tate could have been at Sheilah Wells’. Debbie Tate and Winnie Chapman could have been at Cielo {unlike all the fakes that subsequently claimed they were invited there}. Steven Parent could have stayed longer at home and gone straight to Jerrold Friedman’s place. William Garretson could have walked Steve Parent to his car or not even arrived at Cielo until after midnight, etc, etc.

On that 2nd night, Manson showed a definite psychedelic and countercultural approach to whatever he was supposed to be showing the Family. The houses they stopped at were all chosen randomly, although the church doesn’t seem to have been. The sports car incident was completely random. And after 5 attempts at murder failing to come off, Charlie, supposed to be showing the others “how to do it”, was, I suspect, feeling the pressure. They’d been driving about for hours and it would not have been lost on him or the others that the previous night, in a fraction of the time, dorks like Tex, Pat and Susan had killed 5 people and were in the news not just in California, but all over the country.
But this is where ‘random’ reared its head and Manson once again showed his cohorts how he could react at the drop of a hat and come through.

Although it never came out at trial, Manson was familiar with both houses on the site at Waverly. He was intimately knowledgeable about both, having been in them on a number of occasions. At one point, he had actually wanted to move into the house next door to the LaBiancas but the 3 guys living there {Allan Swerdloff, Harry Yost and Ernie Baltzell} had vetoed it. What had sparked the desire to move in was that his friend in that house, Harold True, was moving out. True had said it was up to his 3 housemates as to whether Charlie moved in. Manson was often a vengeful individual and although many feel that this snub was no reason for feelings of anger towards the 3 housemates, I beg to differ. It directly parallels the night before, in the sense of having strongly negative feelings towards the inhabitants of a house. In both instances, Susan Atkins, never the most reliable witness, was of the belief that a message was being aimed at someone connected with the houses and in both instances, she gave the same reason ~ that someone connected with the houses had gone back on their word.

grimtraveller said...

3/4

Whether or not the person[s] at whom the message was aimed was ever going to understand it is largely irrelevant. After all, certain people {the White race} were supposed to understand the messages at Cielo and Waverly and Black people were supposed to be understood to have committed the crimes, especially once Manson {again, using chance determination} had left a stolen wallet on the streets of what he thought was a place with plenty of Black people. Unlike Cielo, Waverly wasn’t on the schedule for murder until desperation set in. It’s almost as if, having tried to do things randomly, Manson got specific in his intention and thought about targeting the 3 guys that had turned him down {a bit like Terry Melcher snd Rudi Altobelli at Cielo}. And once the troupe arrived at Waverly, there was no one in at the former True house. Manson didn’t know that everyone had moved out by then. His frame of reference to the house was Harold True who moved out in September ‘68 so there was no reason for Manson to have gone back to the house.
It was by chance that Manson spotted a dog outside Leno & Rosemary’s house and went over to investigate and that’s when he saw Leno in the house. He said that he had always known the house as an empty house so he was surprised to see someone in it and he went to get Watson…

Everything about how he came to be at 3301 was random. When Charlie said he had gone along to see Harold True that night, he was clearly lying because True had moved out in September ‘68 and Charlie knew this. That’s how he came to try to move in ! HS was the overall framework, but within it, chance determination played a large part. Once Manson started openly admitting he had been inside the LaBianca house {both before the LaBiancas lived there and on the night of the murder} – it wasn’t known during the trial as he never admitted it – he committed himself to the tale of dropping by to see Harold True, yet True, long before the trial had told Aaron Stovitz that he’d moved out almost a year before the murders and Charlie was well aware of this. So for me, it has always begged the question, what was he doing at Waverly Drive ? He clearly wasn’t there to be going into a house he’d always known to be empty {the LaBianca’s} and he knew Harold no longer lived next door. And the troupe were out on a murder mission {even if they didn’t look at it that way}. When everything is put together, it seems pretty clear to me that he was after the 3 housemates who had turned down his request to move in with them. As Brooks Poston testified, the term ‘pigs’ referred to a wide cache of people, of whom college students were included. Interestingly, in future years, Harold True stated that he thought Charlie had initially gone to his former house to kill ¬> "Charlie Manson, where did he go to do the killings ? He went to the 2 places he knew in LA, and 2 places only; He went to my house...because we told him he couldn't live in our house.” He never mentioned the LaBianca house. It’s also interesting that in March 1970, 4 months before the trial began, Aaron Stovitz gave an interview to Rolling Stone on the state of the investigation thus far where he said ”So they, after circling the city for a while, they go into the True, uh, to the True residence. No one is home, so they, go next door.” Why would he think that ? And in his summing up of the guilt phase of the trial, Vince Bugliosi, emphasizing Charlie’s total command that second night finished off his little speech by saying “And of course, it was Manson who finally decided to drive to Harold True's place and after he got out of the car, of course, he entered the LaBianca residence ~ we don't know how..
There seems to be a lot of knowledge about Manson driving to the former True house. And for what it’s worth, at least some of those housemates believed that they were the actual targets.

grimtraveller said...

4/4

Chasing the motive has been a main reason for TLB blogs managing to exist for so long. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it is a comparative minority that actually believes that the reason for the murders was the ignition of Helter Skelter. Because that just seems so ridiculous. The logical, rational, sensible mind, almost by necessity in many cases, has to conclude that it was something else. Something that actually makes a modicum of sense. How could people be murdered for something so idiotically ‘out there’ ? Yet the fact remains that not just in later years, but right at the time, every one of the killers, in one way or another, except Manson, threw in HS as a main motivation for the murders. We can have great long debates as to whether or not Manson actually believed it {I always say ¬> read that June 1970 Rolling Stone article with its Manson interview}, but it’s undeniable that the convicted killers did. I think it’s fair to say that whatever specific motivations Manson had for the particular locations of the killings, they are secondary to the overall mission of HS. It was literally a ‘kill 2 birds with one stone’ kind of thing ~ if you’ll excuse the pun. There has never been any kind of credible evidence put forward that any of the victims were in any way known to any of the murderers, but there has been tons of hearsay, speculation and obfuscation trying to do precisely that. And they pretty much always fail because they are hearsay, speculation and obfuscation designed to combat Helter Skelter.

grimtraveller said...

Louise said:

It could have been problems they were having on a personal level because of money problems

This is uncomfortable for me to talk about, given that it's about Leno, but how aware were you that the police reported that he was a heavy gambler and had been embezzling money from the company ?

Harold True wasn't paying too much attention to the house or he would have known a little old Italian lady, my grandmother, lived at the Waverly Dr house up until about spring or summer of 1968. I don't know the exact date she moved out. The house was empty for a few months while the various workers/redecorators were updating a few things for Dad and Rose to move in

To be honest, that wouldn't necessarily conflict with what Harold said, or with what Charlie Manson has since revealed. He has stated to Vanity Fair {in 2011}, Rolling Stone {in 2013} that he'd been in the house before and that he'd known it to be empty and to George Stimson {in 1998, but it came out in his 2015 book} that he said to Leno that he thought the house was empty. He met Harold in '68 and was probably in the house after your Granny left it. He wouldn't have been in it after Harold left in September '68.

Louise said...

GRIMTRAVELLER: I just read through the entirety of your posts--so many different, interesting thoughts and I will be addressing each and every one later today. Just an initial, random response for starters as I channel my younger self:

So you mean that if Shadow (the dog) hadn't barked, Dad and Rose would still be alive???

I am about 80 percent aware of my dad's financial problems and the "embezzlement" claims. I have read both homicide reports several times over the years and I know what my family (cousins etc) think about those claims and what it meant to the eventual fate of Gateway. It's complicated. You are welcome to bring it up; actually, I brought up his money problems first.

More later--thank you for giving me something challenging to mull over all day. I actually worked on a Masters degree in English studying the Beatles; ended up taking the comprehensive exam instead because the professors wanted it that way (I passed, 2007): long story but I am aware of those authors you brought up and, of course, everything Beatles as I lived and breathed their music all my life.

TabOrFresca said...

Louise,

Concerning Leno’s and Rosemary’s estates. About 12 years ago there were 50-100 pages of estate documents posted on “Cats” old site. I browsed them for about two hours and remember a couple of things.
1. Leno may have died intestate and your older sister was appointed executor or administrator.
2. The Waverly house that was bought for $18000 had a second mortgage and about $40000+ was outstanding. The house was sold for about $55000 with the buyers assuming the second mortgage and paying less than $15000 to the estate.
3. Leno’s other assets were valued at less than $100000.
4. Leno’s main creditors were “State Wholesale Grocery Company for about $120000” and “Summit Finance Finance Corporation for about $380000”.
5. Later using community property provisions, the two main creditors would file claims against Rosemary’s Estate for the amounts previously listed.
6. While Susan Struthers filed estate paperwork very very early, she filed estate inventory and appraisal paperwork about four years later. The value was less than 100000 and a portion of this was stock in “State Wholesale Grocery Company”.

These documents are no longer accessible. I know many others saw these documents at that time.

TabOrFresca said...

Louise said:

“Problem being there were generally two different types of reactions: complete looks of shock and horror from people I hardly knew”

If, after buying the newspaper, Leno and Rose died in an automobile accident; many things would have been the same. There would have been funerals. There would have been the process to settle the estates. Your brother would have to deal with the upcoming draft lottery. You would graduate from High School.

But they didn’t die in an automobile accident and your family is periodically publicly reminded of how they died and all the rumors attributed to them.

Reading about this mystery is like watching “Twins Peaks”. At least the later had an opening theme with a catchy baseline. I’m hoping that your mother and siblings were able to provide the necessary support and guidance you needed; and you being there for them.

Louise said...

Yes, my family was very supportive and truly awesome overall, looking back. You know, I had a younger half-sister and stepfather too--beautiful people, both gone now. I also married fairly young and my in-laws were amazing people. I feel truly blessed. Thank you for asking!

TabOrFresca said...

Louise,

The latest version of the book by Nikolas Schreck contains a number of quotes from your mothers book, including the ones Starviego found. Schreck uses these references positively to help him present some of his uncorroborated stories.

Harold True testified at the TLB trial. His recollection of events was very poor.

TRUE: “Well, I just know it was the house next door. At the time I knew of no one living there, so the name of the residence --,
It was just the house next door.”

TRUE: “I was under the impression that the house was vacant.”

So the Judge decides he’s going to clear this up.

Judge Older: “The answer is ‘no,’ you, don't know who
was living there?”

TRUE: The answer it no, I don't know who lived there.

True also testifies that that visited Manson and Phil Kaufman in March of 1967 at Manson’s residence in Topanga Canyon. When he was asked if it wasn’t March of 1968, True stated that he was positive it was March of 1967.

Kaufman was in jail in March of 1967 and Manson wasn’t living in Topanga Canyon at that time.

High probability that your grandmother was there.

Mr. Humphrat said...

Leonard Posella Sr. was born in Italy and lived in 1950 at 3267 Waverly Dr. with his wife Julie, children Leonard Jr., age 15, Seglinda, age 11, Claude, age 5. Leonard Sr. was a musician for motion pictures. (3267 is the house where Harold True later lived.) 3301 was listed as vacant 1950 census, but it looks like Leno's parents may not have been enumerated that year.
In the 1960 voter registration Leno's address was listed at 3236 Waverly.

grimtraveller said...

