Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"Shorty" now in Production.
Backporch Tapes has a movie in production,
about "Shorty" Shea, for "The Science Channel"
How cool is that?!!


LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Best of Luck Michael!

Can't wait to see the film!
Here's hoping you become rich and famous! : )

MrPoirot said...

I think somebody, somewhere knows the final resting place of Shorty's pair of Colt 45 cowboy six shooters. All I have read that was recovered was the case they fit in which was found in Death Valley.

katie8753 said...

What a tribute to Shorty! And right before Bruce's parole hearing! HA HA.

Keep movin', movin', movin',
Though they're disapprovin',
Keep them doggies movin' Rawhide!
Don't try to understand 'em,
Just rope, tie and brand 'em,
Soon we'll be living high and wide.

Move 'em on, head 'em up,
Head 'em up, move 'em out,
Move 'em on, head 'em out....Raw-hide!

Anonymous said...

so cool for Michael....congrats to PBT....hello to all....LYNYRD.....KIMchi....mucho love and let the old man outta the hole!!!!!

johnnyseattle said...

What a wonderful idea.

Anonymous said...

BPT* lol

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...


You ROCK!!!
Great to see ya!!!!

MrPoirot said...

If Shorty's Colts ever were returned to his widow it would make a nice tidbit for the documentary. Maybe she;d reveal why the guncase was insctibed "Rev Donald Shea"?

Anonymous said...

Good to see you too Lynyrd!!! Dream scenario for this little flick would be and interview with good ol' CLEM!!!!!!! Spill the beans you little strummin dude!!!!

sunset77 said...

There are many unanswered questions surrounding Shea's murder to this day.

Not the least of which, for me personally, is that the autopsy report on the set of remains Grogan led the police to, indicate the victim was between 5'9" and 5'11" tall. Several websites state Donald Jerome Shea was 6'5" tall. That's a pretty big difference and a gigantic red flag considering the incompetence of the police in this case.

Of course it's possible someone at the autopsy simply read the tape measure wrong because they were on dope. On the other hand, that would have been a Manson family "slippie" at it's finest if Grogan led them to a set of remains that wasn't Shea and got out of prison because of it.

Apparently, Shea was in the Air Force, I haven't been able to determine his height from his service records, at least not yet.

There are many discrepancies between the various stories from Hoyt, Grogan, Davis. How many cars were involved? Who was in each car? Who was there? What time of day the murder took place? These questions should have been answered many years ago.

MrPoirot said...

The killing of Shorty may be the only murder that Manson actually participated in as far as inflicting wounds. Grogan said Manson may have stabbed Shorty in the arm.

Grogan states Shorty was killed by day and buried by night. Hoyt swaers till this day that Shorty was killed around ten at night. No one else ever mentions hearing the screams that she heard so clearly.

When I watch Manson73 I am always stunned to see Grogan and Davis still living at Spahns.

Why also were they stupid enough to take the engraved guncase, with Shorty's name on it with them, to Death Valley.

Bill Nelson actually heard Gypsy admit she has never discussed Shorty's death even with her husband.(Gypsy drove Shorty's car and left it in a parking lot after his murder)

Decarlo redeemed Shorty's Colt revolvers from the pawn shop yet got immunity. I believe this was why Decarlo never picked up his share of the $25,000 reward money.

katie8753 said...

According to Grogan at one of his parole hearings, he described it like this:

Tex told Shorty he needed to go to town to get some parts for a dune buggy. We got in the car, Shorty was driving, Tex was in the front seat, I was in the back behind Shorty. Tex had told me that when he gave the signal, I was to hit Shorty on the head with a lead pipe (tire iron, crow bar?). Tex made some excuse for us to pull over and he signalled me to hit him on the head. I hit him on the head and he slumped over on the passenger's side of the car, not out but stunned. The car starting going forward so I had to lean into the front seat to put the car in park.

Then Tex pulled Shorty out of the car and told me to start stabbing him. Then Charlie and Bruce showed up (I can't remember if they drove up or walked up) and started stabbing him too.

Charlie was directing the stabs, but he was stabbing too.

I don't know if this happened in the morning or at night. I would think it happened in the morning, because I don't think there would have been a parts store open at night.

The stab wounds in Shorty's head indicate blunt trauma to the skull. It would explain the inexplicable screams that Barbara testifies to. You can stab someone in the skull and it won't be fatal, but it's really gonna hurt!!

Anyway, I read this transcript from Grogan's parole hearing, but now of course, it's gone. Does anyone know where it went? Does anyone have a link?

