Monday, April 1, 2024

The guesthouse at 10050 Cielo Drive



Jenn said...

Very interesting. Thanks, Matt.

Tragical History Tour said...


I JUST watched this, and couple of others of the guesthouse, a few days ago.

I only wish the camera was steadier.

Whatever time of day that lawn area was filmed in various videos, it always looks eerie to me, even in full sunlight. Very melancholic. And the whole neighborhood so quiet, despite the closeness.

shoegazer said...

Thanks, Matt.

This is *very* good...

Looks like the main room had the glass wall removed. The area where the drums and sofa are was behind the glass, and a door, in the older photos. That was probably what Garretson referred to as the patio.

I'll look at it a bunch more times, for sure.

Torque said...

Thanks Matt, great stuff here.

Shoe, yes, I believe this door would have been in the area of the stereo, in what Bill Garretson referred to as the 'patio."

TabOrFresca said...

There are three main things that I see in this video.

First, the camera man was shaky, moved the camera too fast lessening the panoramic view, and much guesthouse was not seen.

Second, the East facing interior glass panel living room wall that was present in August 1969 was removed enlarging the living room and eliminating both the “screened-in porch” and “enclosed patio”.

Third, there is a fireplace visible on the west wall.

In reports LE designated: the “view” and main house front door as East; the main house service entrance door and incline as West; the driveway parking area as North; and the pool as South of the main house.

From the “First Tate Homicide Investigation Progress Report”:

“There are four entrances into the guest house; No. 1 is located on the east side of the house and is reached by walking through a screened porch area and then into the living room. The second entry is located on the north side of the house and leads into a pantry and kitchen. The third entrance is located on the west side of the house and leads into a large room where several dogs are kept. The fourth entrance is located on the south end of the house and opens into an enclosed patio area.”

The “screened porch area” and the “enclosed patio area” are both East of and adjacent to the living room. Structurally they may be considered as one room but apparently had some type of interior divider.

Walking South towards the guesthouse from the pool you would reach a fork in the walkway.
To the right was the second door, which faced North, and led to a pantry-kitchen area.
To the left would first lead you to a concrete walkway that was covered by a pergola. As you walked south under the pergola, the bedroom and then the bath would be on your right. You would then reach the first door which leads to the screened porch. This door also pointed North. Upon entering the porch to your right was another door that leads into the living room from the porch. This door was on the East side of the living room. Upon entering the living room from this door if you turned right there was an interior door that leads to a bathroom on the right and a bedroom straight ahead. The bump-out at the front of the guesthouse is a walk-in closet.

If you were in the guesthouse back yard, the fourth (South) door is on the right and leads into the enclosed patio.Upon entering the enclosed patio, to your left is another door that leads into the living room from the enclosed patio. This door was on the East side of the living room. This living room door is near the stereo.

If you entered door two into the pantry-kitchen and continued straight, you would reach a double door that leads to the living room. If you did not enter the living room but instead turned right, there was West facing bump-out room used by the dogs. This room also has an exterior West facing Door number three. Next to the South wall of this room is a chimney, which probably is for the fireplace.

Tragical History Tour said...

That guesthouse was designed to be as scary as hell to an 18 yo caretaker hoping on his life that a group of murdering hippies don't come after him. Four entrances to crawl to and hope they were locked.

John Patrick said...

I find it a little odd that the steps to enter the swimming pool are on the guest house side not on the main house side. So to enter the pool from the main house you would have to walk around it or dive in at the deep end, such a shame Pat Krenwinkel didn't take a slip into the pool when pursuing Abigail Folger.

shoegazer said...


I'm interested in the layout of the guesthouse, I've gotten a lot of photos and really looked at them. I've read descriptions. I think your narrative description not only fits what I've seen/read/inferred, but answers additional questions, also, e.g., the location and access to the "dog room". While this sort of "bump-out" addition is visible in aerial views, and in the property layouts available on-line (I accept them provisionally, but they are not properly provenanced), I've never yet seen either the interior access to the room, nor the exterior (west-facing) door. And yet the interior access and the exterior door must exist if the LAPD description, and Garretson's testimony, are accurate.

One odd thing from the video, and it is on the east side of the GH, where the pergola-covered walkway used to be. From the interior pan, looking outside thru the windows, it appears that the property drops away almost immediately, and yet from my memory of some photos from 69 or so, it didn't seem like it dropped away right there at the edge of the walkway.

I note that in the video, both the split rail fence along the access walkway, and the rear (south) pergola at the very end of the pad cut (is shown in the vid as lawn), were not there in the 90s. The other walkway pergolas between the main house and the GH may be gone by then, too.

This was also the clearest shot of the fireplace (which likely was an old-school BBQ grill originally) I've ever seen.

Good post, ToF!

David said...

John Patrick said: "I find it a little odd that the steps to enter the swimming pool are on the guest house side not on the main house side."

Just a guess but I think that was part of the 'grand design'.

The pool and the barbecue shelter have the same permit date, October 14, 1941. Morgan-era photos show pavers extending from the residence pool door into the yard towards the parking-guesthouse path and another set heading the same direction from the pool near the steps. A third set runs towards the shelter. A final set in another photo can be seen running to the front walk from the pool area.

And while the shelter application says one story. This photo, assuming it is what it purports to be suggests maybe two stories or at least a window higher then the norm to give light but not 'sight' perhaps to a dressing area?

When the shelter was converted to the guesthouse a dressing room was added behind the residence and in that permit application the shelter is called a 'playhouse' and had 'existing plumbing'.

I think the whole area at the shelter was an entertainment area, there was a dressing room/area in the shelter so all the activity/partying was designed to happened over there- guests taking the path to the pool.

Torque said...

I recall I saw a quite good floorplan of the guesthouse online, but don't remember the site. Does anyone have this saved somewhere? Thanks.

shoegazer said...

Original permit:


Unprovenanced floorplan contemporaneous with TLB (just the rough outline):

Floor plan

David said...

The floorpan is on Bo's patreon. I do not know how to post an image here so....join away.

Tragical History Tour said...

Re: Steps into pool.

Maybe if the guesthouse originally began as just a poolhouse or changing room that was expanded then the steps into the pool being on that end would make more sense.

I dunno. That's all I have.

David said...

With the help of Deb I have added the floorpan image from Thank you Bo.

Tragical History Tour said...

David said...
With the help of Deb I have added the floorpan image from Thank you Bo.


When autofill just doesn't pan out like you want. Twice.

Jay said...

interesting post- thanks for sharing. Does anyone happen to have a photo of the soundproof forcefield that prevented the occupants from hearing people being butchered on the lawn?

shoegazer said...

David & CieloDrive:

Thanks. Very useful.

shoegazer said...

For those seeking to make sense of the location of the pool steps, bear in mind that not everything will need to make sense.

What sense does it make to have a narrow loft without a railing?

It is what it is...

shoegazer said...


"... prevented the occupants from hearing people being butchered on the lawn?"

It's always interesting to speculate on these kinds of things...

After participating in this forum and thinking about the evidence, the physical layout, the personalities involved (as much as we can reasonably know of them) you end up forming a personal default narrative.

So mine pretty much sticks with the official sequence of events and the main participants in the Cielo crime, and as regards Garretson, my sense is that he very likely heard at least a part of it.

Then, if you've read his testimony, his polygraph, his interviews with LAPD, his subsequent interviews later in life, you get a sort of picture of a not very bright (not actually dumb, but "uninspired") fairly nice, conventional young man of the late 60s who took that one extra step, and instead of staying "down on the farm", ventured to LA, drawn to participate in some way, just as had happened two years earlier in SF with the Summer of Love.

If so, he was two years late but this, too, fits my view of his personality, in that he was something of a follower of trends, but nowhere close to being avant garde. I can't recall off hand, but if, as I think, the LAPD found no marijuana in the guesthouse, only cigarettes and beer, this'll show you just how straight he was for the era. I can assure you that at that same date, you'd have found some weed at my college apartment--and I've always been a pretty conventional guy. Pretty much everyone was trying it by then, it was offered at fraternity rush, if they thought you were just a little cool.

He also comes across as being fairly mousey, lacking in confidence, a bit, and may have viewed Altobelli's invitation to be the caretaker as a dream come true for that phase of his life.

He was a simple, conventional, nice young man caught up in the the glamour of the times, and lucky enough to be living right next to it, for free.

I think he may have heard, and possibly even seen, some of the events, but wanted no further connection with them, and claimed ignorance in hopes of being left alone.

TabOrFresca said...

Shoegazer mentions:
1. “Dog Room” and “West-end door”.
2. The rustic “split rail fence”, “guesthouse pergola” and four “walkway pergolas” are no longer present as they were in 1969.
3. “Property drops away” on East side of guesthouse.

I have never seen any pictures or video showing the “dog room” or “west-end door”.

The rustic “split-rail” fence and “pergolas” were probably a maintenance nightmare possibly rotting . The property looks less casual and more sharp with them removed.

I’m not sure how sharp the East-end drop off is or if it changed from 1969. I have never studied cameras and photography but I do know that both camera angles and lens zooming or magnification can provide illusions. Second, I don’t know if some combination of removing the “rustic split-rail fence” and nearby trees and bushes disturbed the decline to a point where a new retaining wall needed to be added, or was the retaining wall already there but hidden from view.

What is known is that: the main house, the guesthouse, the Kott’s house, and the Asin’s house were at an elevation of 740 feet. The house on the hill behind the west side of the main house was at an elevation if 860 feet. The house below and to the East of the guesthouse, the one with the curved roof on Sunbrook Drive, was at an elevation of 620-630 feet. So there was a 100 foot decline to the property below and any high school baseball player should have been able to hit the house below throwing the ball (less than 200 feet horizontally).


