Thursday, December 27, 2012

TLB in 1971 
Chris (a good friend of the blog) has been working on a comprehensive time capsule for the year 1971. 
Chris’ capsule covers several topics including: 
*The culmination and fallout of the TLB trials
*The results of the famous “Honolulu Burger” caper
 *The release of Manson’s LIE album by Awareness Records
*Tex Watson’s Trial
*The Hawthorne Shootout
And much more...
Several sources are cited (and thanked) at the end of Chris’ work. 
Chris did a great job. Thanks Chris!

The Family in 1971


1971 was an intense year for the Family. Many found themselves either on trial, appearing as witnesses in each other’s trials, or a combination of both. The two major events of the year were to be the conclusion of the first long-running Tate-La Bianca murder trial in the spring, and the Family’s reaction to it in mid-August.

Besides seeing four of their members sentenced to death for their part in the Tate-La Bianca murders, the Family would also have to contend with a fifth going on trial for his participation in the same slayings; more going to trial for the murders of Gary Hinman and Donald Shea; the inconvenience of several Family members being jailed for their part in preventing a witness from giving testimony; one being jailed for helping a convicted prisoner escape; whilst others were to be arrested and held in custody after becoming involved in a shootout with the police.

This was the year of two Tate-La Bianca trials. As the first came to an end prosecutors prepared to re-run the trial, but with the addition of a sanity trial, for the benefit of convicting Charles Watson who had delayed his extradition from Texas until September 11 1970. By the end of October 1970 he was being held in Atascadero State Hospital for 90 days observation before being returned to the County Jail in mid-February 1971.

A few days after his return he was visited by an X’d Nancy Pitman, it would be the last time he would accept visits from Family members. Nancy Pitman now released after failing to turn up for sentencing on a forgery charge the previous year, had with Bruce Davis, after several months on the run, surrendered into custody on 02 December 1970. Davis indicted for the Hinman-Shea murders on Mary Brunner’s Grand Jury testimony, was able to attempt to intimidate Watson from his nearby cell. A similar tactic was used with more successful results to encourage Susan Atkins to recant her Grand Jury testimony when Catherine Share was briefly confined within threatening distance of Atkins. The same could also be said of Brunner recanting her Grand Jury testimony after home visits in Wisconsin from Fromme, Pitman and Good (as an aside Brunner also implicated Share and Watson in the Shea killings, but neither was indicted).

Watson, apart from a short appearance at the Tate-La Bianca trial the previous year, when he stood up in the courtroom to mutely indicate his being identified by a witness giving testimony, was to have no other  role in the first Tate-La Bianca trial.

During his own trial none of the Family would be called in his defense, only as prosecution witnesses.

The Hinman-Shea trial was a curious event. Charles Manson would much later goad the prosecutor in his biography as allowing many killers to go un-prosecuted. Another published account claims that all of the inner-circle of the Family had a part to play in the killing, cover-up and conspiracy surrounding the murder of Donald Shea (allegations being Watson was directly involved, William Rex Cole and Larry Bailey present, and Share helped dispose of Shea’s car). Much later Beausoleil would claim that Manson was never at Hinman’s house and it was he alone who had wounded then murdered Hinman.

There was also the unsatisfactory irony of recently convicted seven times murderer Susan Atkins having trouble pleading guilty to her part in the Hinman murder, not out of any feelings of guilt, but solely in an attempt to not have to spend anymore time around Manson. “I’ve been tried and sentenced and I just don’t want to sit in this courtroom again” she declared,  “I’m very, very tired.”

This was to be the year that the defendants of the first Tate-La Bianca trial put on a defense. It is a widely held opinion that the defendants offered no defense, and whilst this remains true regarding the guilt phase of the trial, many came forward and testified on their behalf during the penalty phase. Family members Lynette Fromme, Sandra Good, Ruth Ann Moorehouse, Steve Grogan, Catherine Gillies, Catherine Share, Susan Atkins, Leslie van Houten, Patricia Krenwinkel, Mary Brunner, and Nancy Pitman, would all testify willingly for the accused. Less amenable witnesses included the trial prosecutors Vincent Bugliosi and Aaron Stovitz, former District Attorney Evelle Younger, and a re-called Linda Kasabian.

