Sunday, October 12, 2014

Was Manson "Railroaded"?

Every so often, I get that question:
"Lynyrd... in your opinion... do you think Charles Manson was railroaded?"

Heck... there's even a small book circulating with that title ("The Railroading of Charles Manson")... which by the way, I've never read.

Here's my opinion on the subject:

At the start of the trial, Manson had a chance to walk-away with a lesser sentence.  In fact, there's an outside possibility, that Manson could have walked-away clean.

There wasn't a large amount of hard evidence against Manson.

Unfortunately, Manson couldn't swallow his pride, and ultimately, that self-pride led to his demise.  Pride was Manson's Achilles' heel.

Here's the rub:
Bugliosi's prosecution completely hinged upon proving that Manson was in-charge of these kids.... and Manson (being a jackass) demonstrated his control over these kids (to the jury and the world), both inside the courtroom and out... for the entire duration of the trial.

In a nutshell, Manson made Bugliosi's case for him.

If Manson had shaved his face, got a decent haircut, put on a suit, and most importantly... kept his mouth shut, and acted like a complete nobody... a follower... Bugliosi would have had an uphill battle.

Problem is... Manson couldn't do that.

Manson had too much pride to "dethrone" himself (as the leader of these nitwits), and play by the court's rules. He was smug.  And because of that, he played right into Bugliosi's hands.

The genius of Bugliosi, was predicting how Manson would play his cards (right from the beginning).

Bugliosi knew Charlie's personality, and with that knowledge, he fashioned an effective noose to string Manson up.

Bugliosi may have been an asshole (on a personal level), but he was a great lawyer.  You can't take that away from him.  Manson on the other hand, was quite simply... a jackass.

Manson was full of pride. He was smug.  As I said... that was his Achilles' heel.  And as a result... Manson earned himself NINE murder convictions, that he'll never outlive.

My opinion:
Charles Manson "railroaded" himself.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Jay Sebring

Happy Birthday, Jay!!!

October 10, 1933 - August 9, 1969
Jay would have turned 81 years old tomorrow.  He was a bright young man with so much promise. 

He loved his profession of developing new hair styling techniques, new hair styling products, driving fast cars, Sharon Tate, and life itself.

Thanks for all you tried to do for us Jay.  Rest in Peace!

County Officials Celebrate Reopening of Hall Of Justice in Downtown L.A.

Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.
County officials gathered today to mark the reopening of the long-shuttered downtown Hall of Justice.

District Attorney Jackie Lacey and county Supervisors Michael Antonovich, Don Knabe, Gloria Molina, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Zev Yaroslavsky joined Interim Sheriff John Scott to dedicate the new home of the Sheriff’s Department and District Attorney’s Office.

Built in 1925, the iconic beaux arts structure sits across the street from the criminal courthouse and on a diagonal from City Hall. The exterior granite of the 14-story building has been cleaned from gray to gleaming ivory and the marble grand lobby and multistory loggia have also been restored.

Jails cells that used to occupy the upper floors — and once housed serial killer Charles Manson — were removed in favor of offices. However, one of those jail cells, perhaps Manson’s, will be on display in a first floor visitors center.

“On January 26, 1925, the cornerstone was laid and the Hall of Justice was formally dedicated,” sheriff’s Capt. Britta Steinbrenner said. “Almost 90 years later we are back. But, this time, to celebrate the rededication of the Hall of Justice, which is a captivating building, and also to re-ignite the history the Hall of Justice holds.”

The building has a storied past. It was the site of the trial of Robert F. Kennedy’s killer, Sirhan Sirhan. It was also home to the county coroner’s office when Marilyn Monroe’s autopsy was conducted.

Closed in 1994 in the aftermath of the Northridge Earthquake, the Hall of Justice has been completely retrofit to meet seismic codes.

Move-ins are planned near the end of this year.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A letter from Bill Nelson to Bruce Davis

Dear Mr. Bruce M. Davis:

Today, I am busy packing up all of my library of the Manson murders, the case, parole hearings, interviews and research, contacts, etc. and shipping off two boxes to an anonymous purchaser of my vast resources collected over the past eleven years. I have taken down my web site. I have changed addresses and telephone numbers. In fact, I did not even give a forwarding number for my personal telephone. I am treating this like the people of God were told to do in the Old Testament, not leaving so much as a particle/leaven, or keep sake of the case. I am not even keeping one copy of my book Manson Behind The Scenes, nor the autographed books from other authors including Mr. Vincent Bugliosi and Greg King.