The following guesthouse picture from’s Instagram site shows the East side of the guesthouse including the “rustic split rail fence”, and trees and bushes to the south. Note, you do not need an account to view the picture. Check “not now” and expand.

The following archive picture from “cats” old sight shows a decent overhead picture of the guesthouse. The right side of the picture is East.

Two archive pictures from Turners old site show the guesthouse back yard. The first is facing South and the end pergola and tree would have made a great place for guys to return beer.

The second, facing North, shows the South patio door and lots of green to the East.

This “George E Smith” Facebook photo shows the East side of the guesthouse in later years. You can see a retaining wall at the South-East end of the guesthouse. You don’t need a Facebook account, just close (X) the pop ups.

TabOrFresca said...

The following link is an old USGS topographic map. You can see streets, elevations, and buildings on the map. You can also see how Westlake School is located in relation to Cielo Drive and how the Asin and Kott houses sit on cliffs. The map is large and you may find it easier to download and open.

After opening the map look at the top of the map in the margin for the vertical line marked “3” “68”. This vertical line roughly follows Benedict Canyon. Follow it 3-4 left squares down, until you see a “RED colored “ “10”. Right below the “10” you should see the word “CIELO” written in black. A little further to the right there is a “BOWN colored” “700” with a dark brown contour line to either side. This specifies and elevation of 700 feet. Below the 700 are 3 black squares that represent the last 3 houses on “Cielo Dr” before you reach “Bella” on the right and take the sharp left to head up to “10050”. You will see the rectangular house at the bottom and then see two smaller black squares, which are the Asin and Kott houses. Note that both of these houses have multiple contour lines through them, which represents that the houses are on a cliff. Beyond these houses you can see that the road ends and there is only one large structure shown at 10050. The guesthouse would have been located somewhere below the second zero in the “800”. Below you can see the “Sunbrook Drive” cul-de-but the house with the curved roof isn’t shown.

One quadrant below you will see the “Westlake School”. You can use the key to find the distance.

shoegazer said...


These were all great links.

I had seen a few, but there were some I had never seen.


shoegazer said...


BTW, I also agree that the the guesthouse and the landscaping visible in the video (and in the G. Smith shot) was in much better condition than it was in 69.

Here's also a personal conclusion I came to several years back, when I first came to this site and started looking at a lot of photos of Cielo. It was in surprisingly marginal condition for a prestige property. It was very clearly a rental (I have rental properties and this jumps out at me) and there was a fair amount of deferred maintenance.

One might speculate that the main house was being serially rented out to generate cashflow, and it was a sort of a "party house" to the younger entertainment industry crowd at that time.

Now by "party house" I don't mean to imply that there were illicit goings on like you'd think of in a modern action movie, just that Altobelli was consciously consuming the property gradually, putting the minimum into it with the tacit understanding that those he rented it to would likely be careless with it due to lifestyle.

He was in effect marketing the location (BH), the view, and the privacy that would appeal to hip young entertainment folks.
I say this putting myself into Altobelli's position: a talent manager that could use the house to influence potential clients, while living in the guesthouse to maximize cash flow from the main house.

My opinion, only.

Torque said...

Many thanks for including the floorplan of the guesthouse.

shoegazer said...


I agree that it was a great favor to post the floorplan of the guesthouse.

It opens up possibilities to speculate on, how Garretson may have reacted that night, if he saw/heard violence.

E.g., the existence of the "Empty Room", which Garretson had described as a place to put the dogs sometimes, provides a really safe exit, out of the main area of the house, into the empty room, and out the west-facing door and possibly around to the south, possibly to hide near the chimney structure, and ready to run down the hillside to the south.

At least that's how I'd see it, in his position... :^)

Tragical History Tour said...

Has always interested me how many places the guesthouse had for dogs to be without climbing all over the couch with you, and yet still be able to let themselves out when needed. The spare room, the patio and the porch all had a means of egress that Billy could leave open for them while still having the rest of the guesthouse closed off.

Which leads me to wondering where the dogs were 'supposed to be' on a non-murder night and whether there were dog beds positioned for them in one of those particular areas. You could make a career out of trying to figure out where they exactly were at any given time on THE night, what noises they made and when, who saw them and when, and what control Billy actually had over what they were doing. But what's the usual setup?

I'm also interested in the actual daily nitty gritty of Billy's role at Cielo. Ostensibly taken on as a 'caretaker' by Altobelli, his main duty seemed to be dog supervision. Which is extremely lightweight when you think about it.

In most ways (apart from one fateful night) Billy seemed to have the best gig in California. He had to feed them I assume, but did that come from whoever was supplying the household groceries? Was Billy himself always expected to provide HIS own food? Was he allowed to have a second job to supplement his meagre income? Sure he had pretty nifty free board and the cash drying up from selling his car, but would Altobelli have let him have another job if he wanted him on site and dog sitting 24/7?

Was he expected to do anything else? Help with deliveries. Scoop leaves out the pool. Take out trash. Wash a car now and then? WASH the dogs? If I owned the house, I'd expect him to chip in in other ways if needed.

Like many others, I think that Billy probably did get the job aided from a below the waist interview with Rudi, but I don't think much was ongoing after that. He went that route a couple of times when he needed to, but it wasn't a career choice. I believe he kept the job because he was largely non nosey, quiet, not really a party thrower, and in fact, a bit dull. And just naive enough not to ask questions about anything happening in the main house, or care that much. As long as he had a couple of Buds.

A mature, Hollywood hardened almost 20 year old may have had the occasional joint or beer with the Beautiful People in the main house. I could see that. But Billy was an out of state hick.

In some ways, he had characteristics that saved his life.

Torque said...

Tragical History Tour, I know from the interview of neighbor Maureen Serot that Bill did walk the dogs up and down Cielo Drive, and he would stop and speak with her if she were outdoors.

I too am interested in just where these dogs were on the night of Aug. 8th. We know Christopher barked, but what about the poodles Peppie and Peetie? Let's also not forget Bill was taking care of Rudi's green Singing Finch, Edward, who can actually be seen in his cage in at least one photo provided by

Also, upon the request by the gardeners, Bill had to turn on the lawn sprinklers. He no doubt took out his own garbage and cleaned the guesthouse, as Mrs Chapman said at the trials that she had no duties in that dwelling.

Bill also said at his police interview that there was an extensive list of phone numbers in one of the kitchen cupboards. This list contained the contact details for any needs he might have, including dog food. Evidently Bill also had his laundry done for him.

One additional mystery for me is where exactly the dogs(Tom and Prudence)and the kitten in the main house were. We know police found them Saturday morning in a closet. But which closet? Its interesting the killers did not mention them. I do know there was a dog door in the door to the Cielo main house service area, per a photo at I wonder if the dogs, who were pups, would have used this door.

shoegazer said...


Great speculative post re Garretson!

Maybe I'm just saying that because it's very close to what *I* think, but... :^)

shoegazer said...

I'd like to go a bit further in speculation about the night of the crime, and specifically Parent's visit, if folks are interested and willing.

First, I want to emphasize that I'm not looking to create or support conspiracies: as I've said, I tend to accept the bulk of the official narrative as it has evolved. All I'm doing is looking at details of granularity that were beneath importance to the narrative. In some points, these minor details leak out of the narrative as it evolved--e.g., Atkins saying that she saw a dog looking into the window at one point, and much later at a parole hearing, Watson saying that while he opened the front door for Atkins and Krenwinkel to enter, ironically the door was not locked.

For some reason I like stuff like that, and it does not need to imply anything.

Does anyone know if Parent had actually visited Garretson prior to the night of the crime? I say this because I sometimes wonder how Parent found his way back to the guesthouse and which door he entered. My current default is that he somehow knew about the outside gate button, and the lower pathway to the guesthouse. The pathway is not readily or intuitively evident, but once on it, it would take you to the door at the screened porch, as it appears and I would suppose that this is where Parent entered.

Alternatively, he could have parked, seen the pergola on the walkway to the main house--and this would appear intuitively to go in the correct direction and was indeed a path--but ended up walking the length of the lawn and likely found the exterior door to the kitchen/pantry and knocked and entered there.

In either case it seems likely that he left via the door from the screened in porch, and reinforces the idea that he walked back to his car along the pathway, emerging near Sebring's Porche.

Then it also seems like he'd know about, or have found out from Garretson that evening, about the rough location of the inside gate button, or noticed it as he drove onto the property. The button had a light above it, so that would help.

Does anyone have any information or speculation regarding the topic of Parent's movements while on the property?

We're never going to *know*, but really, everyone here has known that for a l-o-n-g time... :^)

shoegazer said...

Hah! It just occurred to me that by today's terminology, the guesthouse might be referred to as an "ADU".

Kinda sounds a lot less impressive doesn't it?

Tragical History Tour said...

shoegazer said...

Does anyone know if Parent had actually visited Garretson prior to the night of the crime?

Billy testified that Parent had given him a lift at least once before. And he stated it was '2 weeks earlier'.

But the newspaper delivery boy recalled seeing a vehicle very like Parent's parked outside the gates I believe on just the early Wednesday morning prior to the 8th. Soooo there's that...IF you believe that was Steven's car, then yes he's used the path to the guesthouse before...

As to Friday the 8th, I think Steven dropped in on Billy unannounced on that fateful night because mostly, he was bored, or at least looking for something more exciting than going home to his bedroom, and where Billy lived was kind of exciting. The lure of even just being in the proximity of the movie stars on the hill was too much for a kid from El Monte. Sure, he would take the 10 bucks from Bill for the clock radio if he was interested, but mostly it was a prop. Billy might have been a hick from Ohio, but to Steven he probably seemed worldly.