Sunset, I know exactly what you're talking about. Shorty was taller than 5'9". But when you measure bones that have been buried for years, is the height accurate?

katie8753 said...

Sunset if you look at the autopsy report, the stab wounds are indicative of the attack on Shorty.

His skull was desecrated by the blunt force trauma which was probably inflicted by knife wounds.


I have no idea if the body that was recovered because of Grogan's admissions was indeed Shorty's, but I have a pretty good idea it probably was, in my opinion. The desecration of the body was pretty much descriptive of Grogan's account in his parole hearing.

Of course, they're all liars, so who knows?? It could have been some hapless salesman who wondered onto the ranch. LOL

Kimchi said...


Good to see you!

Go get'm Michael...

Kimchi said...

Katie said:

"Anyway, I read this transcript from Grogan's parole hearing, but now of course, it's gone. Does anyone know where it went? Does anyone have a link?"

I got it if Lynyrd wants to post it... not the link, but a copy of the document

katie8753 said...

Kimchi!!! You rule!!!! Please send it to Lynyrd!!! That would be fan-tab-ulous. LOL.

I think it all but disappeared on the web.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Hi Kimchi!

Kimchi said...

You got it Katie -

LS - check your email

katie8753 said...

Thanks Kimchi.


Just kidding.

Won't say "night". Have a great evening! LOL

You don't know how much this means to me!!! :)

sunset77 said...

It seems to me that the transcript of Grogan's parole hearing was on the Col's blog, that's where I read it, I just looked and it's still up. I don't know if it's OK to post links to other blogs here.

To the best of my knowledge, "Tex" Watson has never even mentioned the name "Shorty" Shea in either books or interviews. While I don't like to speculate ever in this case, my "hunch" is that if Watson was present at Shea's murder, he's probably the one that killed him. He demonstrated clearly in the weeks prior his proficiency with weapons that inflict "multiple stab and chop wounds". It's possible this is one reason Watson doesn't want the "Boyd" tapes released.

Ruby Pearl said that Shea told her he feared for his life. She said she seen, I think, Watson, Manson, Davis and Grogan force him into a car at around 11 p.m. one night around the time he was murdered. She never seen him alive again.

I have little doubt Manson told the people involved to lie about what happened, I think Grogan even said this at a parole hearing. That's probably why Watkins went around telling people Shea was cut into 9 pieces, his head rolled down the hill etc. Manson told several people Shea went to San Francisco when he disappeared.

katie8753 said...

Sunset, I'm going to bed. There are lots of things to disagree about, but I won't do that yet.

Have a nice evening!!!

MrPoirot said...

Sunset there are multiple parole hearings with other stories about how it went down. Grogan says in one hearing that Tex got out of the car and pretended to go get sme car parts in the brush at the turnout. Grogan then gave Grogan the go ahead to hit Shorty who then screamed as he was clobbered as he exited out the passenger door. Grogan then says Charlie appeared and may have stabbed Shorty in the arm. Grogan Says tex was stabbing Shorty as Clenm had to climb over the sear and throw the car in park as it rolled into a ditch. In this story it was Tex, and Grogan who were riding with Shorty who was the one who needed to go to a parts store.
Watkins was not the only one who said Shorty was cut nine ways. Hoyt was rold by Gypsy the morning after the murders thar Shorty had gone to San Fran. Watkins did not even know of Shorty's death for quite a while as he was at Barkers living with Crockett and Poston.

There must be ten different stories on how Shorty was killed. I trulty wonder which is true. It's very, very confusing as to what really happened but I think Charlie origonated the story of chopping up Shorty long before Watkins repeated it.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Thanks Kimchi!

I'll get that Shea document posted later today...

I'm really busy right now.


katie8753 said...

Does anyone know if they used dental records to identify Shea?

Or did they even go to any trouble to try to identify him and just take Grogan's word for it.

Matt said...

Good to see that cable TV is actually looking to people who actually know about the subject at hand. I too look forward to this.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...



: )

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Matt's visit (from Eviliz.com) got me to pondering...

Isn't it about time Saint C resurfaced?

I mean... here we are, almost september... and no Saint C.
Let's face it folks... the TLB world is just more fun with Saint around.

Saint... where the heck are ya bro?!
The blog world could use a half dozen (or so) of your long, "loaded", rambling posts! LOL

Hope to see you soon!
(Like that song, "See you in September"! LOL)

leary7 said...

Hey Lynyrd, tell the Saint I really am Jim, that will rise him from the dead. Kidding.