The other important event of the year was the response to the continued harassment of the Family that would come in the form of a short series of armed robberies that ended in a gun battle with police, known as the Hawthorne Shootout. Something that became possible because of the closer ties the Family was making with a criminal prison organisation known as the Aryan Brotherhood (AB).

The robberies were part of a larger plan to free Manson (and others) by force, either by armed assault, or as was claimed, by hi-jacking a commercial airliner. Share would in later conversations with Atkins describe herself as a commando. Some members of the Family began to view themselves as revolutionaries.


In mid-January the seven month guilt phase of the Tate-La Bianca trial concluded with closing arguments from the defense and prosecuting attorneys. The jury deliberated for nine days and on Monday 25 January the verdicts were read. All four of the defendants were found guilty; Manson, Atkins and Krenwinkel on seven counts of first degree murder, van Houten on two counts of first degree murder. In addition all four were each found guilty of one count of conspiracy to murder.

Under California law the trial could have three distinct phases; guilt, sanity and penalty, in that order. Watson would use this approach in his own trial that would begin in February by claiming diminished responsibility through reason of insanity. Manson and his co-defendants did not choose to have a sanity phase, although van Houten’s original attorney initially attempted this before his removal from the case.

During the guilt phase the defendants had chosen to offer no defense. Although unexpected it was not unprecedented, the onus is on the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt and not for the defense to prove innocence. The defense is under no obligation to rebut each piece of evidence presented by the prosecution, in particular if they feel that the case being presented is weak and is unlikely to be proven.

The penalty phase is for the jury to decide on the appropriate penalty, for First Degree Murder the sentencing options were seven-years-to-life in prison or the Death Penalty. In this instance the prosecutors were seeking the Death Penalty for all the defendants, whilst the defense would be expected to demonstrate why the defendants should be shown leniency and mercy to avoid it.

Atkins wrote that during the guilt phase Manson had been intent on operating an umbrella defense, whereby none of his co-defendants would accuse him of ordering them to carry out the crimes in an attempt to lessen their own involvement in them. The prosecution would be encouraged to continue with their Helter Skelter theory in the mistaken belief the jury would not consider it to be believable. Those who had carried out the crimes would be found guilty, Manson who was not present when the crimes were committed would possibly be found guilty only of conspiracy or even acquitted.

The penalty phase is an opportunity for the defense to introduce mitigating circumstances, to encourage the jury to see beyond the crimes and to see why the defendant should be considered as deserving leniency or to be capable of rehabilitation. The opposite is true for the prosecution, prosecutor Bugliosi presented only two witnesses, the testimony of both was to demonstrate that two of the accused had a previous history of violence and were prepared to use deadly force.

The first witness called was a police officer who had arrested Atkins as far back as 1966, before she came into contact with Manson. When arrested she had been carrying a fully loaded handgun, when asked what she intended to do with it the officer testified that she answered if the opportunity had arisen she would have shot and killed him.

Next, Bernard Crowe was called to testify that not only was Manson capable of carrying a gun but also that when the opportunity arose he would use it. His testimony described the events of 1 July 1969 when Manson had shot Crowe and left the scene unaware as to whether or not he had killed him.

A third witness was prevented taking the stand as the judge declared his testimony “inadmissible”. The prosecutor intended to have Michael Irwin, who found Hinman’s body, testify to Atkins involvement, but it was felt that the jury may well unfairly link van Houten and Krenwinkel to the murder. Around this time Manson was ejected from court for “slugging” his attorney Kanarek.