Louise said:

So you mean that if Shadow (the dog) hadn't barked, Dad and Rose would still be alive???

I wouldn't quite say that.
But there was a fascinating series of random events that came together that night, Manson spotting the dog and going over to investigate, being one of them. According to him, that's what focused his attention on 3301.
I always keep in mind that the reason he was out that night was to kill. Almost anyone could have been the victim. Susan Atkins' cellmate, Virginia Graham, wasn't into snitching, but she said that's what pushed her over the line, the randomness of it, the notion that anyone could be next.

Louise said...

I remember reading something that Linda Kasabian said about Manson heading straight over to Waverly after an hour or two driving around. One of the girls said something like, "you're not going to that house are you?" (presumably as we know now--the True house). Manson said "No-the house nextdoor." I'm sorry but I am just recalling this from memory, I don't know where or when I read it but it has stuck in my mind for so long now.

More later, lucky you lol! I know I don't follow protocol. I just talk straight from my heart.

Louise said...

That doesn't sound like he thought the house was vacant to me.

Louise said...

MR. HUMPHRAT: My grandparents were at Waverly Dr in 1950. That was the year my brother was born and I have seen family videos of the occasion when they brought him home from the hospital. By 1960 everything had changed, of course. I recall Dad and Rose had a place very close to the Waverly Dr house but I didn't realize it was that close! I was only 5, mind you--

Louise said...

GRIMTRAVELLER: I didn't know that about Manson that he was such a "confidence man"--interesting. I will remember your references to "random action" and "chance"---these are not familiar approaches to me. I mean, I get it that my dad was betting all the time and probably hoping for a big win to offset all his debts, but I see that more as an addiction or a bad habit rather than a lifestyle choice. Sad.

I like your references to the Beatles and that is definitely a connection to explore further, given the whole HS thing and how cultural influences merge together--as in zeitgeist, for example. Not sure if this is the forum for that type of discussion but very intriguing ideas.


Louise said...

I'm mainly here for the victims and their families, especially my own. I admit to being a little self-centered that way. But it feels weird to be the only one here representing that perspective, like where is Anthony Dimaria? Making movies, I guess. I just like to write. It is a great lift off my shoulders. It started a few months ago in response to an article in the OC Register, written by Sal Rodriguez? The name eludes me. Basically he was saying that the whole Manson thing was only a "big deal" to boomers. I answered his letter in as reasonable a way as I could muster, and although he disagreed with my perspective he said he would publish it online. He never did.
The Sacramento Bee was friendlier and published 2 separate opinion pieces. Turns out I have lots of opinions and I am currently preparing more pieces for who knows? Thanks all for listening!

grimtraveller said...


Louise said:

I like your references to the Beatles and that is definitely a connection to explore further, given the whole HS thing and how cultural influences merge together--as in zeitgeist, for example. Not sure if this is the forum for that type of discussion

Oh, it is.
If you look at the significant TLB sites that have been around since the early 2000s, one thing that makes this case stand out head and shoulders above just about any other is just how far and deep its tentacles spread. Religion, runaways, politics, popular music in general, the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Wilsons {and Mike Love}, drugs, poverty, marriage, Hollywood, parenthood, motherhood, the 1930s and 40s, the 60s, prison, many aspects of law enforcement {LE}, America, family life, childhood, bikers, race, gender issues, recording, violence, the perps, the victims, sentencing, parole, lawyers, environmental issues, wealth, poverty, the CIA, vegetarianism, justice, writers....most criminal cases just never get close to this pot-pourri. So many things are up for discussions.

Louise said...

The only current sites I know of are this one and Cielodrive. Let me know if there are others that you recommend. Thank you.

TabOrFresca said...

Louise,

On Dennis LaCalandra’s site, he posted a thread with a number of Gateway newspaper clippings which contain adds and stories. There is a picture with Rose, Leno, Pete D, Leno’s mother.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-KDnYKv4kL_U/YbxTbpf2UtI/AAAAAAAAAnE/YISaDtGumAU7nv9kIA1QuVGGOgOKQ7UuQCNcBGAsYHQ/img%2B%252810%2529.jpg

The 1968 add shows the address for 4 stores.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-m2T2KvmtiGE/YbxSu9CUWRI/AAAAAAAAAm8/eP_YowmEZX0sq5TXGfzZRysTbeV1svRogCNcBGAsYHQ/eaglerocksentinel1968.jpg

The 1960 add mentions 12 stores with the addresses of 3 clear and 9 I can’t make out on using my phone.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-E7SJHv-E2sg/YbxcDm6azyI/AAAAAAAAAnk/M1D1_agng1w4QwaE-zvtuyUCELmcWN-QwCNcBGAsYHQ/img%2B%252813%2529.jpg

The thread:

https://themansonmythos.blogspot.com/2021/12/rare-labianca-gateway-market-images-and.html?m=1

Louise said...

Thanks!

grimtraveller said...

Louise said:

The only current sites I know of are this one and Cielodrive. Let me know if there are others that you recommend

In terms of current conversation, you're on the best two {in my opinion}. If you're interested in past discussions, there's Col Scott's and LSB, both of which are full of really good discussions and posts. There's also a lot of fluff too, but both are great for gleaning the opinions {whether one agrees with them or not} of some tremendous thinkers over the years. There was also once a great site called Truth on Tate/LaBianca which disappeared from cyberspace in 2016. Its founder, Cats77, sometimes chimes in here. Some of the site is saved on the Wayback machine but there's lots of pages missing. For quite a while, some of us were hopeful that it would go up again, at least as a resource, even without the comments, but it seems that it was a hassle to run due to the way some people interacted there. Still, you get a flavour of what it was like.
I've looked in on a number of sites but, speaking personally, none that I ever felt motivated to get involved with. But that's just me. Different strokes for different folks, and all that.

Louise said...

Thank you for the info :)

starviego said...

Louise said...
One of the girls said something like, "you're not going to that house are you?" (presumably as we know now--the True house). Manson said "No-the house next door."

Kasabian claimed that. Which disputes the theory that Charlie only went there because the True house, his intended target, was empty. Which may not have been empty:

LADA files Box 22 vol9015 pg16of130 (Tex Watson trial)

Q: Incidentally, Sergeant(Danny Galindo LAPD), did you make an investigation, either your or other officers under your supervison, make an investigation of the houses on either side of the LaBianca residence?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: Was anybody home at the Earl C. Anthony estate? (This is the house that was later turned into a convent and that Katy Perry recently tried to buy.)
A: Not when I went.
Q: Was anybody living there at all at the time?
A: Not officially.
Q: What do you mean by "Not officially," if you can explain?
A: Well, subsequent investigation disclosed that some, oh, trespassers had been within the premises at the Earl C. Anthony estate and had actually slept within the premises. I determined the morning of the 11th that a guard had been assigned but had not been around the premises for a day or two.
Q: I see. Nobody was officially then living at the Earl C. Anthony estate?
A: That's a correct statement.
Q: You did discover at some time later some trespassers had invaded the premises?
A: Yes.
Q: And spent the night there?
A: Several nights.
Q: And when did you discover that fact in connection with the date August 10th?
A: Oh, it would be after I had been relieved from the investigation. ....

Q: Did you also go to the True residence on the other side of the LaBianca residence?
A: Yes, sir, I did. ....
Q: Now, was anybody at that residence?
A: No, sir; not at the time I went.
Q: Did you determine whether anybody had been living at the True residence within the very recent past?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: And what had you determined in that regard?
A: That the residence was populated. ...
Q: Did you determine whether anybody was at the True residence on the evening of August 9nth or the early morning hours of August 10th?
A: Yes, sir. I don't remember the times, but I can recall they had been there--somebody had been at the residence up past through the 9nth and into the 10th. I don't remember the times.

starviego said...

Louise said...
But it feels weird to be the only one here representing that perspective, like where is Anthony Dimaria?

This brings up the larger issue of why so few of those directly involved at the time have come forth. Where are the Peter Folgers, the Tony Davises, the Laura Sheppards, the Stephanie Rowes, the DiDi Lansburys, the Candice Bergens, the Steve Grogans, etc.? C'mon, people! Time is running out!

Louise said...

The True house had people living there or in and out of there at the time of the murders, according to Sgt. Galindo? Maybe they were "squatters" -- remember my dad said there were hippies living nextdoor, didn't he in that letter to Cory? It was 1969 and the neighborhood was not too posh in those days like it is now.

Mr. Humphrat said...

It seems like it could have been one of those squatter groups going through the La Bianca house too. :( Maybe more likely than anyone from Spahn Ranch.

Louise, can you remember any particular researchers or authors who did a particularly good and respectful job in talking to your family and representing them in print?

And I don't recall if you said you knew Joe Dorgan. I was wondering where there was information on him. I'm guessing his connection with the Straight Satans was coincidental(?)

Louise said...

MR. HUMPHRAT: No books about my family that I know of, except for my mom's. I don't recall hearing about any researchers or authors contacting anyone for an interview. If they had, it is likely they were unsuccessful because a) my brother believes in keeping his privacy; b) my sister does her own research and writing, which may or may not ever be published--her choice; c) cousins have not been contacted to my knowledge, and if you ask me their views are skewed a bit for various reasons!

This is why I am doing my own research on the history of Gateway; I am not interested in everyone's opinions and views about it. I've heard all that from cousins who worked there. While I love them all dearly, this is going to be my story, a writer's prerogative eh?

As for Rosemary's side of the family, no contact with them for many years. I heard from reliable sources that there hasn't been any verification about Joe Dorgan being in that motorcycle gang. I met him a couple of times, he seemed quiet and fairly friendly to me, not sure if he ever actually talked to me directly other than "Hi, Louise" lol! Sue was the more outspoken one of the two.

Louise said...

MR. HUMPHRAT: I don't generally believe in coincidences, just so you know πŸ˜‰. I think Joe was very brave to even walk into the house that night of Aug. 10 after the murders. It must have been horrible. I can't even stand watching the old b/w clip on the news with Eric Severaid (sp?) all grim-faced, and then the two bodies covered up and getting wheeled out of the house on guerneys. And this is 54 years after.

All that said, and thank you for reading this far, I don't know what kind of a guy Joe Dorgan was, really. He definitely didn't seem like a radical biker dude but I suppose anything is possible.

grimtraveller said...

starviego said:

LADA files Box 22 vol9015 pg16of130 (Tex Watson trial)

Star, the testimony of Sergeant Galindo that you quote from in support of your point is not from the 1971 Watson trial. It is from Leslie Van Houten's trial in 1977. That's quite a few years later. Whereas this dialogue:

Bugliosi: Now, the home on the right in this photograph, do you recognize that as the house in which Harold True formerly resided ?

Frank Patchett: That's correct

Q: At any time did you go to this particular home ?

A: Yes, I went to that home the day after - this would have been Monday, after the LaBianca murder, in checking the crime scene at the LaBianca home, I then went next door to the house

Q: August 11 1969 ?

A: I believe that was Monday, yes

Q: You went to the former residence of Harold True ?

A: I did

Q: 3267 Waverly Drive ?

