Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Martha Watkins (Paul's Wife) with "Spike"
Martha Writes:
"My best friend, Spike, is a big, short-haired mixed hound of some sort, and he has been at my side for almost 18 years. He is older than my oldest child. I got Spike shortly before the birth of my now-nearly-16-year-old daughter. He was already perhaps two years old. The woman at the animal shelter said I should not take him because he was 'vicious.' When I asked her how she knew that, she said the folks that brought him him spoke only Spanish and said, 'Combative, combative.' I looked at Spike (a name he had already been given at the pound). He looked at me. I could tell by his face, there was absolutely no way this huge, muscular 90-pounder was a mean dog. After a while, in the cage with him, I said, this is my dog. He was too big to fit in my jeep with all the groceries I had just bought, so I had to drive the 30 miles home, leave my groceries, and drive back to get him. Before I went back for him, I bought a leash.

"Spike was my constant companion from then on. I had a little rock shop and ran the local Museum just outside Death Valley National Park, where Spike became a fixture. Bus tours would stop, and the tour guides would always bring a treat for Spike, much to the delight of the tourists. Spike also had a route where he knew the townfolk would leave little treats for him, and he absolutely adored the waitress in the little cafe next store. She would often save a piece of left-over meat for him. Sometimes, I would become very busy at work with a grant deadline, so I would try to 'hide' the fact that I was there by parking my car behind the building. I enjoyed talking with people, but sometimes I just had to lock myself in the back office and work. Without fail, people would still come around the back and stop in. Finally, it dawned on me how they always knew I was there: Spike was out front giving me away!
"My second daughter was three weeks old when her father was diagnosed with cancer. He was 35. While he underwent treatment in Los Angeles, I took care of two tiny girls and tried to maintain our business. Every four days for nearly a year, I would pack up my girls and Spike and drive the 300 miles to Los Angeles to be with my husband. During this ordeal, I would sometimes find I needed to sit on the floor with Spike and just hang on his neck and cry. He was a strong dog, and could easily support me. My husband got better for a few years, and, at one point told me, 'You like that dog better than you do me!' He was jealous! I didn't say it, but I thought, 'Maybe so.'

"My daughters were three and four years old when my husband was diagnosed with leukemia, caused by the radiation he had been given for the first cancer. I could not believe that God would be so unbelievably cruel as to make us go through this twice. Thus began the long days while my husband underwent a bone marrow transplant. Again, for nearly a year, I drove from Death Valley to Los Angeles once a week -- two little girls, Spike and me. I would be so exhausted, sometimes I wouldn't use my head. Once, around 3:00 a.m., in a very bad part of Los Angeles, I pulled over to get something out of the back of the truck. The girls were asleep, and Spike was lying down in the truck bed. When I got out, I saw a group of Hispanic teenagers, all young men, approaching me. As they began to surround the truck, I realized I certainly had made a mistake and was gripped with fear. At that very moment, Spike sprung to life, barking furiously. The men backed away immediately, and I quickly jumped in the truck and took off. Thanks, buddy!
"My husband died just short of his fortieth birthday, leaving me to fend alone with two small children. Again, Spike was my consoler, protector and constant friend. I moved to a larger town, which is where Spike began having a problem with female dogs. They would actually come to my yard in a pack. Spike got into some pretty bad scrapes. One day, I went outside to find him lying on the patio, not moving. I said, 'Get up, buddy! You gonna sleep all day?' Spike slowly struggled to his feet. As he stood, I was horrified to see a huge pool of blood under him. He had been shot, and the bullet had ripped a huge hole in his side. I yelled for my then-boyfriend (later to become my husband), who picked up the mighty dog in one fell swoop. We rushed him to the vet. The bullet had gone in just under his spine from one side, barely missed all his vital organs, and exited the other side, leaving a huge hole. When he recovered from this ordeal, at the ripe old age of 12, I had Spike neutered. It worked, and his problem with female dogs was solved.

"Later on, we built a dog run for Spike. My new husband wanted to make the fence six feet tall, as Spike was a champion jumper. I said, 'He's too old; he can't jump anymore.' After much debate, the fence was built five feet tall. As I watched out the back, my husband went around front and hit the side of the truck, which was Spike's signal to go for a ride. I was amazed to watch my 'too old' dog clear the fence from a dead stand-still with no effort at all.