The defense took on an unorthodox approach, perhaps reflecting the nature of Manson to re-act to situations rather than proceed in a clearly thought out and appropriate legal manner. It began simply enough with relatives or people known to the defendants offering to vouch for their good character. Followed by members of the Family offering an insight into their own lives and the journeys and lifestyle of the Family. Psychiatrists were then called to expound on the unhealthy side-effects of prolonged drug use on the defendants and the results of their examinations and interviews with the three female defendants. Atkins own lawyer looked into the nature of her plea-bargaining deal struck with the District Attorneys Office, and the bad publicity for all of the defendants generated by her ghost-written account of the killings serialised in newspapers before the trial had even begun.

Family members began to testify that the prosecution’s theories were wrong, and that it was their star witness Kasabian who was infact the ring leader behind the killings, not only encouraging others, but taking part herself. They offered the jury a whole new explanation to replace the fanciful Helter Skelter theory.

Family members also began to testify about murders outside of the remit of the Tate-La Bianca trial. Names of guilty parties involved in the Hinman murder were spoken, sometimes including Family members known not to be present. What was certain was that according to testimony given Manson had played no part in any of the murders.

Although the defense appeared to present a united front, each attorney was more concerned in representing the interests of his own client, none were keen to have their clients on the stand. All were aware that as convicted killers the jury would have little sympathy for them as the prosecutor quite correctly could ask them about their crimes in gory detail, as he went on to do when Atkins, Krenwinkel and van Houten took the stand. Once again members of the Family would take to the stand to attempt to exonerate Manson from responsibility for the Tate-La Bianca murders. Atkins recalled that as they were already convicted it made sense to allow him to go free to carry on his good works.

The defense presented their case on February 1, beginning with the parents of two of the defendants. As anticipated their testimony recalling how normal and loving their children were may have elicited some sympathy from the jury. Krenwinkel protested about her parents testifying shouting at them “you’re not going to do me any good!”

Rather than calling his mother, Manson had his parole officer testify. At that time he had known him in a professional capacity for more than a dozen years. His testimony attempted to demonstrate that Manson did not pose a “behavioural risk”.

Atkin’s father had refused to have anymore to do with her, so much so that Atkin’s child was put up for adoption rather than be placed with her natural family. As an aside Atkin’s also claimed that her co-defendants had little to do with her owing to her Grand Jury testimony that generated their indictments in the current trial, and that everyone, abandoned her. No one was called to testify on her behalf.

It must be born in mind that all four defendants and the majority of the following witnesses had x’s carved or burnt into the centre of their foreheads. Manson himself had at the beginning of the penalty phase shaved his head. Manson would also alter his X into a swastika, the reason he explained in a statement given on his behalf by Family members holding a vigil since the previous September on the corner of Broadway and Temple outside the Halls of Justice where the trial was taking place, “…the mark on my head simulates the death head, black stamp of rejection, anti-church, falling cross, devil sign, death, terror, fear” adding “you have two choices, accept me as your leader or your whole social thought will go into anarchy.” Some of the Family witnesses were also in custody at the time of their testimony.

The Family members called testified that their way of life, however unusual and bizarre to the jury, was essentially one of communal harmony based on a self awareness that encouraged total empathy with other members.

An important legal detail not missed by the prosecution was that two of the Family called to testify had previously done so in front of the Grand Jury called to decide whether or not to issue indictments for the Tate-La Bianca murders. If the testimony of Nancy Pitman or Ruth Ann Moorehouse gave differed to that they gave back in December 1969, it could be viewed as perjury and struck from the court record.

The first Family member to take the stand was Lynette Fromme. She had been with Manson from almost the beginning. Her testimony was about the nature of the Family, and Manson as an individual. Defense attorney Paul Fitzgerald perceived her as the positive and articulate face of the Family immune from speaking about the murders in which she was not involved, but Judge Older speaking to counsel, said of her testimony “she can only harm the defendants doing what she is doing”.

She testified for two days, beginning with her own background, the first encounter with Manson and her life with the Family. She explained that they did not choose new members, they chose themselves.

She went on to deny Manson was the leader, spoke of his generosity in giving possessions away. How the women took care of domestic chores, how the Family helped each other out, and loved each other. Sex with Manson was making love with love and not with evil and guilt.

