Friday, July 12, 2013
Some Brief Thoughts About Motive, Helter Skelter, Bugliosi and RFK
"Money is motive. In fact, statistically it is the main motive in most crimes."
And, "Motive is tricky and you can't ascribe a motive and then try to make it fit the crime."
So what does Mr. DeMille's prose mean to us TLB motive seekers? The first is fairly straight forward, and even Tex Watson has said that part of what they were to do at Tate was to get as much money as they could, even moving on to the other houses down the street.
So where does that leave LaBianca? I wonder.
To me in this case drugs and money are probably the same. Sure, they wanted some drugs to have to take for fun, but drugs can be proffered to buy favors or influence, and also can be sold for good cold cash.
"Helter Skelter" as Charlie's concept - no matter what anyone tells you - played a role in these nights of murder, even if it was used solely to motivate Tex and the girls to perform. Manson himself admits it was the name of the nightclub at Spahn's and was painted on the door there at the ranch. Hell, it was written in one of the victim's blood on their own refrigerator at the crime scene. And if the LAPD had only released that little bit of information, Charlie himself would have been in custody by August 12th. That's how closely Charlie had tied himself to Helter Skelter.
There are some who believe that Bugliosi is evil in part because he used the Helter Skelter theory to convict Charlie and the others when it is ludicrous to believe that could be the real motive. Oh, and then he wrote a book about it and has remained rich and famous ever since.
Whatever. I've said it before, and I will say it again now:
If Bugliosi could have proven any other motive, then he would have. As a juror, which is easier to believe: race war armageddon bottomless pit 144,000, or drug burn give me money or I will waste you bitch?
Bugliosi got the job done and served the citizens of Los Angeles well.
As for Bobby Kennedy, there has been some discussion of late, and so I am ready to call Urban Legend on the notion that Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate had dinner with RFK the evening of his assassination. Anytime this is mentioned I think most people get the idea in their head of a nice intimate dinner on the sofas in Bobby's hotel suite, when in fact it, would have been with many many other people, probably just a handshake and photo and that's about it. Anyway, while researching I came across Ed Sanders, that fug and of all people, and his research:
Apparently John Frankenheimer had planned an early dinner and invited some guests over. According to Robert Blair Kaiser’s book RFK Must Die the guest list included director Roman Polanski whose movie Rosemary’s Baby was selling a lot of tickets and his wife Sharon Tate. Other guests were future head of Disney Pictures Frank Wells and his wife Luanne, plus actress Anjanette Comer, nightclub owner Brian Morris, set designer Richard Sylbert, and a woman named Sarah Hudson maybe a pseudonym for someone who later married Sylbert.
(I e-mailed Mr. Kaiser a few years ago, and he replied that Frankenheimer himself told him about the guest list and the early meal at his Malibu house)
Perhaps Tate, Polanski and the others were invited for dinner but RFK had been too eager to get to the hotel so Frankenheimer quickly took him before, or just as, the guests arrived? Or, maybe they arrived, but Robert Kennedy had already departed for the Ambassador? Robert Kennedy, His Life, by Evan Thomas does not mention an early dinner in Malibu... Nor does RFK, a Candid Biography, by C. David Heymann.
(I recently wrote Roman Polanski in Paris seeking clarification but so far no reply)
So there's that.
And so back to motive:
I think I will stick to keeping the statistics on my side and agree with Mr. DeMille.
Can't go wrong as Woodward and Bernstein found out from Deep Throat: "Follow the money."