He had a night job, a set of wheels, and could take his time after work grabbing a burger or giving a lift to hitchhikers and one night met Billy. When he dropped him off, he must have been at least a little awestruck at where he lived.

I think Steven was trending towards being gay without acting on it much, and certainly not being open about it. He was still dating girls after all, and I think Billy shut down any chance of anything happening anyway. He liked girls. They shared a beer and maybe a joint, but I don't believe any drug dealing was behind the visit. Billy could easily score what he wanted on one of his jaunts down to Sunset Boulevard.

I don't think there is anything insidious about Steve being there, as many people want to suggest. Despite nicking a couple of radios being on his juvenile record, he was an otherwise unmemorable kid, and the sheer bad luck and bad timing narrative is essentially accurate. I think he was killed around 12.20, and didn't see anything untoward until it was too late. He was killed because Watson and the others went to Cielo to kill whoever was there, and he was there.

shoegazer said...


"... like Parent's parked outside the gates I believe on just the early Wednesday morning prior to the 8th"

That was from the 1st Progress Report, as I recall. Without knowing Parent's schedule for that Wednesday offhand (did he work? what time and where?) I tend to think it was not Parent's car, although for no solid reasons. Starting from this point for sake of discussion, if Parent had picked up Garretson hitch-hiking and taken him to Cielo two weeks prior, in rough agreement with Parent's testimony, let's see...

Pretty likely Garretson had Parent drive up the long driveway to the gate, and maybe to both impress Parent, and to make life a bit easier for himself, Garretson told him to drive up to the button, press it to open the gate, then drive him up the the beginning of the pathway and let him out, telling him at some point where the inside gate button was so he could leave.

Parent would be duly impressed and would therefore know where the outside button was, that you could press it without raising a gigantic ruckus inside, places where he *might* park, where the pathway was down and back to the guesthouse, and where the inside button was so that he could get outside.

This now makes the physical mechanics of his visit on the 8th very plausible, with little mystery or guesswork.

I, too, see the radio as simply an excuse to go up into the glamour zone. And trying to recall fragments of Garretson's testimony, I think he said that Parent mentioned seeing some of the women inside the main house as he walked along the pathway, and that this impressed him in some fashion.

Nor would this be the sort of observation a gay guy would make to another gay guy, probably, which further reinforces my default assumption that neither was gay, just two fairly typical young non-college 60s guys hanging out briefly on a summer's Friday night.

I mean, among other jobs I had while in college, some were working at gas stations, and I could easily envision either of them as the type who'd work there as a way to get extra spending money so as to mess around more. Not so much to stay in college to avoid the draft, like me, but a non-college type living for the moment, basically without a life plan in place.

Again, who knows?

Does this sound plausible to you?

Torque said...

Tragical, Shoe:
I would have to rule out Steve Parent's car being parked outside the Cielo gate in the early morning hours. This is basically because Steve was living at home in his parent's house, and his schedule and whereabouts were no doubt closely followed.

Steve's father remarked in the press that Steve would always phone home if he would be late, and his sister, Janet, said about the same when she appeared at a parole hearing for Susan Atkins. This hearing is available on YouTube.

Taken together, this would suggest to me that Steve probably kept fairly normal hours, with his family appraised of his location. To my knowledge, there is no solid evidence Steve visited Cielo other than the one time he drove Bill Garretson there, and of course on Friday Aug. 8th.

Tragical History Tour said...

Yeah, I too think it most probably wasn't Steven's (Dad's) car.

But I still wonder who it actually was. Maybe an overnight guest at the main house and there was no room to park inside the gate without blocking others? Or someone else visiting Billy who he told to park outside the gate?

Circling back to the dogs, I had an interesting interaction with a neighbor the other day. She was looking for her cat, which usually cruised the neighborhood, as cats do, but hadn't been seen for a while. Plot spoiler - the cat is safe.

She fished out her phone and opened an app which showed a local map overlaid with the movement history of the elusive feline, who wore a GPS collar. It had led her to a location in the next suburb where the collar was found, cut off the cat and in a trash bin. It was fascinating to see. I haven't owned a pet in a while so this was new to me.

It has since made me wonder another what if situation - if the technology had existed back then and Rudi's dogs had it fitted. LAPD would have found a way to drop the ball somehow, but imagine if you could use it to a degree to pinpoint the exact location of each dog at any given time on that night. How cool would that be.

David said...

So here is my take.

Let’s go back to 1977. My friends and I all got cars. It was the Midwest, but cars meant freedom. We all pitched in 50 cents for gas and a pack of Marlboro reds and cruised. It wasn’t like American Graffiti. We drove past the homes of young women we knew somehow hoping they would see us and rush outside, we cruised places where there might be a party, the head shop/album store and the arcade where the foosball tables were located.

My friend caught a guitar pick from some member of Kiss and talked about it for years.

The car chosen was based upon the sound system and coolness. My 74 Maverick with an A.M. radio, even if newer and purchased by my dad, checked off neither of those boxes.

Cars meant freedom. You could escape El Monte.

When my friends graduated, they hung their graduation tassels from the rear-view mirror like Steven Parent.

So, when Steven Parent’s dad bought him the Rambler upon graduation Steven was suddenly freed from El Monte. He could cruise Sunset Boulevard. He hung his graduation tassel from the rear-view mirror and was free, like my friends and I.

He drove downtown and got a job at a high-end stereo shop where he could live his dream and where he met a writer for Star Trek.

Somewhere a couple weeks earlier, while cruising, he picked up Billy Garretson, perhaps they met at a quickie stop where they both got a Coke. Steven agreed to drive him home.

If you have been to Cielo Drive you know at some point you turn into that kind of neighborhood- a place where you don’t belon if you are from Dayton, Ohio or El Monte.

Steven Parent (SP): You live here?
William Garretson (WG): Well, sort of. Turn left.
SP: Man, where do you live?
WG: In a guest house. I watch the dogs.
SP: Whose dogs? Who lives there?
WG: Well, not their dogs but a movie director, Roman Polanski, lives in the house. His wife is an actress. I can’t remember her name. His brother lives there with his girlfriend, too. Turn right.
SP: Really, man?
WG: You can drop me here [bottom of Cielo].
SP: No, its cool, I’ll take you up.
WG: Cool.
WG: You have to push that button to get in. Right there. And to get out you have to- wait!- push that one.
SP: Cool, man. [perhaps seeing the Firebird, the Porsche, or the Camaro] You live here?
WG: No, no, like I said, not here, in the back. Pull up over there [points].

Parent sees Garretson disappear down the path to the guesthouse.

A few weeks later, looking for something to do (cruise) he takes his sister’s clock radio (I either am making that up or remember it from somewhere) as an excuse to go back to Cielo Drive. Like all of us at that age a little wing man would be good, so he tries to get his buddy at the grocery store to go with him. He declines.

Parent shows up, pushes the button. Drives in.

SP: Holy shit! [sees the Porsche, parks over there.]

There are a few moments where he debates just leaving then grabs the radio and heads for the path.

Along the way he sees the lights on in the house. He sees the ‘beautiful people’ and lingers just a bit. Then he proceeds to the guest house.

The radio is an opening to explain his presence- much like the friend who showed up at our garage band practice with a four-hose hookah pipe.

After a bit it is clear there will be no naked starlets in the pool. Billy is a boring dork. Steven calls David Gerrold, he wrote the Trouble with Tribbles, and leaves. Maybe Steven was finding his sexual identity but, really, who cares, he walks to his car.

And the rest, I’ll stop right there.

My two cents.

Torque said...

Tragical, concerning the car parked outside the gate, I always thought it was one of the gardeners. They were brothers, and according to Garretson, would bring their girlfriends up there in their cars to park and fool around.

David, yes. I completely agree.

Tragical History Tour said...

Torque said...
Tragical, concerning the car parked outside the gate, I always thought it was one of the gardeners. They were brothers, and according to Garretson, would bring their girlfriends up there in their cars to park and fool around.


I did think about a gardener, but I thought those 'trysts' took place in the afternoon and Billy was politely asked to take a walk. The car was sighted around 0430 - 0500 am.
Billy testified he usually woke around 1 pm, and was probably just hitting the hay that time of night/morning, or a bit earlier. I don't think we are the 'right path' (to the guesthouse - sorry!)

shoegazer said...


I'll buy that, verbatim. It's very, very plausible and quite likely.

I was sitting around thinking about the two guys in the guesthouse, and thought I recalled that Parent mentioned seeing women in the main house. This is fine, and it implies that the lights in the main house, in maybe the main living area, were on at least at the time he arrived. And yet I seem to vaguely recall at least Atkins saying the lights were off, or they turned them off.

I can understand turning some of them off, but we have to remember that the intruders were tying knots, slinging ropes over rafters, finding towels, kicking people in the head as they lay on the LR floor, and the like, so I tend to think that yep, they turned off some of the lights, but probably not all.

I think it may be a case of how the question was asked about the lights, and when the answer came that they turned them off, it *sounds* like they worked entirely in ambient light. Possible, but difficult.

I cannot recall testimony or a report saying if the interior lights were on or off. Does anyone recall anything about this?

shoegazer said...

Hah! I blew this up and you can see two guys by the pergola.

Maybe they were investigators.


The existence of the pergola at that spot implies a path of some sort down the slope. I've seen evidences of such a path, but it's very rough and little-used.

I'm trying hard to remember the property reports, but I can recall that once I thought that where this path would connect to the lower street is pretty close to the spot that the steak knife set was found.

Like the white car on Wed morning outside the gate, my default scenario is that the knife set is simply an odd, unrelated circumstance. People lived up in the hills, and people do weird, inexplicable stuff.