I was the one who introduced television cameras into your parole hearing. You know that for a fact. I was the one who said on television prior to a parole hearing that you should be the "primary suspect" in the unsolved Zodiac murders. I have read the 1973 interview by Lt. Earl Deemer, retired-now deceased regarding your knowledge of Doreen Gaul and her murder with James Sharp. You retorted at the time"I am not very impressed with your offer of immunity since I am serving a life sentence for two murders." Now that you believe you are near a parole date, I wonder if the authorities had enough insight and ability to haul you in for another interview, if you might sing a different song. You did know Doreen Gaul. You knew her intimately. She was in Scientology, had achieved the "Clear" status the night of her murder. November 21, 1969 should be a date that lives in the recesses of your mind as you close your eyes at night. There was a letter from the "Zodiac" found in her belongings after her murder. My personal opinion-not that you asked for it- is that you and Tex did the dirty deed together, then left for Las Vegas where four days later you both were bragging that you were going to raise some money to get Manson out of jail, or start killing some people. You did not count on a snitch calling the LAPD about that did you? That is how we know about it. You lived in the same Scientology house as she did. She had been threatened prior to her murder, hit in the head (September) like it was some kind of warning. Her father told me that she was asking to come home and he replied that he would send a round trip ticket. Doreen Gaul said to her father, "No, Dad, I want to come home for good. This Scientology is a bunch of crap." Witnesses heard her screaming in the alley - - - - "Oh no! Jimmy. Jimmy!" Just like the case with the murder of Shorty, in the back of the Spahn Ranch and not in the middle of the day driving down the Santa Suzanna Pass, Barbara Hoyt was not supposed to hear his screams…. but she did!

You have been to Riverside, California but you have refused to admit it. I only learned about it when I met your church going buddy from Morrow Bay, the talented Black former Kansas City Chiefs pro football player, "Bruce told me he had been to Riverside." Riverside is the scene of an unsolved murder of Cheri Jo Bates, 10-30-66, a young attractive future flight attendant, like Beth. Zodiac left a note after that murder too. The language matches that of Doreen Gaul. But, you knew that. Riverside PD has tried in vein to match DNA with their "favorite" local boy, but are now silent that there is obviously no match with Bill Bennett. The poor man has been drug through the mud for decades for her murder but he did not do that one either.

You admitted in the recent parole hearing that you went to Tahoe. Bruce, that is another unsolved scene from the Zodiac murders. Donna Laas.

The sister of Darlene Ferrin has identified you as the man seated in the white four-door sedan, in Vallejo, CA that July 4, 1969 night at Terry’s restaurant. Positive ID! I have it on videotape. You are fortunate that the SFPD is not interested. Putting her hand to her chest, she said, "I never thought I would see that man again!"

Remember Modesto, and the horror filled night ride for Kathleen Johns from Riverside? The wheel that came off, the offer to give a ride, and the silence for many minutes before she asked a question? Well Bruce, Kathleen gave a pretty interesting response, hyperventilated, and had to catch her breath when I showed her your photograph from the day you surrendered in Los Angeles, December, 1970.

The letter sent to the prison last year from Barbara Hoyt that was not read in the hearing room. That is tragic, because she would have exposed you as a liar if it had been read. All of the court evidence, trial testimony, and witnesses agree that the murder of Shorty Shea occurred down by the creek bed, towards Simi Valley, after 2200 and not in the day light driving down the pass. Bruce, that is where he was moved, buried, and found only after Clem gave authorities the location. That was right, Clem! The one not so bright. Stupid in fact, he gave up the body. Not you, Tex, or Susan with your Christian conversions and coming forth with the "Truth" - - -. Clem! And, Tex was never prosecuted for the murder of Shorty Shea. Neither you, nor Manson, nor Clem would give him up and that is what was needed to convict. Wanting to get out of prison, are you now ready to come clean and finger Charles Denton Tex Watson as a co-conspirator in the murder of Shorty Shea? Are you that brave of a Christian Bruce?

It was an insult the way your attorney Mr.Denny said that he tried to find the relatives of Shorty or Gary. He is an attorney, he can hire investigators, and he could have obtained the desired information that is if he were really interested! All he really had to do was go to the courthouse and obtain the death certificate. It is all right there, but fear not Bruce, both parents of Gary are now deceased and the wife of Shorty (remember she was Black) has not been seen for decades. That is the same thing I did when I wanted to look up Beth. It is all right there, on the marriage certificate, on the birth certificate, the address, births, marriages, dates, places…all right there. Did Beth tell you that I actually met her face to face one day many years ago? I was photographing her condo when she walked up carrying little Taylor -well actually she was quite large in the head- and we spoke. You see, Bruce, I had a camera in my hands, meant her no harm personally, unlike you Manson murderers who used knives and guns.