When asked about Helter Skelter, in oblique terms she answered, “…we understand what is going to happen. That is why we are here”. She was familiar with the term as meaning a state of confusion and chaos “…Helter Skelter is the Beatles song, you know. It’s come up in this case.”

She denied Manson was a racist, and explained his ideas about how the white man had always subjugated all those who had darker skin, and that not only was the revolution coming, “actually, it has already started”.

When asked if she believed Manson to be a special deity she answered, “I believe – well, I don’t know what I did – whatever I thought before”. The power Manson had was “he loves”, he taught them how to release the fight in themselves and release their love and the pleasure of loving things. In particular Manson had no power over anybody’s will.

During one altercation with the judge she shouted at him “we are on trial for our lives here!” and “…we have been using the term, death, for an experience of giving up a fight for something. We use that word all the time, death. In fact, it is death to be up here. It is a death to be in this case, and there is a part of our mind wants to question you, wants to fight with you and wants to make you worry.” When she stepped down she asked the judge if he was mad at her.

Fromme was followed by Nancy Pitman, she testified to her background and how like Fromme she had first met Manson after being asked to leave her family home. The questioning followed in a simliar vein to Fromme’s: the background to the Family and its movements, how the women took on the domestic chores, “nobody was a member… I am the one who used it [the Family] as a term in the very beginning.”

Pitman, who had been arraigned the previous December when drugs were found in her purse whilst on a visit to see Manson, testified to how Manson enabled them to love because of his acceptance of himself, that he was their follower and took care of them all. How the group went through being jealous, competing, hating, liking, loving each other until “…pretty soon we just all became each other.”

She spoke of how Manson tended for all the animals well-being at Spahn Ranch, and how in Death Valley if he sat alone animals would come to his side. How Manson loved black people very much after spending 23 years in prison with them.

With Pitman the character of the penalty phase rapidly shifted into an opportunity to present an alternative motive to the murders with different emphasis on who really held responsibility for the planning and carrying out of the crimes.

Pitman testified that Kasabian treated her theft of $5,000 from her estranged husband’s friend as a joke, and worshipped Watson. Although Kasabian had testified that she had not taken drugs during her time with the Family, Pitman testified that Kasabian was infact under the influence of LSD everyday, regularly taking trips with Watson whom she was with constantly. Pitman claimed that Kasabian took so much LSD that she was incapable of looking after her own child.

Around this time Kasabian confided in Watson that she was pregnant with Beausoleil’s child and began talking about “maybe busting him out” or “doing something to make it look like he didn’t do it.”

When not testifying Sandra Good on vigil told reporters “We’ve been here five months and we can be here forever…There’s a revolution coming. You’ve all judged yourselves”. In court she too stated that Manson was more of a follower than a leader.

Catherine Share, who had given birth in jail to a baby boy named Phoenix on January 7, also testified that Manson never sent anyone out to kill and that he was not a leader. She also claimed that Kasabian was behind the killing spree, took an active role, and that the motive was to free Beausoleil.

Share also testified that van Houten, along with Atkins and Kasabian, was directly involved with the killing of Hinman. The attorney for van Houten objected strenuously to this testimony.

Towards the end of 1970 the three female defendants had requested to testify, much to the opposition of their attorneys who were aware that they intended to exonerate Manson and implicate themselves. The attorneys for the women were loathe to be involved in what defense attorney Fitzgerald described as “…sort of aiding and abetting a suicide.” In the event they did not testify, instead Manson gave a statement from the witness stand without the jury being present. The prosecutor was to later write that as Manson left the stand he informed the women they need not testify.

Now in the penalty phase of the trial, when all three women had already been convicted, they would all take to the stand to implicate themselves and others whilst exonerating Manson. The first to take the stand was Atkins.

The first statement she made was to incriminate herself by testifying that she was “personally involved” in the Tate-La Bianca murders. This may well have been done to give the impression to the jury that she was an authority on who was and was not present and involved in the crimes.