A: That's correct

Q: Was the home vacant at that time ?

A: Yes, it was



comes from October 1970. If you go further in Patchett's testimony, he also mentions the Earl C. Anthony estate and is very clear that the former True house was unoccupied. And he was on the case throughout, whereas Galindo was on it for a couple of days. In '77, Galindo testified that a woman and a little boy lived in the former True house. Although he said they lived there up to and through the 9th and 10th, he also said twice that he couldn't remember the times.
But you know, whether there was a woman and little boy living there or not, or whether the house was unoccupied, it's actually neither here nor there. In fact, it's irrelevant even if 30 people were living at 3267. For the theory that Manson, in his mind was targeting Harold True's former housemates, all that is necessary is that he believed they were still there, same way that he believed that Saladin Nader would be at home later on in the early hours of the morning. Just like he didn't know exactly who would be at Cielo {if even anyone at all}, knowledge wasn't a player in these crimes.

Kasabian claimed that. Which disputes the theory that Charlie only went there because the True house, his intended target, was empty

Not so. It is not the emptiness of the house that is significant, but the fact that no one was in. They are two very different things. Also, what is often not mentioned {because this did come up in the Watson, but not the Manson trial}, is that Linda's words to Charlie came as he was walking up the True house driveway. That puts a completely different spin on things.

Louise said...

Looking at the old news clips, way back before there were all the gruesome autopsy photos etc floating around the internet, somehow hit me harder for whatever psychological reason I have no idea. No worries, though--it won't stop me from doing my research on Gateway and the LaBianca family history. The Waverly Dr house was such a big part of all that, of course. Spooky stuff.



grimtraveller said...

starviego said:

This brings up the larger issue of why so few of those directly involved at the time have come forth. Where are the Peter Folgers, the Tony Davises, the Laura Sheppards, the Stephanie Rowes, the DiDi Lansburys, the Candice Bergens, the Steve Grogans, etc.? C'mon, people! Time is running out!

Star, that is as ridiculous a statement as it is possible for you to make in 2023.
But that won't stop you ! 😁 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯O

grimtraveller said...

grimtraveller said:

knowledge wasn't a player in these crimes

To some extent that applied in all the murders and attempted murders. Manson didn't know that Lotsapoppa would have 3 friends with him at Rosina's apartment. He believed Gary Hinman had lots of money. He thought Shorty was an informant. He figured that he couldn't be convicted of murder because he never dealt any actual death blows. He deduced that he was smart having a joint defence because the women would be controllable and his narrative would be the one pushed forward. Those 2 years of not having to answer for his low-level crimes may have lulled him into a false sense of security but when one takes a long-term view of his life of crime, it's not difficult to see why he never strung together 5 years on civvy street.

grimtraveller said...

Louise said:

Looking at the old news clips, way back before there were all the gruesome autopsy photos etc floating around the internet, somehow hit me harder for whatever psychological reason I have no idea

Probably because that is what was around at the time when you were a teenager having to process everything that comes with such a traumatic set of circumstances.
Just out of interest, when did you first see any of the crime scene or autopsy pictures ?

grimtraveller said...

Louise said:

GRIMTRAVELLER: Maybe Ms.Larsen was referring to something different such as ?

Well, the way what she said was worded, about people coming into the house and things moving about, it doesn't sound like descriptions of burglary. Whereas, in the police report, there are distinct references to actual burglaries. The references to the burglaries sound like they are referring to Waverly, but in stating that Ms. Larsen's comments are about events prior to 1968, well, maybe they were.
I've long been wary of shining a light on the victims because, given the nature of humanity, I find that it opens the doors to whatever skeletons may be in the closet. Now, many, if not most of us have them, or at least something that could be construed in a negative way, and Rosemary and Leno were no different. But whatever was going on in their lives that could be looked upon as dodgy had absolutely nothing to do with their murders. Granted, the police had to look into those things initially, because there was no way of knowing at first what may or may not have had a bearing on someone's murder. But once the suspects were identified, as far as I'm concerned, that should be the last we hear of the victims' lives. Whatever is there should be for their families alone to process and make of whatever it is that was there to be made. I wouldn't be making movies about them.
Realistically, given that some of them were semi-celebrities, there was an inevitability that they would be spoken of more than "any old murder victim" {as the public would see it}. But I always felt Peter Folger had the right idea in "dissuading" {if those stories are true} journalists from writing about his daughter.
But I guess I'm strange πŸ€ͺ, that way.

Louise said...

GRIMTRAVELLER: On the topic of my exposure to the news, first weeks after the murders I didn't even read the news or view televised reports. After awhile my mom turned into a news junkie, though, so I did see a few reports if I happened to be in the room, mainly during the trial period. I knew from the beginning who all the main "players" were, same ones as now--Tex, Manson, the girls etc. I've always been more of a reader so I learned most of the gory details via the LA Times.
Not too many photos there but I didn't always finish the articles--just skimmed for details and then did something else to distract myself. Always difficult.

Finally you get to the answer. I am very long-winded lol! This is not an anniversary I have on my calendar. I probably first saw a really graphic photo c. 2002/03 on the Internet when I did a search for "Leno LaBianca." I was looking to see what they were saying about him by then, inadvertently stumbled across a photo or two.

Louise said...

GRIMTRAVELLER: I like your depiction of "that should be the last we hear of the victims' lives." Lol, many in the LaBianca family clearly agree with you! I don't even think my mom's book was exactly welcomed; privacy being a main concern and for good reason. Like you say, the "dodgy" details had nothing to do with the murders. Still, if someone wants to make a movie about their personal experiences or to show an insider perspective (like Anthony Dimaria), I say go for it. If they decide to drop out and move to a deserted tropical island, whatever. However, I think it is more honorable to the memory of the victims to acknowledge that they mattered alot to those who "still suffer our loss," to quote my sister.

Louise said...

Frykowski and Folger don't look like a match to me...I think there's a story there!

Louise said...

Better for family members to contribute to the story than have someone make stuff up...

Louise said...

As far as the burglaries, for example, I recall those instances on several occasions where Dad and Rose talked about them. They never had those issues on Woking Way. All happened at Waverly, there were many times it happened, and different things happened--rug cuttings once, moving things around, and the actual thefts) burglaries. Dad told us he hired a detective but I never saw him. All mysteries.

Torque said...

Louise, concerning Voytek Frykowski and Abigail Folger as a match, it may be best to read what Abigail herself said about Voytek. You can read a personal letter she wrote about this--and other things-- which is contained in my post, "Abigail Folger: A Time In New York," here on this blog.

Retromoviefan said...

Hello Louise,
I'm a bit of a lurker on this blog, first time posting here, and have been so amazed to see you posting. A huge honor for everyone. Your comments and recollections are deeply moving. I was born in 1956, so you and I are about the same age. I grew up in the Santa Susana/Simi Valley area and was living there when these horrible crimes occurred. As a teenager of about 13, I remember how panic stricken I was. To this day, all these years later, I can still feel the nightmarish quality of the reports that we, in the general public first heard about this.

I very much want to read your mother's book. I had googled her name at the "findagrave" website and saw that her father also passed away on Aug 10, 1969? Is that correct? I was so shocked when I saw that at the website. I'm sure you mom's book clarifies and elaborates on so many things about your family history.

You mentioned Abigail Folger being someone you wanted to know more about. I also, growing up, was very curious about her (as well as your family), because not much is out there about her. Randomly last night, I ran across a youtube video that I think you would find fascinating. I don't know if it's okay to post a direct link to a youtube video so here's the title of the video so you can find it: "Memories of Abigail Folger and Sharon Tate (Must watch!)" Truly, when you watch this, you will feel as I did that fate and providence has a hand in reaching out to those who are left behind, for comfort and love.

Well, thank you once again for sharing your memories and also important insights for all of us here. I'm sure it is also (hopefully), cathartic for you in a sense. We are all mere strangers to you but just so you know, a 13 year old teenager like me in Santa Susana so many years ago said a lot of prayers for you and your family and I still do. Looking forward to more of your comments as you feel able to share. Keep everyone updated on your Gateway market research!

Louise said...

RETROMOVIEFAN: Thank you for sharing your experiences as a teen, same age as me give or take a few months (I'm older!). I appreciate your kind words. Yes, it is true--we lost our grandfather and father on the very same day. That was a very strange week to say the least. Long time ago, interesting to be talking about it again decades later with people I hardly know. You should be able to find the book online somewhere and I really hope you have a chance to sit down and read it cover to cover! My mom was an unusually ambitious and busy woman all her life, so her adventures are quite a bit to process all at one sitting! My dad's letters to her during the WWII era are interspersed throughout the book, which I think is a great tribute to his memory.
I don't know why I have been curious about Abigail Folger so much this summer. So far I think she reminds me of many girls I knew in school, usually the private schools where their lives were often very sheltered and boring, really. That brings on alot of daydreaming for some, while others venture out like she did--off to the big adventure in NYC and then her great interest in movie-making.
I'm sure she will be well remembered as the years go by.

Retromoviefan said...

Louise,
I will definitely read your mother's book. I'm sure she was a fascinating person with important things to say and share about her family. Thank you for verifying that you lost both your father and grandfather on the same day. That's mind boggling to say the least. I can't even begin to fathom such a loss and such horrible circumstances. Your family has gone through untold tribulations. It brings to light once again the ripples and the way families are so affected in unknown ways by these crimes. I feel at a loss for the right words to say here but again, I thank you for sharing and being here. I wanted to comment on your remarks about the letter you wrote to the OC Register in response to that man who said these crimes only matter to "boomers". This is a very important issue. I've encountered young people who didn't grow up in the era of these crimes who say similar things on youtube video comments and other forums. They say, "so what? it's a crime. Crime happens. This is no different." They've grown up in an era of ultra violence, school shootings, serial killers, etc. They also use it as a justification for paroling the Manson killers. (i.e. Van Houten, etc.)

I always try to educate young people that these crimes ARE different from any other because it altered forever the fabric of society. One young kid I was talking to seemed to suddenly realize this truth and backed off his rather arrogant remarks, similar to the OC Register guy you dealt with. So, I think it's essential that we always push back at these "boomer" comments. These horrific crimes can never be seen as just another crime. I told one young guy that all these gates and security cameras and deadbolts and burglar alarms and dogs and high walls that he sees today are a direct outgrowth of the Manson murders. I see those developments as a direct evolution from the crimes, because prior to that, few people had those things, even in Hollywood and wealthy areas. Certainly my family didn't. I knew many people who didn't lock their doors or were somewhat casual about doing so. After the crimes, that all changed forever.

I'm not surprised that the OC Register guy never printed your comments. He didn't want your opinions out there. I totally commend you for standing up and speaking out. You more than anyone have the right to do so. You lived it and your family went through it and walked in those shoes.

Re: other families such as the Folgers not being on forums or blogs, I can see both sides of why they might not want to. But I am perplexed as to why the Folgers never go to the parole hearings or at least send a family representative to add support. They should put their "image" aside and do it for Abigail. She was a very dynamic person. I too was very interested in her this summer for some reason and that's why this particular blog entry caught my attention. And of course I wanted to know more about the LaBianca family. You being here personalizes these events in ways nothing else ever could. And that means a lot!

