Many TLB researchers have noted the curious fact that Charlie continuously got in trouble with the law, but never had his parole revoked and sent back to prison. I count at least 14 of these incidents: 1) 7-28-67
Charlie arrested in Legget, Ukiah County for interfering with an officer; sentenced to three years probation 2) 4-21-68
Oxnard arrests, Ventura County; Charlie arrested with others for possessing phony IDs 3) 5-2-68
Summit Trail house raided; Manson arrested with Dianne Lake and Bruce Davis on pot possession. Ruled 'insufficient evidence to prosecute'
4) 3-23-69 Christine Smith, 16 (aka the "Girl from Reseda") reports being raped by Charlie at Spahn.
"On June 3, Melcher and Jackobson arrived at Spahn and there were two policemen there interrogating Charlie about the rape. On the next day(June 4), it says, Charlie was arrested on that charge and bailed out the next day. "Nothing ever happened with the charge and once again Charlie Manson got away with encroachment."
Manson arrested for beating up DeCarlo's wife. [The Family, pg`150] 6) 5-2-69
The ex-con on parole and probation illegally purchases two guns. No consequences.
"It is alleged that on or about July 2, 1969, subject purchased a short barreled rifle and on or about July 14, 1969, purchased a nine millimeter hand gun."
Manson arrested and charged with DUI and being on drugs after being pulled over for speeding in the San Fernando Valley at 3:30am. TJ Walleman, Nancy Pitman, Leslie Van Houten, Susan Atkins also arrested for being on drugs. All except Atkins released within 24 hours. Atkins shipped north to face parole violation charges.
[Chaos, Tom O'Neill, pg274]
Five witnesses to the attempted murder other than Manson and Crowe, but somehow the police couldn't figure it out.
According to witness Dinwiddie, Hinman and Manson were feuding, but apparently the cops didn't hear about it.
Stolen car of murder victim found at the ranch, but cops couldn't put the clues together.
Stolen credit cards fall from Charlie's pocket while being dragged out, but that's not enough for the cops.
Outlaw Shacks Pot bust
Stephanie Schram and Charlie arrested for possession of marijuana at Spahn. The minor with no criminal record is charged, the ex-con on parole and probation skates.
Filippo Tenerelli, 23, allegedly shot himself in the face with a shotgun
Most probably a murder; victim tied to Mansonoids. Judged a suicide, no need to investigate further.
14) 10-12-69 Barker Ranch Raid
Even the Barker raids which put Manson behind bars for the final time may have been an accident.
An interview with retired CHP officer Jim Pursell indicates it wasn't supposed to happen:
On the Track of the Death Valley Hippie Gang, Jim Pursell’s Harrowing Arrest of Charles Manson- Aug 6, 2018
At that time, the county sheriff had little law enforcement experience. .. He would not allow his people to become involved in this. ...
Sheriff of Shoshone, Don Ward, just about lost his job. In the middle of all this, Brooks Poston and Paul Crockett decided things were getting pretty hot for them. There’s a talc mine about halfway between Barker Ranch and Death Valley. They hiked out there and got a ride into Shoshone. Don Ward interviewed them on a wire recorder, that’s before tape recorders came out. He then drove to Independence, so the sheriff there could hear what these witnesses were telling us about the strangeness going on out there. Don told me the sheriff listened for about a minute, jumped up, grabbed the reels off the machine, and threw them across the room. He ordered Don back to his resident post, and that he was not to be involved in this at all. ....
I think it was a total of twenty-eight of them that we dumped off at the Independence sheriff’s jail, and he just went bonkers. ...
When the higher-ups heard about the Bishop area sending officers out into the boondocks to chase hippies, our (CHP)chief got called to Sacramento and got(his butt) chewed on like it never been chewed in his career. So, he asked Dave, ‘What the hell’s going on with this thing?’ ...
Although Manson was repeatedly arrested, Smith never revoked his parole. In mid-1968, after one arrest made the newspapers, Smith’s supervisor tried to step in—but was overruled by the head office in Washington, DC.
It is thus quite obvious that America's most notorious mass murderer was being 'protected' by higher ups. *Thread submitted by Starviego.
Mike Stax is editor and publisher of Ugly Magazine, which he started in 1983, Orange County, CA... he had learned of Craig Smith, started researching him, then a long quest on finding him.