After answering questions about her background for the purposes of presenting mitigating circumstances, she then confessed to the Hinman murder. Committed because “…he was going to hurt my love.” Manson, she testified, had been at the crime scene, but only to convince Hinman to hand over the ownership pink slips to the vehicles that the Family had legitimately bought from him. As Manson turned to leave Hinman had pulled out a handgun and aimed at Manson, to protect him Atkins then stabbed Hinman. Not until two days after the group was arrested in October 1969 would Atkins inform Manson what she had done. Atkins also placed van Houten at the scene of the Hinman murder.

The motive for the Tate-La Bianca murders was the copycat idea proposed by Kasabian, already testified to by Pitman and Share. The addition being that it was in revenge for the loss of $1,000 Kasabian had given to someone at the Tate residence in payment for illegal drugs. Manson was unaware of what was happening on the night of the murders, Kasabian  supplied Watson and Atkins with STP and LSD respectively, gave directions to the Tate property, supplied Atkins with a weapon and went inside the Tate house. Watson “went crazy” and when he returned to the house and saw Atkins holding Tate he instructed Atkins to kill her, and she followed his instruction.

As to the La Bianca murders, Manson was not present, infact upon their return to the Spahn Ranch they found him asleep. Kasabian drove and upon reaching the residence issued all instructions. Kasabian was also responsible for issuing instructions to the second group of would-be killers and their unsuccessful attempt to murder elsewhere in Los Angeles that evening.

Atkins attorney then attempted to introduce testimony regarding the Shea murder, possibly involving confessing to a murder she had not been charged with. The judge cautioned the defense to be careful in how they proceeded.

Returning to the Tate killings Atkins was asked how she felt about her participation, she expressed a sense of rightness about what was done. It was not done out of animosity only love. Atkins explained she could feel no remorse or guilt for doing something that “was right to me.”

On cross-examination the prosecutor had Atkins admit that Manson left the Hinman residence after he had injured Hinman. As expected he also went into detail about the brutal killing of Tate having Atkins confirm that she stabbed her to death as she was growing “sick of listening to her…begging and pleading and pleading and begging” for her life and that of her unborn child.

Atkins was also unable to offer an explanation as to why she chose to daub different words in blood at both the Hinman and Tate residences, if as she claimed the Tate killings were to be perceived as a copycat of the Hinman one. Atkins was also unable to explain her original decision to daub the words POLICTICAL PIGGY at the Hinman residence.

As Atkins testimony had touched upon the reasons for the eight month sequestration of the jury, the judge decided to lift the order, allowing them to go back to their homes and families rather than remain together with each other in a hotel with restrictions placed upon what they could read, see and hear.

The prosecutor later described the testimony of Krenwinkel as being vague. She too expounded the copycat theory, but offered little in the way of supporting evidence, telling van Houten’s attorney “well, it’s hard to explain. It was just a thought, and the thought came to be.” She did offer an insight in to the life of the Family at Spahn Ranch as being one of being like “wood nymphs and wood creatures. We would run through the woods with flowers in our hair.” She did admit to stabbing Abigail Folger at the Tate residence but denied touching the door where her fingerprints were found. As with Atkins she described how the action was right although she felt nothing, and that she was really stabbing herself. As to the La Bianca killings Rosemary La Bianca, upon hearing her husbands screams, had swung a lampshade at her and van Houten as they looked through a wardrobe at the dresses belonging to her. She admitted to desecrating Leno La Bianca’s body and writing in blood on the walls. As with Atkins, she too was unable to offer a convincing explanation as to her choice of words daubed in blood about the La Bianca residence.

Although never suspected of being involved let alone charged with the Hinman murder, van Houten took to the stand and admitted that it was her and not Brunner who had accompanied Atkins on the visit to Hinman’s residence. She confirmed that both Manson and Beausoleil had left before Atkins stabbed him to death. As to the Tate killings, she had no knowledge of them when she accompanied the killers on the second night. She also had no idea where they were going or what was about to happen to the La Biancas. Van Houten also corroborated Krenwinkel’s claim of self-defense in the murder of Rosemary La Bianca. They had not attacked her until she swung at them with a lamp. Until that moment she had no intention of harming anyone. She also could not remember whether or not she had stabbed Rosemary La Bianca when she was still standing up. As with Atkins,, van Houten for a long while, never mentioned the murders to Manson. When asked about remorse she stated that “sorry is only a five letter word. It can’t bring anything back.”