Torque said...

Retromoviefan, the Folger family, especially Abigail's father, answered questions by reporters very early on after the crimes, but not afterward. Abigail's mother, by contrast, who lived to be 100, did speak about her daughter after the crimes evidently.

Taken together, Abigail's family chose to deal with their loss in their own way. I have read that her father sold the family ancestral estate in the mid 1970s, as he could not bear to live there anymore without the presence of Abigail. As I understand it, Mr Folger purchased a different home nearby. He passed away in 1980.

Abigail is remembered at her high school, Santa Catalina School in Monterey, via the Abigail Folger Library Fund. My research on the life of Abigail continues, with an ongoing project in place.

As well, if you have not already done so, please check out all of the posts here on the blog about Abigail.

Retromoviefan said...

Torque,
Thank you for the info about Mr. Folger selling the family estate. Wow, that's so sad. I will definitely read some of the other posts about Abigail. Wonderful to know there's a fund in her name at her school. I'm glad she is remembered in various ways. As you say, families have to deal with events like this in their own way.

Tragical History Tour said...

I would have been more perplexed if the Folgers DID go to parole hearings.

The 'old money' super wealthy have a different mindset. When you already own more than you ever need, privacy is what they buy and value. Peter financed some initial detective work into the case himself but beyond that the family as a whole seemed to want to move on from their loss, and not keep reopening old wounds at innumerable hearings, where the outcome was pretty much guaranteed.

Anyway Leslie was always the one most likely to get out at some time (if anyone ever did) but wasn't involved at Cielo. Those that were acted with 10 times the brutality of LVH and everyone and their dog knows that Watson and (in my opinion) Krenwinkel will never get out vertically because of it. I think even if Krenwinkel continues to be granted parole then ways to overturn it will also continue.

Louise said...

I have never been to a parole hearing and I never plan to; all are free to draw their own conclusions as to why. I hardly know myself! Mainly it just sounds like it would be an extremely uncomfortable experience to look across the table at one of them. Who needs that? Not even sure if it helps. The only ones in the LaBianca family who went to a hearing were my cousins, the Smaldinos, and one member of the Desantis family. I did write a couple of letters, not sure if they had any impact at all.

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Louise said...

TABORFRESCA: In reference to Leno and Rosemary estate documents which evidently can no longer be accessed, everything looks about right that I can remember. While my sister and, eventually my brother, did have the official titles as administrators of Leno's estate, in practice my mom, a C.P.A., did most of the actual figuring as I recall. Some of it is in the book.
Something I didn't know was the part about how Sue filed various estate documents four years later. I wonder what was going on in her life in those years. Evidently she and Joe Dorgan parted ways as I saw in the 1977 trial transcripts that Sue was married by that time, married name Wolk.

Louise said...

Today I am going to immerse myself in reading my mom's book, the setting of which is a really, really long time ago--the 30s, 40s and 50s! I love the simplicity of the era, before the war of course. That must have been treacherous.
And by the way for curious minds, none of us has ever profited or ever will profit by book sales. Honestly, I think we have most of them away!

Louise said...

GAVE most of them away, some even signed by the author herself!

Louise said...

TORQUE: I haven't forgotten about the possibility of having a separate post with pics btw. This post is for a remembrance of all the victims. Anthony Dimaria, I know you're out there!!

Louise said...

I just have little to no ambition for working on photos until the weather cools down 🌻🌻

Retromoviefan said...

Louise,
It's so wonderful that you can immerse yourself in your mother's book. I read some excerpts on Amazon and it sounds so beautiful. I know it seems crazy but I started to cry when she spoke of sharing a cottage cheese and pineapple salad with your dad when he first showed her the Waverly house. It's those small touches and images that seem to get to me the most. Those simple times when life was so different from today. I can tell she was an excellent writer. And you are too! And don't ever feel the need to explain or justify any of your actions or opinions, especially about the parole hearings. Uncomfortable is an understatement, to find yourself sitting across from Watson or any of these worthless scumbags. It's easy for outsiders looking in to say they would do this or that, but they won't know unless it happens to them.

Louise said...

Thank you for your kind words. I like pineapple and cottage cheese, too--one of my favorite dishes on a summer day!

grimtraveller said...

Retromoviefan said:

I am perplexed as to why the Folgers never go to the parole hearings or at least send a family representative to add support. They should put their "image" aside and do it for Abigail

Why should they have ? Atkins and Manson died in jail. Watson and Krenwinkel are still there more than half a century later. I'd say that the Folgers' presence hasn't been needed for justice to have been done and to continue to be done.

I always try to educate young people that these crimes ARE different from any other because it altered forever the fabric of society

This for me will always be an interestingly nuanced paradox {πŸ™„} because, on one level, it has a lot of truth to it, yet, at the same time, it was no different to any murder that there has ever been. I guess I tend to instinctively rail against any notion of some kind of "naughtiness league table" when it comes to murder. The result is always the same, regardless of the motivation or actions in the aftermath ~ someone {or people} had their lives taken from them by people who had no freedom nor permission to do so. The methodology and the societal outcome don't make one set worse or better than another.

Retromoviefan said...

Grimtraveller,
I agree with you in the cosmic sense, that the final result is that a person regardless of who they are, where they live, etc. is robbed of their life by someone who had no right to do so. All life is valuable and all life is precious. And I recognize that in the recorded annals of crime, there have been 'worse' murders than the TLB crimes from the standpoint of brutality. (depending on what one's definition of brutality is.) But growing up in Los Angeles, and specifically in the area of Santa Susana and Simi Valley as I did, I can assure you that millions of people's lives were affected by these particular crimes because of the ripple effect. Up until that time, no one contemplated the concept of "home invasion" from psychopaths who could randomly show up at midnite or 2 am and murder you or your family. That isn't just murder, it's terrorism. Widespread terrorism such as this definitely falls into an entirely other category. It's no longer a "normal" (if murder can ever be called normal) ...where a man kills his wife in a domestic thing or two guys kill each other over money or personal gripes. These murders meant that you, me, or anyone could be a target. Also, if like me you lived in the geographic area of these crimes in California ( I grew up quite near the Spahn Ranch area so the panic was real), then it hits close to home. Maybe you'd have to have lived in that era, lived in that geographic area, to fully feel as I do that this isn't just another crime.

And I do think younger people growing up today don't understand or appreciate this. Some of them for some unknown reason want to downplay these crimes in a way that I don't understand. If they do this, then they are totally ignoring the widespread terroristic nature of these crimes. And yes, that puts these crimes in a whole other category. I've never said that these victims were more valuable intrinsically than other victims of murder. But I have said and will continue to say that these crimes were the dividing line between "normal" crimes and those that tear apart the entire fabric of society. If younger folks don't "get" that, maybe they would if they'd been around in that era or around in that general area of California as I was.

In the final analysis, if we were to say that the Manson murders 'weren't as bad as some murders that have been done over the centuries", or that "murder is murder regardless", where does that leave us? That's a simplistic conclusion. We have to analyze this crime within the context of how it actually affected huge swaths of society. Otherwise, we end up ignoring the final result, including copy cat killers who want to emulate Manson and the upswing in home invasion crimes. That's a magnitude far beyond anything that had been seen previously in this country.

Retromoviefan said...

Louise,
Yes, cottage cheese and pineapple is a wonderful choice in hot weather. A fave! It always reminds me of California. Your father definitely had good taste to make that for your mom! And the excerpt of the letter he wrote to her during the war years is so thoughtful and introspective. A window into his personality.

starviego said...


Louise said...
Dad told us he hired a detective...

Interesting. The investigators would logically have contacted this person. What did he have to say?

Louise said...

Lord knows. I sure don't πŸ˜•

Louise said...

I doubt if the investigators even knew that tidbit of information. I don't see it mentioned anywhere. It's just one of many ironic things I recall. As I have shared in other posts, honestly I don't think Dad was all that worried about anything but Rose was. Probably because he had lived there before--it was home to him since age 16 in 1940. Before that, they lived in Cypress Park where the first 2 Gateway markets were established.

Louise said...

Of course, he lived in many other places over the years, but Waverly Dr was the family home for alot of years--29, to be exact.

grimtraveller said...

Retromoviefan said:

But growing up in Los Angeles, and specifically in the area of Santa Susana and Simi Valley as I did, I can assure you that millions of people's lives were affected by these particular crimes because of the ripple effect

One could argue, that, for example, the same applied to huge swathes of people, particularly women, in and around Boston in the early 60s, when women were being strangled to death. And this didn't take place over a couple of days, but over 18 months.
Many murders {and other crimes, for that matter} have had far-reaching ripple effects on particular communities.

It's no longer a "normal" (if murder can ever be called normal) ...where a man kills his wife in a domestic thing or two guys kill each other over money or personal gripes

I think the problem can be located right there ~ a domestic thing or two guys killing each other over money or a personal gripe represents only 3 reasons for murder. There have been tons of reasons for murder down the years. I think many people have a rather blinkered view of murder when it comes to the Mansonistas, almost as though everything was narrow and easily defined and then they came along and expanded the whole arena and made muder 'worse'.
I've said for years that the murders they were involved in comprised of something unique, for a variety of reasons. Not so much the murders themselves, but rather, the attendant package.
Murder and murderers can be very simple. And they can be somewhat complicated.

Also, if like me you lived in the geographic area of these crimes in California ( I grew up quite near the Spahn Ranch area so the panic was real), then it hits close to home

Naturally. But then, that ignores vast swathes of the country. Were people in Baltimore really fearful like they were in and around LA ?


Maybe you'd have to have lived in that era, lived in that geographic area, to fully feel as I do that this isn't just another crime

Perhaps.
But I referred to it as a nuanced paradox. In terms of the outcome, it was just another crime. In terms of what went into the crime, it was anything but. But that conclusion requires studying the overall story and here we are, all these years later still doing it.

grimtraveller said...

Retromoviefan said:

And I do think younger people growing up today don't understand or appreciate this

I think that is fairly true of young people in general. For people of our age and generation {I'm 7 years younger than you}, what we lived through as children and teens and young adults is now recorded history. They make loads of documentaries on the period since 1940, the songs of the 60s, 70s and 80s are to a lot of younger people the way some classical music and early 20th-century show tunes were to us, world events have a deep meaning for us etc. A lot of younger people don't relate to that and have an almost default dismissal of times that came before them.

But I have said and will continue to say that these crimes were the dividing line between "normal" crimes and those that tear apart the entire fabric of society

I suspect thousands, if not millions, of Black and Native Americans wouldn't have looked at TLB that way.


In the final analysis, if we were to say that the Manson murders 'weren't as bad as some murders that have been done over the centuries", or that "murder is murder regardless", where does that leave us? That's a simplistic conclusion

Of course it's a simplistic conclusion. It's supposed to be a simplistic conclusion. Because when one starts ascribing degrees to murders, you can't get away from the notion that some people matter more than others.
It's rather interesting to me that Gary Hinman and Shorty Shea's murders aren't put in the same bracket as TLB. Now, there is an aspect in which they don't carry the same weight in the overall story, it would be naive to say otherwise. But Watson, Krenwinkel and Co weren't convicted because people in and around LA were scared for a few months. They were convicted because they killed people.