From Ugly Magazine:
"Craig Smith was a 1960s golden boy – good looking, charismatic,
outgoing; a preternaturally gifted musician and songwriter whose songs
were recorded by some of the biggest names in entertainment – Andy
Williams, Glen Campbell, the Monkees. Starting out his career on the
Andy Williams Show as a member of the Good Time Singers, Smith next
teamed up with Chris Ducey in the duo Chris & Craig, then the Penny
Arkade, a talented group mentored and produced by Mike Nesmith of the
Monkees. Smith’s future success seemed assured, until an unexpected turn
of events plunged him into a terrifying darkness. Clean-cut Craig Smith
became Maitreya Kali, the self-proclaimed psychedelic Messiah. He laid
out his poignant, disturbing schizophrenic vision on a sprawling
self-released double-album before disappearing completely. Author Mike
Stax spent fifteen years piecing together the mystery of Maitreya Kali,
uncovering one of the strangest and most tragic untold stories of the
1960s and ‘70s".
Andy Williams and the Good Time Singers with Craig Smith
On the brink of
stardom, with help from Michael Nesmith, Mike Love and Glen Campbell,
Craig Smith took a different, far darker path, taking the name Maitreya
Kali and ending up on the streets of LA. Now, with help from Mike Stax,
editor and publisher of Ugly Things, his music will survive
When Mike Stax first heard about Craig Smith, he thought the
talented, but forgotten musician’s story would make a good piece for Ugly Things,
the acclaimed magazine dedicated to “wild sounds from past dimensions”
that he founded 35 years ago. However, what began a magazine story in
the fall of 2013 ended three years later with the publication of his
book, Swim Through the Darkness:My Search for Craig Smith and the Mystery of Maitreya Kali, one of the more harrowing of rock ‘n’ roll cautionary tales.
Craig Smith had it
all: movie star looks, beautiful singing voice, perfect Pepsodent smile,
great songwriting, guitar and people skills. He began his career in
1963 with the squeaky-clean Good Time Singers, the contingent that
backed Andy Williams on his popular TV show and toured separately as a
folk group, ala the New Christy Minstrels. Smith was the squeaky
cleanest of the bunch. (He also wrote songs for Williams, Glen Campbell
and The Monkees, and the residuals from those sustained him for years).
Talent scouts, and smitten girls, followed him everywhere, eventually
opening the door to his own TV show, called The Happeners, a proto-reality show about three folk singers in Greenwich Village that was earmarked for prime time in 1966.
The Happeners TV pilot was shot in late 1965 starring Craig Smith, Chris Ducey and Susannah Jordan. While there's still no way to view it online, musical director Bob Bowers recently posted the entire audio track (in nine parts) and it's well worth a listen. Below are links to 3 of the videos, but all 9 are there. Check it out:
After Penny Arkade
failed to land a record contract—even after recording an album’s worth
of original music—Smith began to drift. Though he hung out on Sunset
Strip and befriended a who’s who of LA’s music scene (Neil Young, Richie
Furay, Mike Love, Frank Zappa, etc.), he also turned to hallucinogenic
drugs, meditation and a smattering of Eastern religion, voraciously
reading books on mysticism and diving headlong into TM, at Mike Love’s
prodding. It was as though he was in a struggle to find equilibrium as
his mind began to unravel. He began telling friends that God had
appeared to him in the clouds above the Mojave Desert and he knew his
“mission” was now one of self-discovery more than writing pop songs.
All the while, though, he also continued to play with Penny Arkade.
He took off for Europe in May 1968. Filled with renewed spiritual
confidence, he called the Beatles’ office in London. “The Beatles and I
could not meet at this point in time,” he grandiosely wrote in his
travelogue. “Mainly because they were searching for my Truth and the
ultimate piece of the puzzle I hadn’t encountered yet.”
By October, he was in Turkey, taking LSD on a daily basis while
heading toward India by way of Afghanistan. In Kandahar, later the
breeding ground of the Taliban, he was beaten, raped and robbed by a
gang of men who stole his passport, travelers’ checks and the cherished
Martin guitar he’d bought from Hoyt Axton years earlier. He ended up in
an Afghan mental asylum. Through the American embassy, he was able to
get out and eventually get back home. As Stax has written, “the trauma
of that experience appears to have triggered acute schizophrenia.”
He returned to Los Angeles a changed person, worse for wear. He told
former friends that he was no longer Craig Smith, that he’d ascended to a
higher consciousness and henceforth was to be known as “Maitreya”—the
next Buddha, the new Messiah. He was able, somehow, to resurrect his
music career, even as his intake of LSD and pot fueled his messianic
delusions. After the Manson Family murders in August 1969, though,
anyone affiliated with the entertainment industry who was walking around
L.A. claiming to be a messiah was given wide berth. According to Stax,
Smith had met Charles Manson the year before at Dennis Wilson’s house
and noticed how the charismatic hanger-on—Manson was then in search of
an album deal—used fear and intimidation to keep his followers in line.