"Now I have another daughter, age seven, and I am teaching my oldest to drive. Spike still occasionally goes for a ride with us, but he has to be helped in and out of the car. He is 18 and failing fast. I am faced with one of my worst fears -- having to decide if it is time for him to die. I often pray the decision will not be mine. But, as he struggles to move, I know it will fall on me. While contemplating this recently, I began to weep quietly. Spike was sleeping in the bedroom; he has lost much of his hearing and it is hard for him to move. Much to my amazement, he came walking in from the other room and put his head in my lap. How does he know?" Contributed by Martha Watkins, Pahrump, NV, January 2000.
Sad update on Spike: "On January 20, 2000, I went out to call Spike in from the front yard, where he had been lying. I could see that he wanted to come to me, he just couldn't. My daughters and I carried him into the house, put him in his favorite spot (right by my desk where I frequently work) and covered him with a blanket. It was apparent the end was at hand. We all stayed with him, petting him. My two older girls were so compassionate, which, at ages 14 and 15, is not usual. My 7-year-old daughter simply wailed. Hearing her cries, Spike tried with all his might to get up to comfort her. I told the girls now was the time to say their good-byes and, one by one, they had a private moment with the dog who had been with them all their lives. Then I asked them to leave me with him a moment. I put my head on his mighty chest and told him it was okay to go. I said we would be fine, and I would see him when I came over. He took three breaths and he was gone. In the end, he had spared me my worst fear -- that of having to decide it was time for him to die. I had even made an appointment with the vet for the following morning. He didn't suffer and went peacefully and quickly. My husband came home to find us all weeping, and, when I told him Spike was gone, he began to weep also. Then he took a shovel and went out into the dark to dig the grave for our beautiful dog. I plan to plant a tree and some flowers near his grave in the spring. Our 4-year-old Rotweiller is listless and sad, wandering around as if to find Spike. Today I watched her go out and lay her head on his grave. After a few moments, she began doing something I cannot explain. She walked around picking up rocks and carried them to Spike's grave."

Update, April 12, 2000: "We did adopt a new dog -- a large Rottweiler and Golden Lab mix with a cropped tail. We call him 'Oberon.' He was at the pound and was terrified..... just cowered in the corner of the cage. It has been wonderful to see his personality unfold, as he is the subject of a great deal of affection now. We have all grown very fond of him. But there will never be another dog like Spike."
Article Submitted by Lynn!  Photos Submitted by Kimchi!
Thanks Ladies!  You ROCK!

For more information about Pet Adoption, please follow this link:


LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Parts of that story, are very sad.

fiona1933 said...

Used to have a dog of personality like this, he was also a champion jumper. He was just so full of life. A crazy scruffy black dog always pulling the leash to full stretch, going at every single thing full-tilt. I loved the way people would come walking along looking careworn and worried, and then they would see Scruffs and they couldn't help it, they'd start to shake their heads and laugh, you couldn't help but feel cheered up by this huge bundle of scruffy fur and energy. What fun this dog was and also what trouble he could get into. Marley and me is nothing in comparison. It is great that you had such a dog, these are good memories forever.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Hi Fiona!

Thanks for sharing your story with us.

Sounds like your dog was awesome! : )

Best Regards...

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Paul Watkins had a beautiful family.
It's too bad, he died so young.
I'm glad his daughter is doing well as a writer.

By most accounts, Paul was a smart and talented guy.
It seems, his daughter is pretty sharp too.

Paul sometimes takes flack on the boards... but, I have no hate for Paul.

I think he was a decent guy... who did what he thought, was right.
Perception is 9/10's of reality.
I think he related things, as he understood them.
I really enjoyed that interview Paul did (just before his death) on the dangers of peer pressure, group mentality and personal compulsion.

katie8753 said...

Hi Fiona. Thanks for sharing your memories about your pet. They can be just like family. :)

Thanks for the link Lynn! I'll read thru it when I get a chance. I don't know a whole lot about Paul, but I thought he was the "cute hippy". LOL.

MrPoirot said...

Paul's book is one of the better reads of all the Manson books.
Manson himself said Paul was a runaway who would just not go home even though he hsd one to go top. Paul had the good sense to leave Charlie in May of 69 and move to Barker Ranch with Crockett and Poston. Tex had stated in court that the drug usage at Spahn Ranch increased a lot after Paul left the scene in May and the murders in August. There is no doubt that Paul saw an evil escalation in Charlie's nightly sermons which was the reason Paul left Spahn's. Why some members left and others stayed is a mystery. It was the difference between prison and freedom.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Well... here we are... "Anniversary time".

The "TLB Anniversary", that is.

I have nothing planned "as such" (LOL) this year.

Whenever this time of year comes around, I always have one thought.

I always wonder if Manson, Leslie, Tex, Pat or any of the others... do a whole lot of thinking about what went down on those nights.
Do they still remember the anniversary of these murders?
And, if they do reflect... what exactly are they thinking?

That's the same thought I have, year after year, in August.

I don't so much think of the events myself much... but, I wonder who (if anyone else) is remembering.