We have to analyze this crime within the context of how it actually affected huge swaths of society. Otherwise, we end up ignoring the final result

I think that is a small part of it that comes in the aftermath. It's always a question worth asking, "Can we learn anything from this ?"
What would you say was learned from the Manson episode by the wider society {genuine question} ?

Retromoviefan said...

grimtraveller,

You are comparing apples to oranges when you compare a case like Boston Strangler to TLB. That was one person as compared to a killer cult of multiple killers with unknown or unclear motives, killing both men and women (and I feel would have extended into killing children if not caught). Sex crimes like the strangler or similar cases are clear cut to law enforcement. It's a more "normal" motive. Not so with TLB. While there are ripple effects from crimes, very very few are directed at society at large, with random break ins of homes. designed to terrorize an entire nation/society.

Re: "blinkered views" of murder - murder statistics show that most murders fall into fairly UNcomplicated motives and scenarios. Most are not "complex". The Manson murders even today stand out as bizarre. So, my comment stands that they weren't the "normal" thing and this is what makes them the Crime of the Century for a variety of reasons. Law enforcement at the time said they had never encountered anything like it before (or since). There really aren't "tons" of reasons for murder as you suggest. True, each case has its own nuances, but the general categories for murder haven't changed much over the centuries.
I don't understand your point that people came along and made "murder worse". I presume that gets back to the issue of some murders are worse than others, which I have already said, in the cosmic sense, I agree that every life is precious. But I've also said some murders have a more far reaching effect. I certainly agree with you that these murders were unique and complex. That's precisely what makes them stand out in the annals of crime. But in general, most murders are not unique and complex from the standpoint of motive particularly.

Re: whether people in other parts of the U.S. were as fearful as those in LA? Well, the Manson murders and the trial were front page national news. Every portion of the country was talking about it. When I have looked at comments on youtube videos online, I've been amazed to see the number of people who were from other parts of the country talking about how scared they were about these murders, even though they lived hundreds or thousands of miles away. They may not have felt the terror the way the locals in LA did, but they realized that such a crime is possible - that maybe they should start locking doors and windows and being more aware. That anyone could, if they wanted, come into their home at nite and kill them. That idea hadn't been a part of American culture or thinking. So, yes, there was national terror about it.

You say that "perhaps" if you'd lived in the area as I did, you'd understand this more. Perhaps? That's an understatement. You are from the UK from your profile description. I presume you weren't born in the U.S. And I presume you never lived in the area. I guarantee it puts a whole other spin on things when you personally feel the terror. And I think right there, is the crux of the matter. You really don't internalize these feelings other than from a distance, sort of studying it as an odd crime or trying to figure it out. But that's not the same as witnessing the changes here firsthand, on this soil, that it brought about. And still exist today. So, in terms of the "outcome" of widespread culture change in the U.S. it was NOT just another crime. I've never seen anything quite like this crime for changing people's habits and the destruction of the concept of being safe in their own home.

Retromoviefan said...

grimtraveller,

I agree that young people aren't as invested in the historical events that came before them. Hey, I was young once, and I'm sure I did it also, to an extent. But when it comes to crime, that to me is a whole other ballgame. I never said to my parents, hey, that Black Dahlia thing from the 1940's, what's the big deal about that? Or "hey, that Boston Strangler thing, so what? that's not of my generation." I never was dismissive of anything like that. Or how about "hey, that Jack The Ripper thing from the turn of the century? So what? that was THEIR crime, not mine." You get my point? The young people today who are dismissive of TLB are behaving in a very odd manner which I think is unusual even for past generations of youth. I have a hunch of where some of this dismissiveness is coming from. It seems to be more of an attack against "boomers", or some sort of political agenda. It's occurred to me that some of the random comments that I see online occasionally are coming from leftwing Manson followers who post on forums or youtube videos. It's sick, but we know there are young folks out there who look up to the Manson gang as the ultimate "revolutionaries", so I feel that a percentage of these dismissive remarks are coming from Manson supporters or "fans". Let's not forget that one of the underlying motives of these crimes was to destroy the "establishment", or harm people who had money or success in society. Therefore, the snarky comments that seem to indicate that only the "boomers" care about these crimes I feel has a deeper underlying agenda directed at successful people, people who have something that the younger or more resentful people of today don't have. In other words, they identify with Manson, they hate people who have nice homes or cars or money, etc. That's my theory anyway about certain young people of today who seem to dismiss these murders.

Retromoviefan said...

grimtraveller,

You say that you suspect that "thousands if not millions of Black and Native Americans" haven't looked at TLB as tearing apart the fabric of society. Well, for your information, I AM a Native American. My dad was born on the Blackfeet reservation in Montana, and later moved to California to start a life for himself, where he made a success of himself, worked hard, and built a life. I myself am a tribal member. So your rather strange generalization missed the mark and for whatever reason, you have tried to lump all sorts of people into a category that makes absolutely no sense to me. People are people,and regardless of race, the TLB murders terrorized the populations of L.A. and beyond. So, just speaking for THIS Native American, and my family, we viewed these murders as tearing apart the fabric of society. You don't know me - you don't know what my life has been. Don't generalize racially about these murders because it will lead you down the wrong path. You probably assumed I am 100% white and therefore I think these victims were "more important" than the scores of other murder victims in Los Angeles or the world or wherever because they were white and rich and celebrities. That their murders were "more important." And as indicated, I've never thought that any murder victim was intrinsically "more" important than any other. Black, white, native or anything else. But I definitely have ascribed to these murders a more far reaching "importance" due to the terrorism nature and cultish elements that go far far beyond "normal" murder. If that's granting more "importance" to them, then so be it. And I personally have never left out Hinman or Shea from TLB. Your point I presume is that they weren't rich or celebs and therefore got pushed aside by the media. They were "nobodies". Unfortunately, as far as media goes, yep, media is going to focus on celebs. Steven Parent gets little attention for the same reason And I think that needs to change on a human level. Even the LaBiancas have received much less attention because they weren't Hollywood celebs. Whether we like it or not, high profile people who are murdered will always grab the headlines. But that's a totally separate issue from how these overall crimes were absolutely more "important" from a wider societal standpoint for the reasons I've mentioned. Not because some people "matter" more than others - but because it tore apart the entire society. Just as the 9/11 terror attacks changed society forever. The whole point (in Manson's mind), was to put a scare into middle class society who think they are immune from violent home invasion attacks. Who they think are "safe". No, he didn't do these attacks in Watts or Pacoima. That wasn't his terror goal. He wanted to unhinge "normal" everyday people in neighborhoods.

Retromoviefan said...

grimtraveller,

You ask what I think was learned in the aftermath of these murders by the wider society? That's quite easy. People realized that they were no longer safe in their own homes - a place most people felt a general sense of safety, as long as they locked a door or a window. This new
feeling of vulnerability had widespread psychological impacts on American society. The explosion of security gear whether it was gates or alarms or fancy locks or dogs or guns for home protection is directly part of these murders. I, myself, never forget to lock up my home securely (and more than securely), and I still mentally reference these murders in my mind. I KNOW it can happen. It might not be a Manson style psycho (I am praying that type of thing never happens again), but I can't fool myself into thinking it would not happen. People learned they'd better know how to defend their homes or pay the price. The type of threat might change over time, but the outcome
can be exactly the same. Also, I think it impacted kids my age who were at that impressionable age of teen or pre-teen years. Prior to these murders, we thought our moms and dads could protect us from all "evil". I realized that parents might not always be able to keep the evil out of the home. It really shook up a lot of kids my age. Many of us talked about it at school, and wondered if we or our homes were next. That's like living in a war zone! A zone where you don't know the "rules" or who or what might come in the front door or window. We learned we'd better protect ourselves! And I think the wider society also learned this truth. Whether they put it into action long term, I don't know. I always advise people to never forget these crimes and home invasion has become a more common occurrence. For the motive of "robbery" but also to terrorize and intimidate middle class people in their homes and neighborhoods.

starviego said...

Louise,

Can you estimate how many separate break-ins occurred at Waverly? Also, what was the total value of the items stolen?

Retromoviefan said...

grimtraveller,

To add a bit on the issue of "what has the wider society learned" from these murders. I suppose you would like me to say that what society should learn is to treat guys like Charles Manson with a lot more "humanity" as he was growing up, instead of locking him up with hardened criminals, etc. And that if ONLY "society" had done that, he wouldn't have turned into a psychopath. And it sounds nice to think that "if only" society had done that, these crimes could have been prevented. Maybe so, maybe not. Manson had various chances to fly right and do right and he never took those chances. He always seemed to revert to criminal actions and behavior patterns. In my opinion, nothing or not much would have made any difference for him. So ultimately, the main thing that society can learn is how to protect themselves from guys like him. We can't control him from A to Z or predict what he will do, so all we can do is control our own choices in protecting our homes and loved ones from people like him. And what about Tex Watson and the rest of them? Tex Watson in my opinion is also a psychopath. I read his book and saw a similar pattern of having choices and chances to go right and get himself a job when he went to California, but he didn't want to do that. And that was before he ever met Manson. People of this ilk behave this way. That is WHY they end up where they end up. In prison or dead. That is why they take the criminal road and harm other people. All we in "society" can do is watch out for these predators and protect ourselves, because there hasn't been a solution invented yet to magically change people of this type. The prisons are full of them and getting worse every day.

Louise said...

STARVIEGO: 5 or 6, including 1)burglaries AND 2)creepy crawly type stuff
1) Frankie's stuff stolen: minibikes, drum set and other music equipment (stored in back apt); in-house burglaries, coins and other valuables, blue chip stamps (never touched my dad's gun collection)--can't recall exactly but it wasn't a whole ransacking type burglary. Just would take a couple of things each time.
2) creepy crawl stuff: moving furniture or small items around, cutting small pieces of rug up???

Louise said...

No idea what the total value would be, guessing $2,000 by 1969 standards?

Retromoviefan said...

grimtraveller,

Since you brought Native Americans into the discussion, I can assure you that my father, who had left Montana from the Blackfeet reservation back in the 1950's and went to Los Angeles, all alone, not knowing anyone, had far less money in his pocket than Charles Manson had at various times. Manson at times was in the possession of several thousand dollars from various sources (theft, burglary, etc.). My dad never had that. He had to scrimp and save from NOTHING and rent scroungy apartments/rooms in L.A. to get by. Tex Watson when he came to LA. had way more money in his pocket than my dad did. Watson was living the high life, dating airline stewardesses, flying down to Mexico and hanging out at various parties around town. So, my "Native American" family has ZERO sympathy for Manson or any criminal element who thinks killing, robbing, stealing from others, etc. is something excusable due to their poor backgrounds or their mental illness or whatever their excuse is. And this has nothing to do with race, black, white, asian, etc. This has to do with criminals thinking they can pass their behavior off onto society at large and tear it apart, innocent people just trying to make a living or carry out their dreams. I don't know about the overall validity of the Helter Skelter motive of Manson, or his racial views and how that played into all this. For me, it's about criminality and destruction of lives.

grimtraveller said...