I do believe that you will be released. It may not be on the watch of Governor Gray Davis though. I have fought against that release and tried to connect you with unsolved murders for eleven years. I have information that Zodiac paraphernalia was found related to you following your arrest. Now I leave it in Gods’ hands. You once said that you just wanted the truth to come out. Well, Bruce, so do we. This case is not worth me dying over and I know that is what would happened should I have continued to investigate, uncover, and find people who were eye witnesses to crime victims, scenes, or conversations. 
Here is the letter from Barbara, telling the truth, unlike you and your attorney that the BPT and CMC buried stating it…."Would be a security problem" for it to be read. That was really silly.

So…I will no longer be looking over your shoulder, no longer doing research. But, should the news pick it up, I would love to hear that you came clean about those murders you really know about. I leave you with this last thought.

When told by a news person the day of your surrender
That you would be tried for two murders, you responded
"Is that all? They don’t know the half of it!"

Bill Nelson
P. O. Box 1585,
Costa Mesa, Ca 92628

Monday, September 29, 2014

Charles Manson: The Musical opens in Germany

Hamburg musical explores the life of cult leader and 'failed musician' Charles Manson

Jörg Pohl as Charles Manson in the Hamburg Thalia Theatre production of Charles Manson: Summer of Hate - The Musical
Jörg Pohl as Charles Manson in the Hamburg Thalia Theatre production of Charles Manson: Summer of Hate - The Musical Photo: EPA
At least the utterly tasteless musical play Springtime for Hitler, from Mel Brooks's 1968 film The Producers, was a satire. But stand aside Mel Brooks, because Charles Manson: The Musical, which explores the life of Manson "the failed musician", has just opened at the Thalia Theatre in Hamburg. The 79-year-old cult leader remains in jail for life after being found guilty of conspiracy to commit the murders of seven people, among them the actress Sharon Tate, wife of the director Roman Polanski.  

Charles Manson: Summer of Hate – The Musical is described as "a musical trip between LA and Death Valley", and has songs in English and dialogue in German. The show is directed by 39-year-old playwright Stefan Pucher – who graduated in American Studies at the University of Frankfurt – and is co-written by Pucher with Christopher Uhe and Susanne Meister. It also focuses on the followers of Manson, known as the Family. At its height, the Family numbered around 30 people: runaways, drug casualties and deluded idealists.

There have been albums of Manson's songs before and various musicians, including Guns N' Roses and Marilyn Manson (whose stage name was chosen with the cult leader in mind), have covered his songs. 

Alicia Aumueller, Maja Schoene and Franziska Hartmann in Charles Manson: Summer of Hate - The Musical (EPA)
As well as songs and monologues from Manson (who is played by Jörg Pohl), there are recordings of Manson talking, video recordings of his followers and photographs of his drug-fuelled exploits in the Sixties. The theatre says the play explores Manson "the failed musician", who courted musicians such as Neil Young and Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys.

The show is directed by Stefan Pucher (EPA) 
Manson seems to be in vogue again. Roxwell Films recently announced that they had bought the rights to Ed Sanders’ 1971 book The Family, which described Manson’s life leading to the notorious 1969 murders. The book will be adapted for cinema by Guinevere Turner, who co-wrote the film adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s novel American Psycho.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Leslie Van Houten's 1999 Parole Hearing

It's the first time that any family members were present to plead for no parole.  Angela Smaldino is present this time.  The video is dark until about 1:06.  Sorry about that.  Camera fluke.

But poor Leslie.  She's a victim.  She's afraid that Bill Nelson is making money off her parole hearings and she's not.  

Quotes Leslie: 
"I feel that this has gotten a little out of hand and I believe that there is really no reason for the camera to be important when it seems somehow gotten to sold for profit. And I believe that the internet has become a place where there's a  lot of exploiting violence.  And this man has a shopping list, and I’m part of that shopping list.  And if you allow the camera in here, then I'm partaking that, and I can’t do that."

WOW!  Pinch me!  Am I dreaming?  Or did a woman who chased down and stabbed a complete stranger 16 times in the back, stole her clothes, ate her food, petted her dogs and wiped down prints say she can't be a part of "exploiting violence"?  HA HA.

So she takes time in her parole hearing to throw a hissy fit.  Then the icy High School Princess walks.  Way to go Leslie.  You showed them who you really are!!!