This whole thing is almost tailor made for an old retired guy to waste time on! :^)

shoegazer said...

FWIW, I watched the old 1967 film "Point Blank" last night. I may have seen it back at the time, but not since.

In it there's a scene where Lee Marvin goes up in the Hollywood Hills to wait for a sort of crime boss at the boss's house.

Two things grabbed my attention: there way the house is set on the hill is very like Cielo, and the view--maybe with a split rail fence, even!--was close to the Cielo view.

The property was large, with a really solid privacy gate, and it had the sense of privacy like Cielo. Much, much better house.

According to IMDB, the location was 7655 Curson Terrace. Just east of Nichols Canyon.

David said...

Shoegazer said: "I cannot recall testimony or a report saying if the interior lights were on or off. Does anyone recall anything about this?"

Atkins. With a knife. Then he told Sharon and Abigail to lie down next to him.
Q. Next to Jay Sebring?
A. Jay Sebring, and told Katie to turn off all the lights and the lights went out.
Q. What happened next?
A. There was still enough light from the outside lights so that we could see on the inside. I looked over and I saw a dog in the window. The dog ran away.
And then he tied up Jay Sebring.

Stewart, Mike. Grand Jury Hearing For The Indictment of Charles Manson (p. 67). Kindle Edition.

"He" of course is Watson.

In the short interviews of the first officers on the scene while the primary issues are the gun grips, glasses, stereo on/off and what shoes they were wearing those who remembered said the lights were off or didn't remember them being on. One said the living room lights were off but the hall light was on. Oddly, most of them do not recall seeing the glasses.

shoegazer said...

Back to the guesthouse lay-out...

Seems like I can recall reading Krenwinkel, maybe in a parole hearing, but maybe also from other interviews, that she approached the guesthouse to kill any occupants. There's always been ambiguity (to me, anyway) what door(s) she went to, and how thorough she was in checking for inhabitants.

My latest default, reinforced after seeing the GH video, is that she went to the GH after helping to kill Folger on the lawn, and looking at the landscaping lay-out, she most likely would have taken the right hand path that leads to the door that opens into the pantry/kitchen. I say this because of a) where she likely started on the lawn (near Folger's body); b) how difficult it would be to immediately gain access to the lower walkway (she'd have to cross the split rail fence and she'd maybe have to already know that there was indeed another path); and c) she'd likely see some light from the pantry door (there may have also been a porchlight there, too) and at least start by looking there.

If this is where she went she could have seen into the LR, and I think maybe she described it a bit. She saw no one and may even have gone in a bit, still seeing no one.

I think that at that point she left, went back to the others as they got ready to leave.

Krenwinkel is an odd one to try to read. My gut feeling--just my opinion--is that she had very low self-esteem and sought some kind of approval and did this by using inflated rhetoric when supporting Manson and/or his plans. So she'd relate that she was determined and enthusiastic about carrying out his plans.

So I think I remember that she may have said that she had firm plans to kill anyone she found (tough-minded support of Manson's plans), but I actually think that by that time, what with all the stabbing, blood, shouting, she was not motivated to really look hard at the GH. She probably guessed that she could go back to Watson and the others, tell them that she checked and no one was there, and was happy enough to leave it at that. Then they could get the hell away from there.


Torque said...

Shoe, I have always felt that way about Patricia in her approach to the guesthouse. Taken together, her attempts to determine if anyone was inside were practically nonexistent.

She may indeed have tried to open the main entrance door, as Garretson said he saw the interior door handle/bar turned down. What's strange about this is in his police interview, he said he "looked up" (if I recall properly. I don't have the transcript right now), and saw that it had been turned down. This scared him he said.

To me, this implies that he may have been inside the guesthouse, but in a room other than the living room. Then, at some point, he looks up and notices the door handle. Or was he out of the guesthouse for a period of time, possibly hiding out in the far reaches of the property, and returning later and noticing the door handle?

Patricia said she looked in a window and did not see anyone, but said she did see a lamp. It is also still a mystery to me that she did not find the door to the patio open for Christopher the Weimaraner dog.

Why do I think this door was open at the time of the murders? Because Susan Atkins looked out the living room window in the Cielo main house and saw a dog. She described this as a "hunting dog, " and I believe she was referring to Christopher. After Susan saw the dog, where did he go? Presumably back to the guesthouse and in through the open patio door. But where was Christopher and the other dogs when Patricia paid her call on the guesthouse?

Tragical History Tour said...

shoegazer said...

Krenwinkel is an odd one to try to read. My gut feeling--just my opinion--is that she had very low self-esteem and sought some kind of approval and did this by using inflated rhetoric when supporting Manson and/or his plans. So she'd relate that she was determined and enthusiastic about carrying out his plans.


I think she was cursory with the guesthouse because she was realizing that murdering people was harder than she imagined, and didn't want to risk another confrontation that might be beyond her.

If you break it down, she had just performed quite badly with Folger, all things considering. She had failed to take down someone unarmed, reasonably petite, and (albeit poorly) tied up. Abigail had escaped the rope, then the house and was outside, making it much more likely that she would be heard, than when she was inside. Also, unlike the main house, which had initially been explored by Atkins to ascertain the number of people who were there, the guesthouse hadn't.

Thirdly, there was the possibility of a dog, or dogs inside the guesthouse. She would have heard them at some point. Would they attack her? Would a male overpower her, even with Tex around the corner? Would they be armed? Remember Tex by this point had a useless (except as a club) gun.

They were also all probably becoming aware, without even needing to state it, that time was getting on, and they needed to get out of there sooner rather than later. IF neighbors had called the cops, they were surely on the way. AND their lookout had disappeared.

Nah, much easier to just tell Tex that you looked but no-one was inside, and let's get out of here.

I'm not suggesting she didn't do a lot of damage, but remember the next night she and LVH struggled to contain Rosemarie until Tex intervened. She was cold hearted and part of the sadistic killing of 7 people, but she wasn't exactly proficient in it on her own.

shoegazer said...


That's about the way I saw her state of mind, and how she'd read the evolving situation.

Thanks for the comments!

TabOrFresca said...

I don’t believe that PK knew Garretson or had ever been to the guesthouse before 8-9-69.

I believe that PK, at the least, took a left at the fork.

From Garretson’s polygraph interview:

“Q. All right. When Steve leaves, what do you do? Do you walk out to the car with him, say good night?

A. No.

Q. Why not?

A. I never do when somebody leaves, you know, that comes around, walk out of the house with them.

Q. You left right - left him at the FRONT DOOR?


“Q. Well, tell me what it meant to you when you looked and saw the door handle was down?

A. It just kind of frightened me a little bit; that was it.

Q. Well, what position is the door handle normally in?

A. Well, it's usually straight across.

Q. Okay, is this the DOOR STEVE LEFT OUT OF?


Q. And did you close that door when he left?

A. When he left? Yes.”

Jeff Guinn, who interviewed PK, page 251:

“She told Tex that she had looked in a window and there was no one in the the back house”.

Parole hearing 1993:

“When I went to the back house, I stood there, and I opened the door, and I was supposed to look in. I never saw anyone.”

Parole hearing 2016:

"He, Watson, told me to go to the back house and kill everyone that was there. I went to the back house, and I just stood there. I didn't enter.”

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


That's very close to how I saw the evening play out so far as Krenwinkel experienced it.

I have a couple of more details I'd like to explore.

You mention that she may have tried the main entrance door, and by this I mean the one on the east side, from the screened porch. I used to think that she probably went to the pantry door--it may have been lit--but some of what you recall of Garretson's narrative (and I think I recall it, too) is that he thought he saw the door latch in a different position. It's never been really clear to me if he meant he saw it move as he watched, or that he had noticed it in one position, then shortly afterward noticed it in another. Both cases imply a lever-type latch, since a knob is far harder to see any movement, unless you're very close.

If he's right about the latch, it seems like that it was the main entry door from the screened in porch on the east, opening into the LR. This is because the other entry door, from the pantry, may have been unlit inside, and it was pretty far away from any other location in the LR, unless he was already in the pantry, which is unlikely because that exterior door also had windows for an intruder to perhaps see him.

So this may be her likely route from the area where Folger died to the GH:

From the left side of the image onto the walkway:

Walkway 1 the fork in the pathway (note that this is likely taken at a later date--there were more bushes at the left corner. note also the location of the light):


At that point she may have seen the lights for the main entrance and the lower path. (Lights noted by red arrows; Krenwinkel's route by green arrows):


If she was at the door and looked in, she might have seen the lamp with the brown lampshade in the extreme right of this image:

GH Interior

What do you think?

Torque said...

Shoe, according to Garretson's interview at Parker Center, it was the main entrance door in the porch that was of concern. According to Bill, the interior door handle was the straight bar type, and not a traditional doorknob. In this way he could clearly see that it had been turned down, as if someone were attempting to open it.

From memory, I believe it was Fitzgerald who asked Bill if that door was the main entrance and exit door to the guesthouse, and he replied that it was.

Too, Bill admitted that the outdoor light at the pantry door had not previously been working, but that he had subsequently fixed it, of course prior to the murders.

We speak of Bill's listening to music and writing letters that night, but he was also preparing a TV dinner and likely eating it after the departure of Steve. Bill said he was also watching a movie on TV as wrll, and gave some idea of its content to police. I obtained an original copy of that week's TV guide, and am fairly certain of the movie, but would have to look it up again.

shoegazer said...


Thanks for all these valued additions!