Retromoviefan said:

That was one person as compared to a killer cult of multiple killers with unknown or unclear motives, killing both men and women

I got the impression you were talking about the way people secured their houses before the killers were known and caught, but in the aftermath of the murders.

Re: "blinkered views" of murder....I don't understand your point that people came along and made "murder worse"

The latter point was referring to the Family. I have found that there is sometimes a tendency to view these murders as worse than any other. I can recall having discussions with people both here and at Cielo's site about that.

You say that "perhaps" if you'd lived in the area as I did, you'd understand this more. Perhaps? That's an understatement

I wasn't disagreeing with you ! 🀜🏾🫦
Of course I can't be compared, as a kid in Birmingham, England who could only just tell his arse from his elbow, with a more savvy teenager living in the area and responding in real-time. Neither would I.

The young people today who are dismissive of TLB are behaving in a very odd manner which I think is unusual even for past generations of youth

Maybe it's because I've spent 40 years working with youth, but I'm not surprised, neither is it only TLB that I find many youngsters having that kind of dismissive view about. I honestly don't find today's young people and kids that different to the way they were in the 80s or 90s. Obviously there have been some changes, but even going back to the generation born in the 40s, there was the beginning of a tendency to shit on things of the time of their parents {or at least, there was in England}. In a way, it's what made the Lennons, Harrisons, Faithfulls, Jaggers, Richards', Marriotts and Townshends etc. a generation that really sparked off young people.

I have a hunch of where some of this dismissiveness is coming from. It seems to be more of an attack against "boomers", or some sort of political agenda...It's sick, but we know there are young folks out there who look up to the Manson gang as the ultimate "revolutionaries", so I feel that a percentage of these dismissive remarks are coming from Manson supporters or "fans"

That began pretty much at the time of the crimes, with the way some young "revolutionaries" adopted Manson as a figure to be upheld. But to a large extent, I agree with you there.

Well, for your information, I AM a Native American. My dad was born on the Blackfeet reservation in Montana, and later moved to California to start a life for himself, where he made a success of himself, worked hard, and built a life. I myself am a tribal member

Well, that's telling me ! πŸ˜„ πŸ‘πŸΎ

grimtraveller said...

Retromoviefan said:

you have tried to lump all sorts of people into a category

I haven't. I tend to base many of my conclusions on things I have heard people say themselves, on observations they have made about their own lives and thoughts. Not everyone sees things or an event the same way.
I don't know if you've ever read Robert Hendrickson's book, "Death to Pigs." In it, there's an interesting part where Sandy Good has an argument with a Black woman. I wouldn't say the woman represented the thoughts of every Black person in America, but neither would I say she had a minority view either. And just the way I've heard many Black people speak of Charlie Manson down the decades, that led me to the conclusion I came to.
I was making a point about the fabric of society. Many people at the time, both Black and Native American {but it just as easily applied to members of the counterculture and the gay community among others} felt they had no stake in American society so some of them didn't feel what you felt.
Now, I could be totally wrong on this, but I've never gleaned the impression that large swathes of LA's Black community were in fear for their lives in the aftermath of the Cielo and Waverly murders. That didn't apply to Mrs Chapman, she was horrifically shaken, but with good reason {it's no coincidence that both her and William Garretson unravelled after the murders and that both Suzan LaBerge and Frank Struthers similarly unravelled after the events that blighted their lives}. But as you pointed out, Manson didn't go into Pacoima and Watts.

You don't know me - you don't know what my life has been

Ditto ! 🫢🏾

You probably assumed I am 100% white and therefore I think these victims were "more important" than the scores of other murder victims in Los Angeles or the world or wherever because they were white and rich and celebrities. That their murders were "more important."

I can't say I thought you were White, but I can't say I didn't think you were White. It's a funny thing, but when my only form of communication with a person is through words on a forum, unless I know for sure that they are male or female or of a particular colour or nationality or age, then all kinds of thoughts go through my head until I know for sure. A lot of the time, they're not even conscious thoughts. Initially, it ran through my mind that you might be female. But that was based on the slimmest notion, the phrase,'retro movie'. Don't even ask me why ! I don't know. I recently got a surprise to discover ronniejersey was a woman. That's often the way it goes in the world of words. People down the years have thought Cielo was female because of his avatar of Sharon Tate.
As to the second part of what you were saying, I didn't think those things because you never said anything about the actual victims and you certainly didn't mention importance when speaking of the victims. But as a generalization, more media writers and broadcasters that I've come across over the years certainly give the impression that that's how they viewed 4 of the victims at Cielo.

Oh, and before I forget, I really like your writing. I like the way you articulate your view and break it down into easily understandable chunks that become great food for thought. Over the years, there's been some really keen minds on this, and other TLB sites. Of different opinions and shades, yes, but that's what's often kept it really interesting.

grimtraveller said...

Retromoviefan said:

I personally have never left out Hinman or Shea from TLB

I wasn't really thinking of you, I was thinking in general. I did find it interesting that Gary Hinman's death wasn't focused on as a home invasion, even when Bobby was lying his arse off and telling the cops that was what it was, when he was trying to blame the Panthers.

I suppose you would like me to say that what society should learn is to treat guys like Charles Manson with a lot more "humanity" as he was growing up, instead of locking him up with hardened criminals, etc. And that if ONLY "society" had done that, he wouldn't have turned into a psychopath

I didn't really have anything in mind. Believe it or not, I'm interested in what people think, whether I agree with them or not. I like conversations that to and fro. I'm very much a person that can see nuances and I rarely see things in a black and white manner. I think there's often a lot of room for varying shades of opinion within a subject, and I often see that those varying shades {and sometimes downright opposites} can sit alongside one another and all be true simultaneously.
That said, I do think that had Charles Manson been treated differently at certain important junctures of his life, he may have turned out differently. And even when he got out of prison the last time, he actually had so much going for him and could have used his experiences to benefit so many young people. That he chose not to is down to him and him alone.
You know, it's odd, but I don't think being locked up with hardened criminals was in itself a bad thing for him. It was being violated by criminals and authority figures alike that said to him that wherever you are in the world, you either strike first or you get struck. Again it's paradoxical ~ it doesn't excuse him, but it makes some of his moves understandable.

grimtraveller said...

Retromoviefan said:

my father, who had left Montana from the Blackfeet reservation back in the 1950's and went to Los Angeles, all alone, not knowing anyone, had far less money in his pocket than Charles Manson had at various times

Sounds very much like my Dad who landed in England from Nigeria {well, he sailed actually} in '52, knowing no one and who literally had to start from nothing. And England wasn't the most welcoming place back then.

Louise said...

Just speculating here, but I imagine the L.A. black community as a whole group were right along with the rest of Angelenos in terms of the impact and fear factors. Race war? Blacks vs. Whites? Jerry Dunphy on the news every night all through the trial? L.A. basically went to "hell in a hand basket" for quite awhile. Of course, people went about their daily business, I suppose, but many from all racial/ethnic backgrounds worked at some capacity right there at the ole L.A. Halls of Justice.
Which is why I rarely visited my grandmother in L.A. and why it took me about 30 years space of time before I could really go to L.A. again, and truly enjoy the cultural ambience of one of the greatest cities ever--so much to do, so much to see!

Louise said...

Besides, it was very smoggy--can't blame that on TLB, thank God!

Retromoviefan said...

Louise,
I absolutely 100% agree with you about people of all races and backgrounds feeling the fear factor after these crimes. This was a city-wide reaction. Only someone without a normal sense of self-preservation would have no fear about it. Younger folks hear a lot about the Watts riots, etc. but as someone who was born and raised in the L.A. area (I was actually born in Hollywood at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital), there was really more unity in the city at that time than there is today in some ways. It was an idealistic time. And yes, many people from all races and backgrounds worked at LA City Hall and other city offices and buildings in various capacities. I hear you about the smog tho! My mom was a school teacher (taught high school in Simi/Thousand Oaks), and she loved to go to the old downtown main L.A. library (the one that ended up burning down later on), and I remember as a little kid going with her down there and thinking it was normal for the sky to be brown lol....

Louise said...

I never knew until this summer how many people in my age group and younger were affected by the Manson murders and the trial. This is mainly because I wrote a couple of articles and heard many different perspectives, hundreds of online comments from people who still remembered the impact it had on them at a young age. Honestly, I was a little "freaked out" as we used to say back then, but I stayed with it instead of my usual withdrawal mode. It has been a real eye-opener for me.RETROMOVIEFAN has added an especially strong and honest point of view. It is so important to understand, or at least try to understand, what it all means.

Louise said...

In particular, I was struck by the part where RETROMOVIEFAN talked about how Manson has often been portrayed as a product of an unfair society, living in prisons most of his life etc. and how this is not really an excuse for criminal behavior. These are media portrayals, fed to the public for decades and supported in various ways by Manson interviews etc. etc. I have wished forever that they would stop but they just keep coming, all against the backdrop of parole stuff that is going to continue, along with more media attention. It is public domain, as I have been told more than once.
Remember, this was one thing Manson said he wanted to accomplish--to get the world's attention or words to that effect. And that is what is really scary in the long term.

Louise said...

Sounds like a very nice outing with your mom!

Louise said...

I'm fine about these discussion forums! Here there are new ideas and opinions cropping up. It's the one-sided media portrayals of Manson and others--especially the sensationalized, often biased versions--that are problematic for me. They focus on the same old themes, for one. If they're going to keep talking about it, bring in something people haven't already heard.

Retromoviefan said...

Louise,
It is so amazing that you are here and feel okay about sharing certain things to us. I really commend you for this. It takes a bigger toll on you than any of us. I think it is so important for you to know how affected other people were by these horrors. I hope it can give you some unique perspectives on things you may not have known previously, and that's always so valuable. I know it must be psychologically very difficult for you to wade into this stuff and bring up traumatic memories and situations. All I can say is that maybe it is a strange comfort to know you were not alone and are not alone in feeling various feelings. In college, I majored in Criminology and I attribute this directly to the Manson murders. I was so impacted by it, at such a youthful impressionable age, that I think it triggered in me a desire to combat crime or somehow make SENSE of it. I probably would have become a cop if I could have! Plus my geographic location as mentioned before brought it close to home. Our family had many friends in Topanga Canyon and also Box Canyon and we saw lots of random "hippies" roaming around in those specific areas. After the arrests, I certainly wondered whether we were ever unknowingly in harm's way. Maybe a bit paranoid from that standpoint, but it made me wonder.

Amazingly, to this day, when August rolls around, I remember the hot weather of that long ago August 1969. I vividly remember how strangely still, without a breeze to cool things off, the weather was. The leaves didn't even flutter on the trees....just still. Usually in Thousand Oaks/Santa Susana where I lived it would cool off in the evenings, but it didn't for those few days. It felt oppressive, even depressing. It was just odd. It had an eerie feeling to it. All the kids in the neighborhood complained about the heat and none of us wanted to do anything, we just sat around in the doldrums. That's what I always remember. And when I got up in the morning that Saturday after the Tate murder and turned on the t.v. I still remember seeing the first news reports about it. As a kid, I didn't necessarily understand all that I heard, but I had a gut instinct that it was something other than anything I'd ever known about. So yeah, the impact was huge on me and many others. It was impressed on my mind forever.

Retromoviefan said...