Is Manson squatting on a wooden bench in his cell, like a litte gnome... with his wheels turning?
Or... is he mindlessly weaving a spider, or taking a nap?

I need Leary to bring these concepts to life! LOL

katie8753 said...

Well it's August 8th, the 43rd anniversary of the TLB murders.

We have the original version of what happened that night, according to Tex, Sadie, Pat & Linda.

According to Tex, Charlie took him out front and told him to go to "the house where Melcher used to live and kill everyone there. Get $600 and if you don't get that much, go to the next house and the next house until you get it."

According to Tex, Charlie & all the girls, Charlie told the girls "go with Tex and do whatever Tex says".

Now we have the new version with this guy named Schreck, who doesn't seem to be able to even sell his book in this country, and from I've read, can't back any of this up:

Note: I haven't read this book. I most likely won't shell out the money to buy it. These are excerpts courtesy of Star City Radio:

"Rostau was supposed to have brought Sebring some LSD with
him too that August night. But his own acid connection - who
sold her goods from a dress shop that served as a front - was
out of town on a boating trip until the next day. Bad news for
Sebring - a young pusher from Texas was due to make a pick
up at Cielo around midnight."

If he's referring to Rosemary, she didn't leave for Lake Isabella until the next day, August 9th. He's wrong about that. Unless there's another "lady with a dress shop" he's referring to.

"The Texan, Charles Watson, who
sometimes hung out with some hippies at a ranch in nearby
Chatsworth, had called Sebring earlier that day to arrange to
score some $20,000 worth of the syndicate acid, mescaline
and coke Rostau was to have delivered."

There's no indication of Tex having called Jay...not at his home, his office or Cielo Drive.

"Included in the deal
was a new batch of the experiemental (mispelled word - sic) drug MDA handled by
Frykowski. And now Sebring only had some of the merchandise he'd promised.

Watson showed up at the appointed time, soaring on speed.
Since he was planning to rob - rather than purchase - the dope
he'd ordered from Sebring and Frykowski, he brought a gun
and a knife with him. A barefoot hippie girl named Sadie came
along for the ride. She was sky-high on methedrine too. Two
of their companions, also armed, waited outside the house as
backup, in case the deal floundered."

Well folks, you can believe it or not. I personally don't believe the new version. Tex Watson went to Cielo Drive on orders from Charles Manson. He even said when he got through "It sure was Helter Skelter".

Paul Watkins also testified that Charlie talked about Helter

It's easy to make up new stories without any facts....

katie8753 said...

A lot of people like to say that Bugliosi made up the Helter Skelter motive.

On this blog, we have reiterated again and again that Bugliosi used that motive as a tool to convict Charlie. A smart move on his part.

He could have used the "cult leader was pissed off" motive, or as Carol points motive at all.

In this particular case, there needed to be a motive, because otherwise it just didn't make any sense. And it still doesn't.

How can you convict a man who didn't actually kill people, but ordered it, without some kind of motive?

katie8753 said...

On a side note, I watched a video on Liz's blog today about an LSD experiment in the 50's, whereby a "normal housewife" was given LSD.

Her reaction was astounding! She was completely incoherent, grabbing at invisible things, ducking invisible things, talking about "seeing in color" and in watching this, I completely understand why these kids were completely mesmerized by Manson.

Pat said in an interview that "we took 100's of trips" on acid. It wouldn't be hard at all to implant memories or new facts into someone's brain who was tripping on this stuff.

I understand it more now.....

MrPoirot said...

The racewar motive is more believable then than now in LA. There's only been 3 or 4 massive race riots in LA since 67. One of the reasons OJ got off was because the powers that be wanted to avoid another race riot in LA.
Charlie's plan for Helter Skelter didn't work because Charlie isn't black. If Charlie were black then there would have been a massive riot when he was convicted and sentenced to death.

MrPoirot said...

I have always been amazed that Patricia Krenwinkle was asleep but was woken up and asked to go kill people. Krenwinkle was sleeping off an acid hangover from the night before when asked to go kill. It is Krenwinkle's participation that amazes me. Why did Charlie go wake her up to go kill?

katie8753 said...

Mr. P., why did Charlie choose Pat? That's another thread. LOL.

MrPoirot said...

Some don't think Helter Skelter makes sense. I don;t think Pat being chosen makes sense. Yet they went and woke her up and ordered her to go. She could have said she was too tired. I guess it's just me. I always wondered about why Pat went to Cielo out of a deep sleep,

MrPoirot said...

Another thread topic : was Patricia Krenwinkle too ugly to be a Manson girl?

katie8753 said...

I wonder if people on LSD remember what they said....

alice said...

I'm sure you've seen this but just in case you haven't:

katie8753 said...

Hi Alice.

Thanks! That was interesting!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...


alice said...

LYNYRD!!!! x