 At the request of Manson’s attorney Kasabian returned to the stand and immediately faced a barracking from the defendants as she did so. Atkins annoyed her by calling out “you only got off by putting it on Manson. Admit it.” Whilst van Houten and Krenwinkel chimed in with “why don’t you just take your part”. Kasabian replied “I have” and indicating Manson “why don’t you take your part?” Manson replied “Live with it. I see it on your face.” The judge threatened to remove them.

Kasabian testified that she had never discussed freeing Beausoleil, but she did know about the Hinman murder, but could not recall when she became aware of it or who told her. She again denied that anyone was under the influence of drugs on the nights of the murders, but testified that Watson may have been on amphetamine during those committed on the second evening.

Ruth Ann Moorehouse took to the stand to testify that Manson was no leader, and to repeat the copycat motive of freeing Beausoleil. She refused to answer prosecution questions regarding the drugging of Hoyt, and her testimony was stricken at the request of the prosecution.

The character of Grogan as a witness was described as being unbelievable by the judge. He testified that he had accompanied the members of the Family “one night in a car”. Manson was not present, Kasabian had given all of them LSD.

Atkin’s situation during the penalty phase was particularly appropriate considering she had previously entered into a deal with the DA’s Office regarding her immunity from the death penalty. Her original attorney Richard Caballero (from November 1969 until March 1970), his business associate and fellow attorney Paul Caruso, and for the prosecution Evelle Younger, Attorney General of California, Vincent Bugliosi, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office prosecutor, and Aaron Stovitz Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office prosecutor, original Tate-La Bianca trial co-prosecutor, were all called to the stand to testify about the nature of the agreement.

Initially, although called on Atkins behalf it was considered necessary for her to waive her client-attorney privileges, something she humorously announced to the court as “I waive whatever rights you guys ain’t giving me.”

Caballero, after a discussion about the narrow meaning of the word ‘truthfully’ and the qualified “substantially truthful’, believed that Atkin’s had been during her Grand Jury testimony. He also mentioned that a meeting took place whereupon she would not be given full immunity but in all probability she would get a “second degree” indictment.

He testified that he was aware that the DA’s Office believed she had not been truthful but that he had never formally been asked to respond, and that they agreed that what she had testified was “substantially the truth”, and as far as he was concerned the deal was still on. Atkins would later argue that she answered only of what she was asked. This was in reference to the second group of would-be killers made up of Family members on the night of the La Bianca murders (Kasabian, Grogan, Atkins and Manson). There were also discrepancies from the witness testimonies of Ronnie Howard and Virginia Graham in relation to Atkin’s confessions to them and her own Grand Jury Testimony.

As far as the prosecution were concerned, Atkins repudiation of her Grand Jury testimony on May 11 1970 nullified her immunity deal and they had sought out Younger to make it official shortly afterwards and also request she face the death penalty, he had agreed to both.

In addition Lawrence Schiller, a promoter, was also called so the questioning could also take in the nature of the agreement to publish a ghost-written account of the murders (The Killing of Sharon Tate). And the role Caruso and the DA’s Office played in the taping of Atkin’s confessions, as well as the relationship between Caruso, an ex-prosecutor at the DA’s Office known socially to Younger, Bugliosi and Stovitz. The defense attorneys felt that by entering into such an agreement before the beginning of the trial had jeopardised the chances of the defendants receiving a fair jury. Originally the book and extracts were to be published abroad but not in the USA, in particular not California, they were almost immediately published in the LA Times newspaper.