Louise,
I certainly agree that the sensationalized media stuff has been pounding the same old themes and regurgitated news stories for decades. Especially the excuses made for Manson and his cohorts. It sure does get old. I feel that since 1969, society has grown up and matured a lot and the idea that poor mr. manson, he never had a chance blah blah blah has worn thin. Most common sense people never accepted those excuses. The 60's (as we know) was an era of social welfare types pushing the idea that the "environment" was the main reason for criminal behavior. But today, I think more people, myself included, feel that there are people like manson who are predisposed to crime no matter what. If convicted of these crimes today, no way would any of them get parole, it would be death penalty or life without parole.

So these blogs definitely add a lot new thoughts and fresh ideas and perspectives. I've read just about everything written about these crimes but it's still good to look at certain angles with new eyes sometimes. I try not to get sucked down "rabbit holes" that I feel are not valid, but at the same time, keep my mind open. And yes, bottom line, Manson wanted to scare society at large. Regardless of the differing motives or theories, it was FEAR and disintegration that he was promoting. Indeed, scary as hell. And it means that anybody and everybody could have been a target.

Retromoviefan said...

grimtraveller,

You say that you have based your theory that blacks in los angeles didn't really care about the Manson murders based on what people have told you and obviously I can't dispute what certain people have told you or expressed about it. But I truly think this is not an accurate representation of how things were in 1969. I doubt that whoever you have spoken to actually lived there, at that actual time in history, in that actual geographic location. You always have to keep in mind the source of your info. Most likely it is sort of a politicized remark designed to look a certain way. I don't think it really reflects how things were, this supposed total lack of fear on the part of blacks or anyone else about this.

I can't speak for every single person in the entire city of Los Angeles, nor am I trying to. And I do understand your idea that blacks didn't feel they had a "stake" in the upscale white culture so why be frightened of something way over in Benedict Canyon or Los Feliz that would never come to their "hood". I daresay there were blacks who felt that way or felt it was "cool" to express themselves along those lines. But prior to the arrests, they didn't know WHO had done these crimes, so I'm not sure how anyone could necessarily feel safe from these attacks. And I think after the arrests, I don't know why blacks wouldn't have felt very affected and fearful due to the Helter Skelter motives that were ascribed to these crimes. So again, I don't understand why anyone would be dismissive or downplay it.

But here's some food for thought, since we are looking at all the angles of this. What if these killers hadn't been caught for awhile and went on to murder another celebrity. Maybe if they killed Paul Newman or Elizabeth Taylor. What then? Hollywood would be 110% locked down. Even more so than after the Tate killings. Manson killers wouldn't be able to get NEAR another celeb or those of more affluence. So where would they go then? They'd branch out into the middle and working class areas of the city. The "soft targets" who couldn't afford the fancy burglar alarms or high gates and security guards. Maybe they would have stayed in white areas. Maybe not. So I think if blacks as a group, as a community at that time felt they were always going to be off limits to these killers from a racial standpoint, I think they would have been mistaken. These freaks would kill anyone who got in their way. They were insane. And when dealing with insane lunatics, all bets are off.

Overall, I really don't agree that blacks or other racial groups, didn't experience fear and concerns about this. As you say, an example is Winifred Chapman. Which illustrates that when someone is physically present at a crime scene, or has been personally affected, race is not a factor whatsoever. At that point, she's just a human being, seeing something horrible. Ms. Chapman wasn't going to go back to her friends in the black community and say, "gee, I have no stake in white los angeles, therefore I'm not affected." I'm sure she didn't downplay this horror in any way and was tremendously impacted for life.

grimtraveller said...

Retromoviefan said:

I certainly agree that the sensationalized media stuff has been pounding the same old themes and regurgitated news stories for decades. Especially the excuses made for Manson and his cohorts

Can you give some examples of the excuses and the media outlets that made them ?

I feel that since 1969, society has grown up and matured a lot and the idea that poor mr. manson, he never had a chance blah blah blah has worn thin. Most common sense people never accepted those excuses. The 60's (as we know) was an era of social welfare types pushing the idea that the "environment" was the main reason for criminal behavior

Hmmm....
I've never thought it was a main reason, but I wouldn't dismiss it as a contributory factor sometimes. But it depends on what one means by "environment" and whether "environment" works on its own. I don't think anything is that simple.

But today, I think more people, myself included, feel that there are people like manson who are predisposed to crime no matter what

I disagree with that, although I suppose it's important to clarify what is meant by "predisposed." If one goes with the Cambridge dictionary definition {to be more likely than other people to have a medical condition or to behave in a particular way}, then for me, it's a bit of a fluffy argument. The Webster one {"Predispose usually means putting someone in a frame of mind to be willing to do something. So a longtime belief in the essential goodness of people, for example, will predispose us to trust a stranger. Teachers know that coming from a stable family generally predisposes children to learn. And viewing television violence for years may leave young people with a predisposition to accept real violence as normal. The medical sense of the word is similar. Thus, a person's genes may predispose her to diabetes or arthritis, and malnutrition over a long period can predispose you to all kinds of infections"} is more cogent, but still isn't airtight in every way. But I guess my problem is those 3 words at the end, "no matter what." I think that can lead to a dangerous road of leaving people like Charlie with a readymade excuse for their actions. Not that he used that particular one, he had plenty of others !

If convicted of these crimes today, no way would any of them get parole, it would be death penalty or life without parole

I'd agree with that. In fact, had the LWOP existed back in '69 and then in '72 when the death penalty was rescinded, I suspect that the TLB killers would have got LWOPs.
At the same time, not only has the prosecutional side of LE perhaps gotten tougher and more sneaky, the defence side has also gotten equally so. I suspect that Leslie Van Houten, if being tried today, wouldn't have got the same sentence that her co-defendants received. And I also suspect that Bruce Davis and Bobby Beausoleil would have been released long ago and that Steve Grogan wouldn't have been released after 14 years ~ if he was ever released at all.
I have no opinion on whether Susan Atkins would have been released on compassionate grounds to die somewhere other than jail back in 2009.

Retromoviefan said...

grimtraveller,

Thank you for your compliment about my writing. There's probably a reason for that - my mom was an English teacher, so I learned at a young age to always do well in that subject! Sometimes I'm typing fast here at the blog so don't always take the time to properly capitalize words but that's just for the sake of time saving. I do try to present whatever I'm saying with logic or at least some degree of coherent thought! And I agree, seeing the different perspectives of various people here is so important, whether one agrees with them or not. And I think it's especially important to hear from those who were around during the time of the crimes, in that specific geographic area. There's really no substitute for those first hand impressions. Similar to people who were alive when JFK was assassinated. For me, the Manson murders were psychologically on a par with that for me, as a kid. I was born in 1956 and Kennedy was killed in '63, so even though I was only 8 when he was killed, I remember it absolutely vividly. It fits into that category of "where were you when......happened?" Maybe I was just a sensitive child, but I have excellent recall for events like that and my surroundings at the time. I wish more people of my generation would come on to blogs like this...not just "true crime" people but everyday people to share their memories of such events.

You mentioned that you had worked with youth for 40 years, which is similar to what my mom did as a teacher. And I've also felt that young people need guidance and mentors. But at the same time, I could sort of spot the kids in my mom's classes who were not going to turn out well. No matter what she did, as a dedicated teacher, for some kids it didn't make any difference. They were going to do their "thing" regardless. There's just some people who can't be helped or guided. Perhaps that makes me more of a "black and white" thinker who doesn't consider the gray..which really doesn't describe me. I do realize that not everything can be neatly cut down the middle. But over a lifetime of observations of various people, and also studying crime and corrections, I do feel there's a hardcore element that simply won't or can't change. And Manson fits in that category. There's many people who started life with alcoholic mothers, abandoned, abused, no money, etc. And they didn't direct their rage at innocent bystanders as Manson did. I've always felt if it's true that his main "beef" was with Terry Melcher or Dennis Wilson, why didn't he kill them? Easily could have. At least that would have made a degree of "sense". But he was a bully and coward who calculated his moves. He went for easier targets, and he also knew that if Wilson or Melcher turned up dead, the cops could potentially trace it back to him or Watson. And that's why I will never view Manson in any sort of sympathetic light, regardless of his rocky childhood or bad start in life.

Retromoviefan said...

grimtraveller,

Yes, your dad and mine sound similar from the standpoint of having nothing and going somewhere unknown to them, with no resources. Probably either of our dads could followed a wrong path if that was their mindset or personality. My dad was a musician and hung out with all sorts of people, in a place like Hollywood where things can be sketchy, but he never got sucked into shady people or activities and was a great family man and always put his family first. I think people need to start recognizing that there are "bad seeds" in this world like Manson, Watson, etc. and the only solution is to get them off the streets, and keep them off.

I want to add a further remark about my Native American heritage. I consider myself an American, first and foremost. Most Americans are a mixture of various ethnicities. Mine just happens to be enough to officially be a tribal member, but I never bring it into any discussion unless someone else does it first. And I don't look "native" at all...my mom's side of the family is English/German/Dutch. Looking at me, no one would know what my heritage is. My concern as an American is to be safe within my own home and support effective powerful laws that keep criminals behind bars. One of my reasons for coming back to these blogs and doing more reading/studying here, is the Leslie Van Houten parole. Such a disgrace! Her parole really triggered my feelings about this entire matter.

Retromoviefan said...

Louise,
Yes, it was a nice outing with my mom to go to that downtown library. There were areas of the decor in there that looked like an Egyptian temple - even the drinking fountains! Tile work that you will never see today or anywhere ever again. For a kid, it sure was a unique place to go. And I totally understand why it was 30 years before you could bear to go to L.A. again. I haven't been back in many years. There's things I miss about it, although I was more of a Ventura kid (or Valley kid), vs. an L.A. person. I enjoy visiting, but there's too many things over the decades that have changed for the worse, and not the better. And that makes me extremely sad.

grimtraveller said...

Retromoviefan said:

seeing the different perspectives of various people here is so important, whether one agrees with them or not

While it is inevitable that there will be arguments and disagreements among people, what, to me, is more important than "being right" is what those arguments and disagreements bring up. As I said before, it has been my experience that many seemingly opposing elements within a subject can sit alongside one another and be true or at least partially true at the same time. I happen to believe in nuance and paradox. And that's partly why find it important to glean from as many different people as possible, their thoughts and feelings on particular subjects that come up in discussions.

Probably either of our dads could followed a wrong path if that was their mindset or personality

I had a lot of problems with my Dad {I ended up running away from home and making my way from Nigeria back to England as a teenager} and there was much about him that I felt left a lot to be desired at times {the feeling was mutual !}, but interestingly, one thing I could never picture him as, was as a person getting involved in any dishonest pursuit. When he went back to Nigeria in the mid-70s, it wasn't the place he'd left ¼ of a century earlier. It was riven with corruption and he had a really hard time dealing with that. Many of his friends and relatives that had been in the UK or USA that returned around the same time as him seemed to succumb, but he never would. Actually, it was ultimately to his detriment, but I always rather liked that about him. I don't think I'm predisposed to stubbornness {😏}, but if I am, it came from him. In the right circumstances, its an admirable trait {I think}.

