Monday, October 14, 2019

Peter Writes...

I’m a big Ed Wood fan, and I know he was involved in a ton of low budget films, including some westerns.  I was wondering if Ed Wood ever was at Spahn during his career as a director. I think he directed films from the late 50s when he did Plan 9 From Outer Space and all that stuff, and into the mid to late 60s until he couldn’t get hired anymore and became more of a script writer.  I think it would be reasonable to think he was at Spahn at some point, although I doubt he ever crossed paths with the Family.  OTOH, Charlie knew A LOT of people, so it’s not inconceivable they met at some point.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Reeve Whitson

William writes:

In Tom O’Neill’s book Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties we learn about Reeve Whitson, a CIA agent disguised as a hippie. He was a close friend of Sebring, Tate and Polanski. He also knew Charles Manson. He had advance knowledge of the murders at the Tate house, because he had the house under surveillance. He was at the Tate house after the murders were committed but before the police arrived. Whitson was the one who coerced Hatami to cooperate with Bugliosi during the investigation. He threatened Hatami with deportation back to Iran if he did not cooperate. He not only helped Bugliosi, but he also gave much help to  Paul Tate during his private investigation of his daughter’s death.

O'Neill's information on Whitson provides strong support for the proposition that military and intelligence agencies were involved in the Tate LaBianca murders, bringing the CIA’s Phoenix program of assassination and torture of Vietnamese non-combatants home to America. The purpose behind the plot was to incite terror among white people and put the blame on black radicals.

Friday, August 9, 2019

"Leave Something Witchy"

Leave Something Witchy is a true crime graphic novel by writer/artist Randolph Gentile. 

Clocking in at 219 pages the graphic novel covers the formation of the Family through the murders and their eventual capture in late 1969. 

The book explores the backgrounds of the major players in the family from their youth to their joining the group at Spahn Ranch. It also tells the story of the Lottsapoppa affair, the Hinman murder, the death of Shorty Shea, and of course, the Tate/LaBianca slayings.

It explores the Helter Skelter scenario as well as evidence that the murders that took place a half a century ago were copycat killings designed to free Bobby Beausoleil from prison.

Gentile, a former Marvel Comics artist and designer, spent almost 7 years researching, writing and drawing the project, speaking to Manson biographers and people close to Manson before his death. 

He’s crowdfunding the project through Kickstarter offering the book both digitally and in paperback format.

Here is a preview of the book.

And the Kickstarter Link is here:

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Starviego writes...

James Dinwiddie, Friend to Gary Hinman, Suggests New Theory of Motive in his Murder

This man claims he knew Hinman back in the summer of '69, and this is what he says about the interactions between Hinman and the Family:
(from January 30, 2014)

"Gary informed me... This (Manson) gang had been extorting things – food, cars, money – from his isolated neighborhood in the name of “peace and love”. These freeloading “flower children” were especially interested in his VW minibus, and had somehow concluded that he “owed” it to them. That’s what the heated discussion was all about. ....

"Gary waged a campaign in the neighborhood to end the commune’s constant panhandling, going through garbage cans, expecting handouts and outright gifts of things like cars and clothes, and otherwise demanding that the community accept their “everything belongs to everyone” attitude. According to Gary, they were quite criminal in their behavior, and he was trying to get people to stop supporting them with extorted guilty gifts. ...

"Gary and his neighbor were discussing the ongoing problem of the commune at the Spahn ranch, and the neighbor let me know that Charlie’s “family” had threatened to burn Gary’s house down and destroy him as part of their apocalyptic fantasy."

So the motive was then revenge for Hinman's trash-talking of the Family. This sounds much better as a plausible motive than the 'bad drugs' or 'inheritance theory' that we hear of.

His account first appeared in a book he wrote-The Johari Mirror and Other Stories--copywrighted in 2006. Why has it taken so long for us to hear this version? The detectives would certainly have discovered this feud between Gary and the Mansonoids. Why cover it up? I suspect the reason is to hide an even more shocking fact: that Gary Hinman went to the sheriff's deputies with his concerns. Which means of course that Charlie would have been Suspect #1 after Hinman's body was discovered on July 31, 1969.

Police noticed Hinman's stolen red VW van at Spahns when they did their July 27, 1969 mini-raid.

Sanders' The Family, pg250
"When they called in the license number and it came back as belonging to Hinman, one of the officers said: "Hey, I know Hinman; he must be out here visiting."

Did this officer know Hinman because he helped handle the alleged original Hinman complaint?

Author Ed Sanders claims Hinman got an oblique death threat from Charlie just days before he was killed:

The Family, pg243
"About four days before Gary Hinman was murdered, (his friend)Eric ... visited Hinman's house at 964 Old Topanga Canyon Road. When he entered the small hillside house he found Gary Hinman on the phone, arguing with Manson. He says: "When I came into the house they were arguing. ....they were in a heated discussion... I talked to Gary afterwards to verify what Charlie said-- He said, you know, like it's your last chance, Gary. And Gary responded to that: "I'm sorry, Charlie, I'm not going to sell all my things and come and follow you.' Those were his exact words.
"And so Charlie said, in response to that, that he couldn't be responsible then for the karma that Gary was going to incur. He then reiterated that it was his last chance. And Gary said, 'I'll decide.... I'll take care of my own karma.' "

This new theory of motive also lines up with accounts that show that Charlie had already made up his mind to kill Hinman before there was talk of getting any money:

Danny DeCarlo:
"And that was the idea. Get everything he owned. ‘Cause they talked about him before, as being a Political Piggy. See, a political fuck up. “Gary’s fucked up in his head, he’s a pig, he’s gotta go. He’s just like society, part of society, so let’s get rid of him. First lets get his money.”

DeCarlo said that for several days before the death of Hinman he had overheard conversation between Beausoleil and Manson in which they referred to Hinman as a "political pig who should die."

The Family, by Ed Sanders
"On Thursday, July 24, Manson sent Ella Bailey aka Ella Sinder, over to Gary Hinman's house to get the money and then to kill him. Miss Sinder had been a close friend of Hinman. Although she was a long-time Manson follower, she was not willing to snuff anybody for him."

"Miss Bailey, directing your attention to this occasion when you were at the campsite in Devil's Canyon, in the latter part of July, 1969, during that conversation--during the one in which you suggested Gary Hinman's name as somebody who might come with the Family... ...was there any conversation or any statements made during that conversation at the campsite .. in which someone said.. that Gary Hinman was to be killed?"
(Ella Jo denied it, but clearly the investigators had received info that such a conversation had occurred.)

Child of Satan, Child of God by Atkins, Susan, with Slosser, Bob (1977). Plainfield, NJ: Logos International. pp. 94–120
... Manson directly told Beausoleil, Brunner, and her to go to Hinman's and get the supposed inheritance—$21,000. She(Sadie) said Manson had told her privately, two days earlier, that, if she wanted to "do something important", she could kill Hinman and get his money.

PAUL WATKINS, My Life With Charles Manson, Chapter Eight
"Bobby ... in the summer of 1969, when he came for the last time, his welcome was worn out. He told Charlie he’d do anything for the Family; that’s when Charlie told him: “Then you know what to do with Gary Hinman.” Hinman had been an acquaintance of Charlie’s, a musician who had apparently owed Charlie money and had refused to pay it back. Two weeks later, Gary Hinman was dead."