The next group of witnesses called were psychiatrists, most had interviewed the three women defendants. The thrust of the defense argument was that all three were regular users of LSD and susceptible to Manson’s influence. The prosecution was interested in establishing that LSD users are not usually violent and that the women were pre-disposed to being violent, as well as previously stating that Manson had issued them with instructions on the nights of the murders.

Dr Andre Tweed testified on behalf of Krenwinkel and stated that she showed signs of having had a mental illness that still affected her. That she laughed inappropriately, demonstrated a lack of concern about her present situation, as well as bizarre ideas about love. Her participation in the murders was done out of love, there was “no such thing as right or wrong and that it was possible to kill out of love.” She also believed that “it’s impossible to kill someone. There is no death.” She also believed that she could communicate telepathically with other Family members.

The prosecution brought out that Dr Tweed’s conclusions were in part based on a report by Dr Claude Brown. Brown had interviewed Krenwinkel back in December 1969. In that report she had stated that on the night of the Tate murders, Manson had instructed her to accompany Watson. Krenwinkel was recalled, and although she confirmed having said it, she denied it was a true statement. The prosecution also brought out that Krenwinkel had fled the Family because she was afraid Manson would kill her.

Dr Keith Ditman testified that LSD makes the user susceptible to influence from another person. In the case of van Houten, her use of the drug under Manson’s influence may well have been a significant factor in her participation of the murders. Van Houten stated that this theory was “such a big lie.” The prosecution had him confirm he had never examined van Houten and therefore could not predict the outcome of LSD on her personality. As well as that some people are more capable of killing than others with or without LSD.

Dr Joel Fort testified that the accused women had gone through a kind of degredation to tear down their moral beliefs. That Manson was the “most significant factor” in them committing murder. How Manson had set up a school for crime, gave them LSD and then programmed them to kill. “They are such a part of him that whatever he says goes.” The use of LSD had burned through their consciousness and opened up their unformed personalities to a complete change in values. In the process Manson had removed their remorse and compassion and replaced it with his own viewpoints on death and killing. Manson interrupted “you don’t know what you’re talking about…I’ve been listening to you for three hours. Hoo, hah, you’re ridiculous.”

Dr Joel Simon Hochman, who would later testify for the prosecution in the Watson trial, testified that the three women described Manson as peaceful, beautiful, serene, together, a person with total awareness and on top of his thought. He felt Manson best fitted their needs. In Manson they had found total freedom from guilt, total freedom in communication and honesty amongst themselves, as well as order in a disordered world and meaning in the meaninglessness of random activity. Manson’s philosophy was that reality is one whole, morality is relative, everything is now, there is no future or past and no right or wrong.

Krenwinkel had described how after meeting Manson everything became clear and beautiful and for the first time in her life everything became alright. Krenwinkel he believed was a schizoid type who repressed her emotions and demonstrated a joyless, cold and alienated personality, he was concerned that she would degenerate further.

Van Houten on the night of the La Bianca killings, if under the influence of LSD, may have been reacting on the primitive level of a child. Hochmann also doubted that she felt no remorse. Her childhood had been one of early alienation, anti-social or deviant behaviour and that before meeting Manson that she had more emotional problems than the average person.

Atkins had actively sought to become everything her father had warned her against becoming. She had admitted to Dr Hochman that even without Manson she would have ended up in prison for manslaughter or assault with a deadly weapon. She showed more remorse than the other two women, but had no conventional morality or conscience.

All three women denied having any guilt over their participation in the murders, and intellectually all three did not believe there existed right or wrong. Although deep down Dr Hochmann doubted that they could prevent feelings of remorse from being in their personalities as they had grown up being aware that it was wrong to kill another person. To his knowledge no one had ever killed anyone under the influence of LSD.

After the testimony of the four psychiatrists, the last defense witnesses called were members of the Family.

Catherine Gillies testified that she would be prepared to kill for her brothers and sisters in the Family. That she heard about the killings from Krenwinkel, but did not question her further because she “wasn’t really interested”. On the evening of the La Bianca killings she had asked if she could go along but was informed by Krenwinkel that they had “plenty of people to do what they had to do”. She also claimed the murders had been committed to free Beausoleil. When asked if she had ever killed anyone on behalf of the Family she replied “not yet.”