So this is a documentary about Shorty's demise, right? It is for a reality show on the Science Channel called the Museum of Death.
I take it they'll be using allot of Michael's footage and voice over.
I've long been a fan of Backporch Tapes and obviously wish Michael the best. But to be honest, unless they are able to score big time with something like an interview with Grogan or Vance or such...if it is just a retelling of known facts, I just don't see a wide audience for it.
I was excited when I first saw the thread because I thought they were going to do a drama surrounding Shorty's death. There is obviously more artistic leeway with that approach.
But what the hell am I whining about, I'll certainly watch it.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Hi Leary.

I'm not privy to the actual content of the program... so, I can't elaborate.
I don't have specifics.

I think that's what Michael and the producers are currently working on, and ironing-out.
They're making decisions regarding the content (and direction) of the film.

I'm sure Michael is throwing tons of stuff and ideas, at them.

It IS breakthrough... as I don't believe much has ever been publicly (or widely) aired, as far as Shorty's life specifically.
If so... I've never seen it.
This will be specific to Shorty.

I mean...
Shorty's death is well-discussed... but I believe the goal of Michael's film, is to equally delve into Shorty's life (as much as his death).

I'm excited!

Interestingly enough...
"Shorty" was was born in Massachusetts on September 18, 1933.

katie8753 said...

Michael says they're going to use a pipe he found 25 years ago.

I love the music they've added. Perfect!

katie8753 said...

Off topic, it looks like Prince Harry dropped his knickers:


MrPoirot said...

I thought what happens in Las Vegas stays there?

katie8753 said...

I guess it depends on who you are. LOL.

leary7 said...

yeah, Lynyrd, I knew that Shorty was a homeboy.
If they are making a documentary or a docudrama then they would take on the subject straight on - just the facts as they say.
But if they were looking to do a period piece or something with a slant I would do it through the eyes of the supposed/alleged informant that the cops had sent up to Spahn.
Can't you just see a scene of the informant standing behind some shutters looking out at the main street of Spahn and seeing Charlie, Tex, Clem and Bruce talking Shorty into the car. The guy would be muttering to himself...
"Don't get in that car, man, what are you doing, they're gonna kill you, what the fuck are ya doing...aw, shit."
Maybe the arc of the story would be Shorty and this undercover guy kibbitzing and becoming friends as they shared their concerns about Manson.
The irony of the story of course being that Shorty got killed "for being a snitch" and this undercover guy walked away clean and disappeared from the story.
Just a thought.

MrPoirot said...

the killers were hitching a ride with Shorty.

katie8753 said...

Mr. P., were they in the old Ford? I don't remember.

MrPoirot said...

Dunno Katie.
I've tried to find the parole hearing transcript where Grogan said they rode with Shorty but cant remember where I read it and I read it this week.

Kimchi said...

Katie, they asked Shorty for a ride to pick up some auto parts...Shorty was driving his own car.

The car that Gypsy ditched later..

Michael believes Frank Retz was the snitch, not Shorty...I agree with him...

katie8753 said...

Oh Kimchi, that's right. I remember that Gypsy ditched his car. Thanks.

Mr. P., Kimchi sent the parole hearing to Lynyrd. He's going to try to get that up tonight or as soon as he can.

MrPoirot said...

Retz was NOT the "informant" described in writing in the police report that enabled the warrant to be written for the raid. The police "informant" was described as living at the ranch for 10 days in July 69. Retz did not live there at all in 69.
I think the police report is over at CIELODRIVE.COM in a pdf in entirity.

Kimchi said...

Mr. P... I know what the police report says...I have that too...and I believe it's on this site because I sent it to Lynyrd when he first opened this blog..

You think everything on that is the God's truth? Most of it is accurate according to what they saw...but cops do f*** up...the warrant was dated wrong for one thing...

Shorty lived on that ranch a hell of a lot longer than 10 days...

MrPoirot said...


Oops! Sorry, it was over at the MansonCaseFiles

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

I hope this sheds some light...

It's a previous thread on Retz.

The thread itself has pertinent information, and my posts within the thread (in the comments section) should help, as well.

I too, believe Retz was more likely the ongoing informant.


Read the main thread and my posts within... and then read between the lines for yourself.

Peace Folks!

Kimchi said...

Thanks Lynyrd!

katie8753 said...

Mr. P., I will say that Kimchi is undoubtedly one of the most informative people on this subject that I've ever read.

That having been said, I feel sure that Shorty was NOT the informant. In fact, I don't think Charlie even thought that.

I think he disliked Shorty because Shorty didn't like the family. He was disgusted by the whole bunch. He was wise to them.