WRT Krenwinkel taking the left fork, toward the main entrance instead of the right fork toward the pantry entrance, after seeing where the external lights on the pergolas were, if they were all in working order, it seems that it would be very likely that Garretson would have turned them on for Parent when he left, which was only minutes before (20 mins?) Krenwinkel went back to check.

And if so, she probably would have followed the pergola lights around to the main entrance.

Tragical History Tour said...

Reading with interest.

I think I read in one version of events somewhere that Billy SAW the handle turn down, as opposed to another version where he observed that the handle HAD been turned down. The former being much scarier. Has this ever been clarified?

I ask because the bar type handles are usually horizontal at rest and flick back to horizontal if you try to open them when locked, or can't actually be moved from horizontal when locked. May not be the case with that particular handle of course. I could imagine a handle where a spring is worn and the handle remains turned down.

shoegazer said...


Yes, the default case would be that the handle returns to the "home" position with the spring latch extended. These seldom wear to the point where they do not return to home, but a more likely failure is that the frame has settled and the latch does not entirely clear the striker plate hangs.

Does anyone know if there are any photos of this latch?

David said...

Photos, 'no' but here you go:

Q. Now, what about a door handle; what do you mean?
A. Well, I was writing the letters on the couch and Christopher started barking, you know. I didn't pay any attention and then I looked up and the door knob was turned.
Q. What do you mean?
A. Well, it's one of these, you know, you'd have to see it. It sticks out like this. It was one of these kind of a well - you know, on the outside it's a regular door knob.
Q. Yes.
A. And on the inside, you know, it's like a stick or something.
Q. It's a handle?
A. Yes.
Q. But it is a square-bar handle?
A. Yeah, a bar-handle.
Q. Okay, what about it?
A. It was turned, you know, down.
Q. What does that mean?
A. I don't know what it meant, you know, it wasn't like that before. As far as I know. I mean, you know, Christopher was barking and everything, and I looked up and nothing is there, and the door handle is turned.
Q. Did it move while you're looking at it or just is in a different position?
A. It was just in a different position.
Q. Is that the unlocked position, down?
A. No, well, I had the doors locked.
Q. Is there a slide bolt or something that locks the door beside this door handle?
A. No, see there's a lock that you turn, you know, and it locks the door and that's it.
Q. Well, tell me what it meant to you when you looked and saw the door handle was down? A. It just kind of frightened me a little bit; that was it.
Q. Well, what position is the door handle normally in?
A. Well, it's usually straight across.
Q. Okay, is this the door Steve left out of?
A. Yes. Q. And did you close that door when he left?
A. When he left? Yes.
Q. You closed it and locked it?
A. I don't - I locked it, yes.
Q. You didn't remember - you don't remember messing with the door handle, or was it in the horizontal position then, or what? A. I don't - I don't actually remember.
Q. So it could have been down when Steve left?
A. Yes, but I shut the door and then I locked it - I don't know if I shut it or not, but I know I locked the door.
Q. All right. When Steve leaves, what do you do? Do you walk out to the car with him, say good night?
A. No.
Q. Why not?
A. I never do when somebody leaves, you know, that comes around, walk out of the house with them.
Q. You left right - left him at the front door?
A. Yes.

LAPD POLICE. The charles manson murders: The William Garretson's polygraph exam August 10th.1969 . LAPD DETECTIVE. Kindle Edition.

By the way the notion PK was 'done' doesn't ring true with her comment 'Kill her!' as reported by Watson when confronting Sharon Tate.

Tragical History Tour said...

By the way the notion PK was 'done' doesn't ring true with her comment 'Kill her!' as reported by Watson when confronting Sharon Tate.


Only verbally, if even true. Otherwise it actually supports what's been suggested. She has a knife. Sharon is unarmed, petrified, partly tied up and heavily pregnant. If Katie is still in a frenzy she shouldn't need Tex.

Medium Patty said...

After stabbing Abigail, Katie called Tex over. He was standing nearby. He said he would check. He pointed to the guest house and told her to go there.
"She compromised by walking down the back alley between the main house and guest cottage until she was out of Tex's sight." Guinn, page 251.

You all are so well versed with the guesthouse layout. Based on this location information, can we tell which door she likely tried?

shoegazer said...


I, too, tend to see Krenwinkel as often using a sort of tough-guy rhetoric rather than actually being a readily/willing/able killer.

But that bears only on the point about how hard she was willing to try to get into the GH. I think at most, it was cursory.

shoegazer said...


It looks to me, based on this thread, that she went to the main door, inside the screened porch, on the east side of the GH.

There is lighting along the pathway that, if turned on (probably was so that Parent could see to leave), would have led her in that direction.

It's all speculation, though.

shoegazer said...

Q. You didn't remember - you don't remember messing with the door handle, or was it in the horizontal position then, or what?

A. I don't - I don't actually remember.

Q. So it could have been down when Steve left?

A. Yes, but I shut the door and then I locked it - I don't know if I shut it or not, but I know I locked the door.

This is pretty garbled, isn't it? And yet as I recall much of Garretson's statements, and even later interviews, were like this. He's a bit mentally disorganized and loses focus, somewhat.

So what could it mean, to not know if he "shut the door", but he's sure he locked it? How could one possibly lock a door that has not been closed or shut?

What I think he's trying to convey here is that he (Garretson) does not remember if he closed the door and locked it, or Parent closed the door as he left and Garretson locked it.

So the way he tells it, he's sure he locked it, but less sure who closed the door first.

Unimportant, really, since he's sure he locked the door, but he got bogged down on this detail in response to the questioning.

Now, as to the inside latch handle (bar shaped, normally in the 3 o'clock, 9 o'clock position) being in the down position (12 o'clock/6 o'clock), I have several such door latches like this in my house. Inside is a bar handle, outside is a knob. If you turn the knob or pull downward on the bar handle, the return spring move the knob or bar back to the original orientation when you release the lock. My house was 20 years old when Cielo was built and the type of lock is probably similar.

Unless it's either sticky from age/dirt/corrosion, or the striker plate on the doorframe is misaligned, in which case the latch cannot extrude and the knob or bar handle would stay the same, the latch always returns to the 3/9 position when released. I have one like this upstairs. In the instance of a misaligned striker plate, the bar handle will *never* return to 3 o'clock/9 o'clock unless I manually force it.

Garretson never mentions this, that the latch has ever acted this way (tends to stick). It's possible that it did, but let's go with the idea that it operated normally, and always returned to 3/9 o'clock.

If so, and he saw the bar handle in the 12 o'clock/6 o'clock position, it implies that Krenwinkel's hand was still on the knob, having turned it and briefly held it there.

I wonder if the knob was checked for prints?

There's a lot of speculation in my scenario, but within reasonable limits. But we'll never know, nor is it pivotal. It's just trying to get a sense for the sequence of events.

shoegazer said...

...and now, the dogs. :^)

I don't know a whole lot about them, mostly the Weimaraner, Christopher. I saw images of LAPD leading the dogs out of the property (for the conspiracy fans out there, no, this does not imply that they were early suspects) and there were a couple of small dogs.

But what I'd like to explore is why they did not seem to bark or raise a ruckus.

If Garretson can be believed from testimony/interrogation Christopher often did bark and he specifically barked during the incident of the doorhandle in the GH.

And if Atkins can be believed, she saw a dog, probably Christopher, at the window, after the lights were turned out. He looked inside and ran away.

But he didn't bark at that time.

And at least two of the small dogs were found the next day in a closet--I don't know which one, though.

This implies to me that the inside dogs maybe *did* bark, or get underfoot, at some point, and the intruders threw them in the closet.

For Christopher, we should consider that not all dogs are protective of owners/property, and that if you've been around dogs, you can see that the acclimatize themselves to the "usual" and maybe bark at the unusual.

The property had had multiple renters, who entertained many guest, probably. If so, people were coming and going at the main house--that was "usual" so far as Christopher knew. He lived in the GH, and if my guess is right, someone coming at night to the main door of the GH and trying the latch was "unusual" and hence the barking.

What do you think?

David said...

Shoegazer said: “Dogs-What do you think?”


Several years ago I was thinking of writing a post about the barking or lack of barking that night: To Bark or Not to Bark, That is the Question. Sorry, that was the initial title.

I never got past the preliminary research phase but here is my 2 cents and a few links.

Any dog barking that night would have been doing so either as territorial barking or aggressive barking.

Christopher barking at Steven Parent as he approached the guest house is territorial: “Someone is in my territory”.

Christopher barking, growling and attacking the police entrance is aggressive barking: “You are a threat. I am scared. Fight.”

Aggressive behavior or if you prefer the ‘fight” instinct is not a first reaction typically among dogs who are scared. It is last. Typical dog reactions to fear are flight and freeze.

Dogs both can hear fear and smell fear. Screaming is fear. Fear triggers four responses in dogs: flight, fidget, freeze or fight.

Territorial barking is based upon a territory. Wolves don’t bark much as the wilderness is their territory. Domesticated dogs bark at doorbells, postmen, neighbors across the fence and other dogs on the sidewalk. Their territory is smaller and defined by walls, doors, fences and indirect and direct training and experience with us.

Christopher lived in the guest house. He likely had been trained by accident, experience or on purpose to limit his territory to the immediate guest house area. Otherwise, he barks every time someone walks up to the main house or jumps in the pool. he would bark throughout any party. He barks when Steven Parent enters the territory and when the LAPD crash his territory.

The silent reaction of other dogs or Christopher that night may simply be their fear reaction to screams and ‘the smell of fear’ – which is flight and freeze. These are the typical reactions by dogs to flight or freeze responses:

Move away
Creep away
Walk away
Run away
Try to hide
Tail tucked
Body lowered to the ground
Ears back
Walk slowly as if they are walking through Jello

Notice 'barking' is not on that list.