I consider myself an American, first and foremost

I wish that was the majority feeling among all of us born in the UK or in particular, England. It will take a few generations before you have non-White people {and even a number of White people that hail from say, parts of eastern Europe but born here} that say first and foremost, "I'm English" or "I'm British." Personally, I've been saying that since the 70s, but there are reasons why that isn't the case here at present and each of the different communities do have understandable reasons {some good, some not so} for the stances that are often adopted.

the Leslie Van Houten parole. Such a disgrace! Her parole really triggered my feelings about this entire matter

Yeah, that one got some serious mileageπŸ”₯ πŸŒͺ here and other places over the years.

Retromoviefan said...

grimtraveller,

Re: predisposition and crime...I guess I'm just using the word in the general sense that there are people who come into the world as a bad seed and that, indeed, "no matter what", they are going to get involved in violence and criminal actions. When I look at guys like Tex Watson who had no externally identifiable "bad" family influences, he had a stable home life, he had loving parents, he had a good education, what other conclusion can I reach but that there are people who "no matter what" will get themselves hooked up in violent activities and horrible criminal actions. I think he's the poster boy for refuting the idea that environment causes crime. Because there is nothing in his environment that would explain his actions. Some of the most notorious crimes have involved people who had the best of everything. Look at the famous case from the 1920's of Loeb and Leopold in Chicago. Two rich college boys who decided to "thrill kill" a little boy just to see how it felt. Defended by a big bleeding heart famous lawyer Clarence Darrow, who spared them the death penalty. They had wealth, they had education, they had it all. Something about their mindset, their personalities, made them want to kill. In their case, just for fun as an intellectual experiment.

At the end of the day, I have long ceased to be interested in how or why criminals exist in society. This is because I've never found anything that explains it to my satisfaction. I care about victims and what they go through, how the media reports on the "big" story and forgets the destruction that goes down through the decades for victim's families. That, to me, is the new frontier. That's where the media needs to follow through and report on how people suffer maybe for 100 years! I'm only interested in criminals so that I can understand their M.O, their attack methods, the tools of their trade, so that I can defend myself against them. Other than that, I view them as vermin to be eliminated from decent society. Whether that's thru the death penalty (swift and sure), or locked up forever.

grimtraveller said...

Retromoviefan said:

I do try to present whatever I'm saying with logic or at least some degree of coherent thought!

It's certainly that !

I could sort of spot the kids in my mom's classes who were not going to turn out well. No matter what she did, as a dedicated teacher, for some kids it didn't make any difference. They were going to do their "thing" regardless. There's just some people who can't be helped or guided

One doesn't even have to work with children {my age range has been 5-16} to spot those. There have been so many kids that I've seen and one just fears for not only their next 20 years, but those that they are going to interact with or come across. I go back to the school I work in on Monday after 6 weeks holiday and even now, right at this moment, there are a few kids that I think to myself, that if they don't undergo some changes in the next couple of years, then ⚡️ ☄️ πŸ’₯ !!
But.....
For me, there's always a caveat. Although I'm a Christian who believes wholeheartedly in God's ability and desire to see people walk the right way and treat everyone healthily, I'm not a determinist and I don't believe in theological determinism. By the same token, I don't believe that anyone is a book already written. Now, that shouldn't be seen as being lily-livered ~ I'm realistic about us as human beings. I've seen hundreds of kids {it may actually be thousands} go down the wrong path. Many of them, it came as no surprise at all. Some of them, I thought that's exactly what they'd do. Some of them, I didn't foresee it at all ~ but when it happened I wasn't surprised. Quite a few of them, I was surprised.
But I've also seen many of them turn their lives around ~ some of those did surprise me. I didn't think they'd ever change. Some were {and still are} touch and go.
There isn't a single one of those kids that had to go down the path they took. There were definitely factors that made it more likely that some of them would, but nothing that determined that they must.
4 kids I worked with committed murder. One of them, while I didn't walk around thinking he might one day, when I heard that he had, I wasn't surprised. Some years later, I found a piece I'd written about the playground I'd worked on where I'd referred to him as "Randall, the knifeman." I can't recall what he'd done to cause me to write of him that way, but it must have been something.
One of them was clearly mentally ill later on ~ though not while I knew her. I knew her from the age of 10 and she was a great kid. The best 2-footed footballer I had in any of the girl's soccer teams I had. She eventually murdered her partner and her child, thinking that they were vampires, driving a pencil through her daughter's heart because she thought it was the only way to put a vampire away for good.
Two of them were among the 3 funniest guys I ever knew. Both of them could have everyone in stitches and there was nothing dodgy about either. But both made specific decisions to pursue a life of crime. And that's something that is often missing from the debate ~ children are quite capable of deciding that they want to do things or not do things. I know that because I see it on a daily basis.

I do feel there's a hardcore element that simply won't or can't change

I don't believe there are those that can't change, but even more real to me than the sun and the cold weather are those that won't change or even acknowledge that some adjustment is necessary. Those that simply do not want to change. But even they sometimes do make the moves to change, sometimes, when one is least expecting it.
Wilfulness is an intrinsic part of human nature and that can be a somewhat damaging thing. But it doesn't have to be.

Retromoviefan said...

grimtraveller,
I've pondered a lot what sentence these perps would receive if tried today. You feel that due to defense side of things being sneakier today than back then, Van Houton wouldn't have gotten the same sentence (death) as she got then. I can tell you that if I were on the jury, she'd get the same damn thing! But I doubt they'd want me on the jury lol...I still think even today with people more immune to violent crime (mass shootings, serial killers,etc.), I still think even a cynical jury would find these crimes today to be particularly heinous and bizarre and throw the book at them. What if it was some beloved pop icon celebrity of current times that all the kids today worship, getting massacred in their own home with blood written on the walls? I bet even the slickest defense lawyer wouldn't be able to keep the death penalty away!

grimtraveller said...

Retromoviefan said:

I guess I'm just using the word in the general sense that there are people who come into the world as a bad seed and that, indeed, "no matter what", they are going to get involved in violence and criminal actions

I think if that were really true, you could hardly blame that bad seed for being what they're primed to be ~ bad seed. That's like blaming a lion for mauling someone. If someone really is a bad seed, intractably so, they are only doing what they have to do. And I am not about to give them that get-out clause. What makes crime horrendous is that most precious thing ~ choice. But I'm talking real choice, that is, the choice to do or not do.

When I look at guys like Tex Watson who had no externally identifiable "bad" family influences, he had a stable home life, he had loving parents, he had a good education, what other conclusion can I reach but that there are people who "no matter what" will get themselves hooked up in violent activities and horrible criminal actions. I think he's the poster boy for refuting the idea that environment causes crime

For me, there is the possibility of so many factors working at different strengths that it's almost impossible to say "This kind will, this kind won't." If one grows up in an area where drug dealing and robbery are the norm, it doesn't mean that everyone will find dealing drugs appealing or think nothing of robbing someone. But there are likely to be those that have been blighted by such notions before they've been reached by ideas of respect and what is wrong or before those ideas have been embedded. Were they "bad seed", inevitably primed by something unseen, over which no one had any control, least of all them ? Maybe, maybe not, but I dispute that and I will probably till I'm no more because although I believe in the concept of sin, I also believe that with sin comes choice and responsibility for one's choices.
Tex Watson is interesting because he wasn't involved in any big-time crime before murder. A little drug dealing. One money scam. It was a heck of a leap to murder. But although we say he had a stable background, what does that actually mean ? There are people that become exposed to things that go against their upbringing and with him, I think the combination of things particularly various drugs and outside influences tends to be dismissed because it's felt that this presents him with an excuse. It doesn't, at all. It's paradoxical but these things were an influence and played their part ~ as did his own mindset and inner flaws. We are complex in our simplicity at times. And simple in our complexity.

At the end of the day, I have long ceased to be interested in how or why criminals exist in society. This is because I've never found anything that explains it to my satisfaction

Having been a thief from the age of 5 until I was 19, I suppose I'll long have an interest in crime and criminals, although my stealing was petty and low-level and I didn't even think of myself as a thief in those times ! It sounds crazy, but it's true. I was out of any criminal pursuits long before I became a Christian, but once I understood the concept of sin, that gave me what I needed to know about crime and criminals. It's offensive to those who aren't involved in crime to say that any of us could be, and I get it.
The funny thing is, no matter how sure we may be about ourselves, we can never truly know for a certainty that we won't do something criminal, because we can't tell the future, nor do we know exactly what combination of things it would take to get us to engage in a particular thing.
It also doesn't help when people with the power to do so engage in acts that in another time and place would be regarded as criminal. But that's a whole big discussion that is probably for another time and place !

grimtraveller said...

Retromoviefan said

I still think even a cynical jury would find these crimes today to be particularly heinous and bizarre and throw the book at them

I'm in part agreement, but I base what I say on some of the jury members at the trial. There was no real difficulty in convicting Manson, Krenwinkel and Atkins of 1st-degree murder and conspiracy, but there was with Van Houten. And it was similar when it came to the death penalty. I was particularly struck by the juror, William Zamora, who said that although he thought the death penalty was just and he had made up his mind pretty early on, he was glad that some weren't that sure initially and that they had to keep going over the evidence. He was glad of any delay and he wanted something to be found that didn't condemn Leslie to death. But there wasn't anything.
I was also thinking of the way the judge set aside Steve Grogan's death penalty, even though the jury voted for it. Some things in society change over time, both for better and for worse. People's understanding furthers in some areas, some get more intolerant or decide that they have had enough, some get more tolerant etc. It's hard to say.
If you've not come across the books by William Zamora {"Trial by Your Peers" although it's been retitled "Blood Family", which is a daft title} and Herman Tubick {"Inside the Manson Jury"} and you're up for a read, they're a couple of interesting books. They've never really played a large part on the blogs but I consider them gold dust, if one wants to explore as many directions in this case as possible.

Retromoviefan said...

grimtraveller,

I think we do agree on the general concept that it's not possible to "rank" murders, at least from what I think you are saying. When I've said these particular murders are right up there in the history of U.S. crime , I am speaking about their reach and widespread societal impacts. While they are horrific murders, sadly humans have killed each other in even worse, more torturous ways throughout history. By "worse" I mean in an actual physical sense, not necessarily in the societal sense.

starviego said...

Louise said...
1) Frankie's stuff stolen...

By 'Frankie' do you mean Frank Struthers? He was your step-brother? So no blood relation?

Also, do you know if anybody was living in the guest house above the garage at the time?

Louise said...

STARVIEGO: Yes, Frankie is/was my stepbrother. Frank Struthers. Nobody was living in the back apt. I think they were using it primarily for storage. The Woking Way house was about 3x as much space as Waverly Dr so I imagine it was alot of stuff, but I never went back there when visiting. I thought Frank/Frankie hung out there, or was planning to fix it up as a music room like they had at Woking Way but that never happened ☹️

Louise said...

No blood relation. His mom was Rose and my dad was Leno.

Milly James said...

Hi Louise. Thank you for your contribution. I am so sorry about your father's death. A hideous bereavement, and so public as well.

Milly James said...

Albeit very late after the fact, I offer sincere condolences. I miss my Dad too.

Louise said...

Thank you, MILLY JAMES

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