Ultimately, Craig Smith had his name legally changed to Maitreya,
shaved his head, and wore the robes of a Buddhist monk. The final sign
of his leap into oblivion was that he had a spider tattoo drawn on his
forehead, the spot of his “glowing Third Eye.” “Like Manson and his
followers, who’d carved an X in the same spot,” noted Stax, “he appeared
to be X-ing himself out of society completely.”
Somehow, through this
gathering haze, Craig was able to self-finance and self-produce two
albums under the name Satya Sai Maitreya Kali, Apache and Inca.
On the cover of the albums, which he sold on the street, he included
handwritten liner notes that read, among other things, “Craig Smith
saved the planet, did you? He died for a righteous cause…Bow to
Maitreya…Christ is me and no one else.”
Over the next few years, he spent time in prison, mental institutions
but mostly homeless on the streets of Studio City and North Hollywood.
To research and unravel this mystery, Stax pursued every lead, most
of which led to dead ends. Though he lives in San Diego, Stax made
periodic trips up the coast to LA in hopes of tracking Smith down. He
was never able to make face to face contact with Smith, though some of
his friends did.
Both Apache and Inca became instant collectibles. Even while Craig Smith was alive and living on the streets of Los Angeles, copies of the Apache/Inca
double album were fetching upwards of $10,000 on eBay—unbeknownst to
the one person on the planet who desperately needed the cash.
This sort of news only made Smith’s fate seem that much more tragic to Stax. As he wrote in Swim Through the Darkness:
“It was music that started me on this long, strange journey to find
Craig Smith. That search plunged me into an ocean of darkness and
mystery that at times seemed impenetrable. The music was my compass as I
swam deeper into the past. It helped me keep my bearings. It gave Craig
a voice. It gave him shape and substance. It made him real to me. It
gave my search meaning.”
Finally, through a friend in Los Angeles, Stax learned that Craig
Smith had been found dead in a North Hollywood park in March 2012—only a
few blocks from where he grew up—and that his remains had lain
unclaimed at the L.A. County coroner’s office for six months.
If this story can be said to have a happy ending, Stax’s wishes to
bring more attention to Smith’s music have now come true. After his
acclaimed book was published in 2016, Stax was contacted by Gary Smith,
Craig’s older brother. He told Stax that his brother had entrusted him
with his possessions before wandering off into oblivion. For more than
four decades, Gary held on to these treasures, among which were some
tapes of unreleased music. Most of the music was recorded between stays
in the psychiatric ward. These songs were, Stax notes, “written, sung
and played by a man who, by all accounts, had lost his mind.” Maybe so,
but he retained enough grasp on some deep, immutable truths of human
existence and, somehow—perhaps even miraculously—got them down on tape.
Stax, with Gary Smith’s help, put together a superb album’s worth of Craig Smith’s unreleased songs, Love Is Our Existence,
which has just been released. It is the sort of album that makes one
wonder where Smith could have taken his talents had he not been
sidetracked by drugs and mental illness.
Most of the songs
were recorded in the years 1969-71, after Craig Smith returned from his
traumatic Asian sojourn. Some of the songs had been written years
before, including “Country Girl,” which Glen Campbell covered on his Try A Little Kindness album after hearing the demo (included here).
The songs that he wrote at this time, though, are what stick out on Love Is Our Existence,
particularly the psychedelicized “Rainbow Colors” and the harrowing
“Jupiter’s Queen.” Most reveal, upon repeated listenings, the darkness
into which he was slipping. The finger-picked guitar playing is superb,
the singing is rich and the songs stand the test of time. Love Is Our Existence seems almost a miracle, given the circumstances under which they were created.
According to the book "Swimming Through The Darkness", Craig palled around with Charlie, both at the Topanga Corral Night Club/Bar, Dennis Wilson's house, and Spahn Ranch. He was good friends with Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson and Frank Zappa, Neal Young, and Bobby Jameson, just to name a few. Craig's name for the Beach Boys was "Man Sons".....
In the late 60's Craig got involved with LSD, Marijuana, etc...that's where he got involved with Charlie and Company....
When Craig was with the Penny Arkade, Chris Ducey was his partner...
Chris Ducey was supposed to make/release an album titled "Songs of Protests and Anti-Protest, but as he had contracted to ABC, he could not work on the album....the record company hired Bobby Jameson to write and record the entire record.... Bobby Jameson was once a suspect in the Tate Murder but eventually cleared...he has a blog in which he addresses his connections to this and to the Diane Linkletter death....
Soon after, Craig got his passport and wanted to "do" the "Hippie Trail" in Afghanistan, something dreadful happened there, he came back to the US, schizophrenic, and became Maitreya Kali, the next Messiah.
He returned to Los Angeles in the early 1970's.....I'll end it here, no spoilers....buy the book, it's worth it....