Why might he not bark at PK? (1.) He wasn’t there. (2.) Garretson had him hiding. (3.) He was in a safe place (safe for Christopher) where he would be put when these parties happened, a place where he knew he did not need to bark that everything was fine, a place where he was safe and his anxiety dropped significantly. It's sometimes called kennel training when used for separation anxiety.

Torque said...

Shoe, and all: first a correction. In the comments I previously said that Garretson said the outdoor light by the guesthouse kitchen door was at one point not working, but that he had since fixed it. After reviewing Bill's police interview transcript, I see that it was not the light by the kitchen door, but was the porch light.

Speaking of lights, check out the color photo of the night view of the Cielo front yard. There are lights illuminated along the guest house path on poles, and there are pole lights which also illuminate the main house front yard. In fact, Abigail Folger was probably nearly under one of these when she died. Voytek could have probably seen her struggling with Patricia and Tex clearly.

In fact, after reviewing the scale drawings of the main house, guesthouse, daytime and nighttime photos, and crime scene photos, the entire premises was festooned with lights. And let's not forget the Christmas lights on the wood fence.

The thing is, what lights could have been on a timer, and what lights would have been operated manually? Did some of these lights have photo electric cells that caused them to come on as darkness approached?

I know that one light had to be turned off by hand, and that was the bug light on the garage. Because Mrs Chapman was surprised on Saturday morning when she saw that it had been on all night, so she manually switched it off.

Speaking of dogs, its interesting that one of the LaBianca's dogs is seen in a crime scene photo, able to roam free, and not in a closet. As the story goes, the killers were said to have even pet one of those dogs, and left it alone. But at Cielo, the pets were placed in a closet. Was this by the killers, or by the inhabitants of Cielo as part of the nightly routine?

And then there's this from Garretson's police interview:

Q. You're out there and you're nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof in that house, and you don't hear anything other than a dog bark?

A. I have been that way several times. I mean not only that night; I have been scared other nights, too.

Q. Why?

A. Well, way back in March or something I heard the poodles run around, and there was somebody there tramping around.

Q. Did you go out and investigate?

A. No.

The point here being that the poodles did not bark, but were probably excited by someone outside the guesthouse, and nervously ran around inside as they alerted on the presence of unknown persons outside.

Concerning Christopher, he was indeed a barking dog, and could be very aggressive. Garretson clearly indicated that Christopher barked when someone approached the guesthouse, and Altobelli did the same when he testified at the trial. Altobelli said he knew Christopher's habits so well that he could differentiate between a general bark and a "people bark."

Finally, every time I read the above exchange with Garretson, I am reminded of the very first time I read it. To me, it comes off as being practically defensive when he describes being scared in the guesthouse before, but that he did not go out to investigate the source of his fear, then uses this as an excuse to not go out on the murder night to investigate if he heard anything. But did he hear anything?

Speculator said...

Torque - his comments about the night in March and previous nights being scared too are interesting on a number of levels. Firstly, re. the night in March, he said he didn’t go out to investigate but that there was “somebody there tramping around” - which suggests that he more than likely looked out (probably keeping out of view) and saw someone? Does that then follow that he more than likely did the same on the night of the murders and also looked out from some vantage point where he knew he wouldnt be seen? You’ve also got to wonder on the March night that he quotes- who the heck was tramping around as he put it on the property? Wasn’t it during March that Manson supposedly visited the property during the day - just coincidence maybe or maybe not? Also he mentions being scared on other nights too. Was he just generally a nervous type of guy - or was there more than we know about going on up at that property - the creepy crawls spring to mind? And if he was so jumpy and scared - would he really be sat with music on or headphones on all night not being able to hear what was going on around him? Think about when you’re scared ot nervous in a situation- you want all of your senses honed on your immediate environment surely? I think he was so understandably traumatised by what went on that he just wanted to pretend the whole events of that night had passed him by unawares.

Tragical History Tour said...

Small point that bugs me re Sharon's dogs in the closet in the main house.

When I read about this from whatever source it is always described as 2 dogs were found HIDING in a closet. Which means the closet door must have been open and the dogs made a wise choice to get in there. If the door was found closed you wouldn't think that the dogs were hiding, you would have to conclude that they were put there, and the door closed after, unless dogs can magically now open and close doors behind themselves.

And if they had been put there by someone to keep them out the way, they wouldn't have left the door open. So the dogs clearly ran off and hid, they weren't put there by anyone. Both things can't be true.

shoegazer said...


Re the dogs in the closet, I have never read a police report or any official version of this, so I've gone by the vague word-of-mouth you can find here. So if it's true that the dogs had more accurately hidden themselves, that's one thing, but if they'd been placed there and the door closed, that's another.

Let's briefly explore the latter: they were put there by someone and confined.

Owners of dogs don't tend to do this on any regular basis, in my experience. This is inviting a clean up and it's clearly bad for the dogs. But they *might* do this in limited circumstances, and for a very limited time. So I tend to think that Tate didn't do this.

One of the other occupants or Sebring might, but this is equally doubtful.

If the intruders, lots of questions/difficulties arise. They'd have to know where closets are, they'd have to be able to rapidly pick up dogs who were not familiar with them, and it would have been easier to simply thru them out the front door.

It does, at this point, make better sense to me that they were hiding, and not closed into the closet.

I think it's really good to try to clear up these sorts of evidentiary "facts" as best we can. It's often thought that they were closed up in the closet, and this is really difficult to explain, and so right away conspiracy fans start with unwarranted speculation, inventing imagined, highly threatening and suggestive connections that are not born up by additional facts, just a desire to create a myth.

E.g., there are such several unexplained pieces of evidence, one of which is the towel over Sebring's head, with the rope wrapped around the outside of it. And yet no intruder recalls this.

But I like to work from a hypothetical scenario, which evolves over time (just as it has today with the small dogs), so right now I think that yep, one of them--probably Watson--did it, but they forgot doing it amid the pandemonium.

And then right away, the next night, more mayhem. It could become confusing, possibly.

Tragical History Tour said...

I should have elaborated that it bugs me because I've seen sources for both 'they were hiding in a closet' and that 'they were put in a closet' with the subtle but important difference rarely examined. And for reasons I outlined I don't think both can be true. I totally lean to the former. Also, if it were the latter, I don't think it would have been by Sharon either. Both dogs were pups. They just ran when shit started going down.

As you suggest, a similar anomaly applies to the towel. Visual evidence contradicts that it was simply thrown into the living room by Sadie after decorating the door. If she isn't lying, someone has manipulated it after the fact. I tend to believe this is a rare time she didn't outright lie or embellish. If she placed it over his head, why wouldn't she admit it after having gleefully described so much other violence and witchiness. There won't be any extra charges.

My own little pocket theory is that it was placed there by a returnee, and it was Charlie. Seeing the towel lying there and maybe feeling there wasn't enough racial overtone to the scene, he gave Jay a white hanging hood. People point to the glasses and males arguing as signs of someone returning, but I think the towel/hood is even stronger evidence, because we can actually see it clearly on display. And it looks just like that to me, at least - a display. That's not a towel that just landed that way on Jay's head.

The killers don't mention it because they didn't do it. Manson never mentions it because he's the one denying any involvement at Cielo.

Torque said...

Regarding the dogs in the closet: I have always thought they had their own place to go at night, in an effort to stay out of the way, as they were both pups. I favor Sharon's dressing room, which is basically a glorified closet connected to her bedroom. But of course I have no proof of this. Ultimately it would be good to know exactly which closet the dogs were found in.

Concerning the dogs in the guesthouse, however, they did in fact have their own room.

shoegazer said...


I've thought some about Manson going back and it's both ard to do for a number of reasons, and very risky, for no apparent benefit to him.

But it is possible.

For sake of discussion, working from memory, here's what I was thinking.

The killers get back to Spahn by about 2-2:30. It's close to an hour to get back, using the roads as they existed then, plus they stopped twice: once to hose of, then at a gas station.

Reportedly they find Manson awake and Watson makes some kind of report, mainly that they're all dead.

Manson can find this out the next day, on the news, if it's true. Or he can risk going back and spending an undetermined amount of time looking. Since he had always tried to distance himself from connection with the crime, this is a significant risk, for no actual reward--just bragging rights, really.

So he has to get the car keys from Watson, who has said nothing about this, to use the same car (supposedly selected because it was the only one that ran at the ranch at that time). He'd drive himself, or take someone else. No one is mentioned really.

So let's say he goes back and arrives about 3-3:30. He has no way of knowing if the police have been called--probably knows about the shouting and the struggles outside, but this doesn't matter.

He could come down Benedict Canyon and thereby see police lights up at Cielo, and just keep going. Or he could park either up the driveway, close to the gate, or at the bottom of the driveway, where Watson did.

He needs to know exactly how to get past the gate without opening it, else the cut cables would have been more tangled than they appear to have been.

He'd need to get past Parent's car, then go to the house. If the door was open he could come in that way. Else thru the DR window, like Watson.

Would he turn on the lights to see the carnage? Pretty risky.

How far into the house would he go? How much time would this take?

And all the time knowing that if the police were on their way, he was in a sort of a deadend trap.

Yes, he might have, but my sense of it is that he didn't.

I realize that Manson was not always rational, and I've probably read/watched the same interviews as you have. I've come away with the idea that he was just jerking everyone's chain when she said that he went back. Just screwing with the straight public's head.

A good initial check would be: did Manson start boasting about going back *after* he had heard about the towel and the glasses during trail testimony? He certainly wouldn't have before he was sentenced--makes no sense. So *when* exactly did he start suggesting that he'd gone back?

I'm willing to discuss this further and change my view. I mean, it's for sure *possible*.