I don't know if Shorty knew about the murders...I think he probably didn't...but he might have been adding it up.

Charlie didn't like him because Shorty was talking to that company that wanted to buy the ranch, and Shorty was trying to be rid of the family.

People love to place tags on this stuff, blaming it on the victims and others, but the bottom line is that Charlie was always in charge, he did what he wanted, and he killed anyone he wanted, with the aid of his brainwashed fledglings.

MrPoirot said...

For years I too thought Retz was the "informant" due to Squeaky being present when Spahn, Retz and Shorty were talking about evicting the hippie scum.

But Gearge Spahn was questioned about this meeting. George himself said that Squeaky was not present at this crucial meeting. George said,"at least, I did not detect her presence in the house at that time".

Do I think Retz ever complained to the cops about the hippies? Yes I do. I know he did as well as everybody else who lived within 2 miles of that ranch.

But it was Shorty who was THE INFORMANT mentioned in that pdf I just posted. Retz never had spent the night anywhere near the ranch much less "ten days in July".

It was that report in pdf I posted that got Shorty murdered. Manson read that police report in Aug 69. That police report was really Shorty's death warrant. That's what it was and still is and always will be.

If that warrant had been served on the day it was valid I have no doubt Shorty wouls be alive even today.

katie8753 said...

Mr. P., that link you provided is all "hootered up". I can't read it. Can you provide a cleaner copy?

Otherwise, have a nice evening everyone....Hablamos Manana. LOL.

MrPoirot said...

Katie you sound like Obama.

revatron said...

I do not believe Shorty was the informant. Police informants are typically people who are constantly having run-ins with the police. They trade information to get out of trouble. I lean toward thinking it was a gangster, a motorcycle gangster. The Satan's Slaves wanted Danny back, and one of their members could have spent as little as 10 days their during the month of July.

Kimchi said...

Revatron -

That's an interesting theory...

And who was that Kevin guy?

sunset77 said...

I've read that some people thought that "Kevin" was an informant. Kevin can be seen in one famous family pic as well as riding in the back of Hendrickson's pick up truck on the way to court for Manson's trial in one of Hendrickson's documentaries. This would have almost had to have been in 1970 as this is when the trial took place. The Spahn Ranch informant was apparently there for "10 full days" around July 1, 1969. I don't think it's likely Kevin would have been around the family that long, but I guess it's possible.

Also, Bruce Davis can be seen in a YouTube vid talking about the murder of Shea here during a parole hearing. Davis begins talking about Shea at the 4 minute mark. Davis says to the best of his knowledge, "Bill Vance" wasn't there. Davis said that Manson came along later "in another car".

I have no idea who is telling the truth and who is lying in this case. I can only look at the various stories, see where they match, and see where they differ. Then compare them with the pix and police reports. After that, it's speculation.

katie8753 said...

Bruce Davis says he was in the back seat of the car on the right hand side along with Grogan who was on the left side back seat, Shorty was driving and Tex in the front.

Grogan says the only one in the backseat was him on the left hand side, with Shorty driving and Tex on the front passenger seat.

That's a pretty big discrepancy. One of these guys is lying.

sunset77 said...

It's certainly possible that one of them (or both of them) are lying. It's also possible that one or both of them simply don't remember exactly how it happened. I can't remember who was sitting in a particular seat in a car when I was 20 years old either.

However, if at least part of what Davis says it true, here's what I think happened.

Both Grogan and Davis seem to agree that Grogan hit Shea with a wrench. I'm guessing before the car came to a complete stop. If Grogan was "shifing gears and trying to find the brakes" to keep the car from rolling into the weeds, and Davis was waiting in the backseat "for a few minutes", that only leaves one other person. Grogan doesn't describe what Watson does to Shea, Davis doesn't describe what Watson does to Shea, Watson doesn't describe what he does to Shea, I'm guessing there is a reason for that.

My "hunch" is that as that car rolled to a stop, with Shea either unconscious or semi-conscious, Watson dragged him out the passenger side and proceeded to do the same thing he did to Sebring, Frykowski, and others in the weeks previous.

Manson shows up a bit later, hands Davis a bayonet and basically tells him to "do something". The same thing Watson told Van Houten weeks previous. Manson wanted as many people as he could to "share the blame" for the murders. Probably for 2 reasons, to prevent people from "snitching", and to have other people to blame if they were caught so no one person had to take all the blame.

beauders said...

i don't know about the rest of you but if i was in a car and someone was murdered i'd surely remember who was in the car, even twenty years later.