As a side observation, I know very little about the LaBianca crime scene details. Did one or the other of them similarly have their head covered? Maybe with a pillow case? How would this play into the towel situation?

Great discussion, Tragical!

shoegazer said...


WRT the GH dog room, that would appear as "Empty Room" on the GH floorplan, this would also be a great place to hide, understandably cowering (I sure would have!) and able to see the doorhandle without being seen one's self.

You could quick, cut out the backmost door of this room, and head on down the hill posthaste, if need be.

Ah, well. We'll never know...

TabOrFresca said...

I have never read any official LE report concerning where, and when, the main house dogs were found.

To me, “hiding in a closet” and “locked in a closet” mean very different things. Was PH “hiding in a closet”? If a dog walks into an open closet is it “locked in”?

Super Mario 3 once pointed to “a source” of the dogs in closet story.

Decent brief article which includes photo of Prudence and Tom. But not an independent source.

Tragical History Tour said...

As a side observation, I know very little about the LaBianca crime scene details. Did one or the other of them similarly have their head covered? Maybe with a pillow case? How would this play into the towel situation?


Just a quick response for now to say Yes, both Leno and Rosemarie had pillowcases over their heads. In fact, from memory, the knife protruding from Leno's throat wasn't discovered until the pillowcase was taken off at the morgue. With the La Biancas, it clearly helps with incapacitation. With Jay, it's post mortem and therefore more symbolic to me.

They were also both gagged by lamp cord. If Tex had continued on as a serial killer, he was all set to be called the Lampshade Killer.

shoegazer said...


"With the La Biancas, it clearly helps with incapacitation. With Jay, it's post mortem and therefore more symbolic to me."

For now,I'm not comfortable assuming that it *was* postmortem with Sebring. We have the participants saying that it was not in place when they left. The same participants never mention hanging Tate momentarily, nor in any sense explain all multiple wounds to Tate, who, according the narrative, would seem to have been only stabbed by Watson while held by Atkins, I think. It might have been an extra towel that Atkins got with which to tie Frykowski, and Watson put it on Sebring at some point.

It would be pretty good to know how much, if any, blood from Sebring's nose leaked onto this towel.

I don't want to close off this possibility just yet. To me, it's a bigger stretch to accept that Manson came back, given all the difficulties and risks, than it is to imagine that the killers did it, but forgot about that detail.

BTW, were the LaBiancas gagged with the cords, or was it around their necks?

Was Manson in the Bianca house at the time that the pillow cases were placed on the LaBiancas? If so, did he put them on?

You can see where this is going: if the pillow cases were not present on the victims when Manson left the rooms, and if Watson was principally involved with the killing details, it could suggest that he was doing as he had done the previous night.

Fun to try to figure.

Torque said...

In terms of "staging" the crime scenes, in my view the Labianca house was much more staged compared to Cielo. Leno and Rosemary both had pillow cases over their heads, and multiple words were written in blood, as opposed to the one word "pig" at Cielo.

At Cielo, the only one with anything over the head was Jay. To me it seems the area of contention over that towel arises because the killers did not admit to placing it there. That said, we are simply taking them at their word. Perhaps not the best idea.

Moreover, why did Susan Atkins claim she reentered the Cielo house to obtain Sharon's blood to write that one word? Atkins told her attorney early on that she did not want to even reenter that house, to which he said, "I don't blame you."

There were the bodies of Voytek and Abigail outside, and a small lake of blood outside on the front step. Why not obtain blood there for her message? The scarf soaked in blood near the body of Voytek was in my view the more likely instrument used to write "pig" on the front door than the bath towel which magically flew thru the air and landed on Jay's head.

shoegazer said...

This whole thing about the towel on Sebring is very interesting. It's relatively unimportant, but interesting.

From the 1st LAPD progress report:

"A light colored towel, blood drenched, covered his
head and face in a manner similar to that of a hood. The above described rope which was wound around Polanski's neck was also
wrapped around Sebring. The one end of the rope which came from
Polanski was wrapped around Sebring's neck 1 1/2 times. The loose end went underneath the body, running parallel with the upper torso and continuing toward the fire hearth in a westerly direction. Stab wounds were noted on Sebring's body and a large abrasion appeared on the left side of his face at the bridge of the nose. His left eye was bruised and swollen. His clothing was blood drenched and consisted of a blue shirt, white pants with black vertical stripes and black high-top boots."

A couple of things seem noteworthy. The towel is described as "blood drenched". If it was relatively clean when placed on Sebring's head he would have to have still been alive, or very soon postmortem, for there to be a free flow of blood to drench the towel. It implies that if Manson came later and placed the hood, Sebring would not have bled profusely onto the towel.

However, if it was not Sebring's blood that drenched the towel, it should show up in the blood report. One or the other: if Sebring's blood, it was not done later; if someone else's it's possible Manson placed it, but if we know whose blood it is on the towel, we'd have a better idea.

Also, Sebring's "noose" is not near the end of the rope, and he's laying on it substantially. This would mean that if Manson came later, and Sebring was lying in place (and while it was suggested that Tate was moved either postmortem or just prior to death, no one said that about Sebring so far as I know), he'd have to unwind the rope from around Sebring's neck, and since he was not near the end of the rope this is harder to do. Then for Sebring to lay on the rope, you'll likely to have to move him onto it. Again, was he moved? No one said so, that I know of.

None of this is impossible, but in the aggregate it makes it less likely.

David said...

A Little evidence might help.

Blood Evidence

G6: “Pig”-OM (Tate)

G16: Violet colored scarf found on front lawn (near Frykowski)- OMN (Sebring)

G39: Eleven possible blood spots on Beige face-type towel. Eleven blood spots checked- O. Three tested-OM (Tate). Granado found the towel between Tate and Sebring (Granado’s testimony).

G42: Poss blood stains on yellow towel (Living Room). A,B+C (three diff spots on towel) All spots found to be human blood, type O. and random selection of spot A found to be subtype M. (Tate)

G43: Violet ribbons (cloth) found left side of doorway. Human blood, possible “O”. Tate or Sebring
Granado: Jay Sebring, O type blood, subgrouping MN.
Sharon Tate Polanski, blood type O, subgrouping N.
Q. N?
A. Correction. That is M.
Q. M as in Mary?
A. Yes. There is a typographical error here.

Stewart, Mike. The People of the State of California vs. Charles Manson Vol III (p. 188). Kindle Edition.

The scarf is not Tate’s blood although the MN subtype was not very reliable in 1969 so it could be.
The beige towel only has 11 "spots" of blood.
The yellow towel only has 3 "spots" of blood.
The violet ribbons are not discussed further at trial.

Nothing really fits as the source of the “Pig” writing except maybe the violet ribbons unless the MN on the scarf is wrong.

Sebring head towel

Granado: The other part of the rope that went from Sharon Tate to Sebring went around Sebring’s neck twice, and then wound inward thusly, forming a type of knot that was holding tight onto the neck of Jay Sebring.
This rope was over a towel which was over his head.
Then the end from there, after it went through such a manner and tied, was free to the side. Q. Mr. Sebring’s head had a towel over it?
A. Yes. Covering his face.
Q. And then the rope was on top of the towel?
A. That is correct.

Stewart, Mike. The People of the State of California vs. Charles Manson Vol III (pp. 235-236). Kindle Edition.

This towel was not tested for blood type. It is under the rope and around Sebring’s head. It was not thrown by Atkins. There is a photo that confirms this and if I recall you can see the towel on Sebring's legs in the autopsy photo.

The towel was wrapped around Sebring's head before the rope was put around his neck. The only question is when?

TabOrFresca said...


Are the Kindle version of the “Trial Transcripts” word searchable or are they like the LADA transcripts that are not?

David said...

Yes, they are word searchable. That's where I got the two Granado bits. I searched "towel" and I searched "MN".

Of course I could have gone to an old post I did now that I think of it. Duh!

Tragical History Tour said...

A couple of things seem noteworthy. The towel is described as "blood drenched". If it was relatively clean when placed on Sebring's head he would have to have still been alive, or very soon postmortem, for there to be a free flow of blood to drench the towel. It implies that if Manson came later and placed the hood, Sebring would not have bled profusely onto the towel.


I call a Misleading Colorful Language violation on that Progress Report.

From every photo I have ever seen, the towel on Jay's head is clearly NOT 'drenched' in blood. It's still mostly the original pale color, with some discoloration beginning near the face and neck area. It may be more bloody in areas we can't see, but 'drenched' to me implies the majority of any given item is covered in a liquid substance and a common synonym would be saturated or soaked. Front and 'top' angles of the towel/hood show nothing like this.

Point being I don't think anyone has 'bled profusely' onto that towel. It looks much closer to something that's absorbed a relatively minimal amount (compared to say nearby carpet or Jay's shirt) of blood from perhaps Jay's face or some other source. It could therefore have been attached pre mortem, without much bleeding occurring onto it, or post mortem with whatever blood being on it from a mostly different source.

shoegazer said...


I agree that it's not "drenched".

There are some decent, if graphic, photos here:


We'll never know for sure.

I can recall reading how much blood was found in Sebring's body cavity, and it was a large amount relative to total average volume of blood for a person. It's probably on the autopsy report. This *could* account for the relative lack of blood on the floor beneath his body.

Huh, this is interesting, to me at least. Notice Sebring's hand(s) in relation to the rope that goes to Tate.

Hand position 1

Hand position 2

The rope is *under* his hand(s). Nothing is impossible, but this suggests to me that he fell to this position *after* Tate was already down on the floor. And to me, it does not look like she moved much after she was down.

It suggests that Sebring could have been sat up (or was still up, somehow) after Tate was down, had the rope wrapped around his neck (with the towel on first), and laid back down, with his hand coming to rest on top of the rope.

What do you think?

David said...

Shoegazer said: "It suggests that Sebring could have been sat up (or was still up, somehow) after Tate was down, had the rope wrapped around his neck (with the towel on first), and laid back down, with his hand coming to rest on top of the rope.

I do not think there should be any doubt that the sequence of events recited by the official narrative is not entirely accurate. Did they do more to 'stage' the scene than has ever been admitted? I think so. Certainly, Sebring didn't walk into the LR with a towel wrapped around his head.

I also think you get a glimpse of what's wrong with this issue in this testimony by Atkins.

Q: What happened next?
A. Jay Sebring fell in front of the fireplace and Sharon and Abigail screamed.
Q. What happened next?
A. Then they went over and laid down next to Jay Sebring and Tex proceeded to tie a rope around Sebring’s neck, then to Sharon Tate’s neck, then to Abigail Folger’s neck and threw the rope—strike that we’ll come back to that.
Tex asked the two girls if they had any money, Sharon Folger—or, Abigail Folger said she did. Tex told me to take her into the bedroom. Abigail Folger walked into the bedroom. She reached into her purse and pulled out a wallet and said, “I only have seventy-two dollars, I just went to the bank yesterday,” and asked me if I wanted any of her credit cards and I shook my head no.
I took the money and put it in my pocket and walked her back to the living room where then Tex had me retie Frykowski with a towel that I had gotten from the bedroom.
Q. Did you in fact do that?
A. Yes, and I didn’t do a very good job of that either.
Q. After you retied Mr. Frykowski what is the next thing that happened?
A. Then Tex tied up Jay Sebring with a rope around the neck.
Q. Was that the rope that was in the car?
A. With the rope—that is not correct, excuse me—Abigail was standing and Sharon was sitting. Tex went over to Jay Sebring and bent down and viciously stabbed Jay Sebring in the back many times.

Stewart, Mike. Grand Jury Hearing For The Indictment of Charles Manson (pp. 65-66). Kindle Edition.

I guess where Sebring ended up might be 'in front of the fireplace'. It doesn't seem like it is to me.

But notice she has Watson tying up Sebring after he has been shot two different times and has Abigail going with her to get money after Sebring has been shot.

Why did she get a towel out of the bedroom after she has tied up Frykowski and before Watson asks her to tie him up again? How many did she get? there are three in the room when they leave.

I believe this jumbled mess is an indication, ever so slight, of events that have never been fully disclosed.

shoegazer said...


Yes, it seems that way to me: the narrative is a jumbled mess, with events sliding around in sequence somewhat.

WRT to Sebring near the fireplace, he's nearer the fireplace than anyone else, but from the photos it looks like the coffee table and other items got shoved right in front of the fireplace, and I doubt that he was ever any nearer the fireplace than where his body was found, roughly.

Does anyone know what that pelt is on the sofa, next to the American flag?

Speculator said...

I seem to remember that either Atkinson or Kremwinkel (or both) stated that after the killing had finished Watson went back into the house. So he could have arranged the towel over Sebring at that point. As for Sebring’s hands over the rope, his body and arms may have moved when ST finally succumbed and fell to the floor given that there would have been tension on the rope between her and Sebring. I wouldn’t put it past them collectively to have spent time making the scene look all the more gruesome with the towel etc. they were a bunch of sadistic animals so anything is possible. And the argument of why haven’t they fessed up since to what people might see as these minor anomalies - pure self interest in not doing so I would say.

Torque said...

David, many thanks for the indications on the blood evidence. Agreed, this part of the story is a jumbled mess, but I believe the devil, as they say, is in the details.

Shoe, not sure what that pelt is on the sofa next to the American flag. To me it looks somewhat like the vest Abigail was wearing in a photo I included in my post of her during what I call her L.A. period. But I can't tell if its a vest or not from the available crime scene photos of the sofa.

In any case, the presence of a fur vest or fur pelt on the sofa during an August heatwave is significant, I would think. But then again, Jay brought a jacket with him to Cielo that night, and it was found on the chair in the living room next to him.

Tragical History Tour said...

Re Atkins testimony.

I was just reading this part of the GJ transcript last week. And shaking my head. As has been stated, that part of her testimony is an unholy mess. She has victims going up and down like yo-yos and mixing up sequences of events. Maybe she deserved the name Scramblehead more than Grogan.

If I was a Grand Juror, I would have raised my hand and asked - 'I have no idea what this witness is saying. Can she start again?'

We need a tabletop, figurines and props for this.

The comment about rope tension made me look at the 2 photos of the living room again. In one pic (of just Jay, taken from left of and behind couch), there are 3 (maybe 4, with 2 of them almost on top of each other) matchbooks(?) on the floor in a line from the couch to Jay's head. In the other (Sharon and Jay) I can only see 2. One is behind the couch. But while the angle is different obviously, and Jay's hand may be partly obscuring it, the one closest to his head is not visible at all to me and it just doesn't look quite right.

David said...

Tragical History Tour said: " I was just reading this part of the GJ transcript last week. And shaking my head. As has been stated, that part of her testimony is an unholy mess. She has victims going up and down like yo-yos and mixing up sequences of events. Maybe she deserved the name Scramblehead more than Grogan."

So, let’s look at that testimony a minute and just ask some questions.

She describes Watson tying the rope around Sebring’s neck after he has been shot, twice. Why would Watson do that? Why bother?

She says she came back from the bedroom (Folger’s) with a towel. Why? Why would she do that? She thought a towel would be helpful? Someone told her to get one? Why bring a towel?

According to her prior testimony Frykowski is tied up already by the rope. So why get a random towel?

I would suggest everyone stop looking at this as ‘Atkins tied Frykowski with a towel’ and ask first, did she? And then why did she have a towel and then ask where did she get it?

Was someone else told to get the other two towels? We need to account for three towels. Where did they come from? Were there two towels lying around the living room? If not who went and got them? And again, if someone was told to get them, why? and who?

There is not enough blood on any towel to write ‘Pig’ on the door. “Spots” will not get you there. Even if the towel with eleven “spots” was used, they wouldn’t be “spots” anymore. They would be a smear. Where is the “dipping” in Sharon’s blood spot on anything?

Yet, Atkins says she used a towel, dipped it in Sharon Tate’s blood, walked thirty+ feet and wrote “Pig”. That’s not “spots” and we really have no suspect item because Granado couldn’t get enough blood off the ribbons to be sure and the scarf tested as Sebring.

Now, since the M/MN is unreliable in 1969 the scarf could be our suspect and it works as the tool but ….. she didn’t throw that into the living room…. Which she did, according to Atkins.

You see, her testimony tells me that none of this happened exactly as described. She told a story to jail house inmates. Then she got a deal, and she told it to her lawyers. They would want to reinforce the story to ensure the deal happened (and make some money). She needed to tell it again in front of the GJ and it went poorly.

What the jumbled mess says is she couldn’t remember her own story. It wasn’t exactly what happened.

But it became the basis of everything we “know”. Sebring has a towel around his head under the rope. That is a fact.

Tragical History Tour said...

I could be facetious and say women go through a lot of towels, mate. Have you ever stayed in a hotel with one?

Seriously, it's par for the course for Atkins. Most of the Family just straight out lied or deliberately omitted details in much of their testimony. Atkins does that too PLUS gets mixed up and changes her story when she's actually trying to recollect events with at least some small measure of sincerity.

I think in the GJ testimony just before the part David has quoted above, she says it was HER that tied Frykowski (badly) with the rope. That's why she says she did a bad job AGAIN with the towel. And yeah, I agree, she isn't going to improve on the rope with a towel. Why not just retie the rope better? How is applying a towel improving the situation? Surely it's harder to tie well and still easier to get out of than the rope. Maybe Tex wanted more of the rope 'available' for Sharon and Abigail by not using it on WF, but I'm reaching.

We have to allow of course that they are doing things on the fly and reacting to the behavior of victims. The women are basically doing as Tex, who is high, says. We have the benefit of analyzing it after the fact and finding inconsistencies and counterintuitive actions, but at the time they were kind of winging it, albeit with a big advantage.

shoegazer said...

For me, it basically comes down to accuracy of the finer details of the official narrative.

At this point I feel comfortable with the narrative's general sequence of events, e.g., I think that the victims were killed in the order related, and in about the same locations related, but that many details are omitted or loosely stated, or perhaps somewhat out of order.

So while I tend to accept the general flow of things, I try to refine or speculate on the details, based on available evidence. We often run into evidence that seems at odds with the narrative--or even with other evidence--and while I'd like to go entirely with the evidence in these cases,there are demonstrable flaws in evidence gathering and processing, so it's never very certain.

A great example of the seemingly mutually exclusive nature of evidence/narrative mismatches is blood evidence on the front porch. We've got Tate's and Sebring's blood types out there, and yet when I look at the way the bodies were found, and the lack of any visual evidence of physical transport of the two victims from the front porch back to where they were found (no blood smears or trails evident in any photos I've seen), it's hard to see how/when they were out there.

And surely, if they were out there, it was prior to them being bound together by the rope. Yet in the narrative there is no variance or version that mentions this as a possibility.

And still there's enough fudge room in the narrative that one can imagine that Tate got out there at about the same time Watson and Atkins were attacking Frykowski. But if she was already roped up, as the narrative says, it gets harder to image.

There's *lots* of similar anomalies, too. Like how did Watson apparently wield both the gun and the knife effectively when he attacked parent, and what did he do with both when he reached in, put the car in neutral, and pushed it back away from the gate button.

It's part of the intrigue of this, after all these years.