Mary Brunner took the stand to repudiate her previous testimony from the Grand Jury and Beausoleil’s Hinman trials. Claiming that she only implicated Manson in the Hinman murder because the authorities had threatened to take away her son if she refused. In this version of events she testified that van Houten was present. Van Houten’s defense attorney pointed out that this was the first time she had implicated van Houten. The prosecution asked her no questions.

The final witness was a recalled Pitman, who testified that one both nights of the murders she had seen Manson sleeping with Stephanie Schram in Devil’s Canyon. She had previously stated under oath at the Grand Jury investigation that she could not recall Manson’s whereabouts on those nights, and so the prosecution had her impeached.

During the closing arguments on March 23 Manson said to prosecutor Bugliosi, within earshot of the County Clerk and co-prosecutor Stephen Kay, “If I get the death penalty, there is going to be a lot of bloodletting. Because I am not going to take it.” When informed the judge once again sequestered the jury.

On March 29, the day the penalty verdicts were announced, the three women defendants arrived in court with shaved heads. As the verdicts were read all four of the defendants were removed from court for making outbursts, Manson declared “I don’t see how you can get by with this without letting me put on some kind of defense. Who gives you the authority to do this?” As he was escorted out he called to the judge “Hey boy! You people don’t have no authority over me. Half of you ain’t as good as I am.” And finally “It’s not the people’s courtroom.”

Krenwinkel shouted “You have just judged yourselves.” Atkins announced to the judge “You’d better lock your doors and watch your own kids. You are removing yourselves from the face of the earth, you old fool” and van Houten commented “Your whole system is a game. You blind, stupid people, your children will turn against you.”

All were removed before the judge set April 19 for sentencing. Good when asked to comment stated “Death? That’s what you’re all going to get.”

On the day of sentencing only Manson spoke when the four were asked if they had anything to say. “I accept this court as my father…I accept my father’s judgement.” The judge stated he could find no mitigating circumstances, and the death penalty was not only appropriate, but compelling given the circumstances of the crimes. All four were sentenced to death.

The Honolulu Hamburger

Back in December 1970 prosecutor Bugliosi ordered an investigation into the drugging of prosecution witness and ex-Family member Barbara Hoyt. The Grand Jury handed down indictments for Fromme, Ruth Ann Moorehouse, Share, Grogan and Dennis Rice (who joined the Family after the arrests of October 1969). Finding some of those charged only involved police walking out of the Halls of Justice to the corner of Broadway and Temple Street to arrest the women indicted, Grogan was already in custody on the Hinman murder charge and Rice would surrender on January 11.

At a hearing on February 24 all charges against the accused were dismissed, these included assault and attempted murder, with the exception of conspiracies to bribe and dissuade a witness from giving testimony. Ruth Ann Moorehouse was pregnant and was released (and went to live with her sister in Carson City, Nevada, failing to return for her hearing). The rest were denied bail. The judge in question Raymond Choate would later in the year, go on to share doughnuts with Fromme and try Manson for the Hinman-Shea murders, sentencing him to life adding that he was “a whining complaining deliquent and small-time car thief with an aversion to work”.

The accused accepted a deal of pleading no-contest, and the charges were dropped down to a 90 day misdemeanor. Fromme was denied probation and served the full term minus time already served. In a statement she wrote to the judge “It’s not unusual for us to help people move out of the established world and we have always been under suspicion for doing it…I consider my actions natural since at the time we were re-acting as always with no plan or schedule”. When she was released in the late summer defense attorney Paul Fitzgerald encouraged her to begin her book on the Family. Share and Rice also served short sentences.

The beginning of March also saw the release of the LIE long playing album by Manson, released on Awareness records in a first pressing of 2,000 copies and available by mail order for $1. Share explained, “as soon as more money comes in, we’ll make more records.” The songs were originally improvised by Manson, and then remembered by Family members who would remind him of their favourites. The liner notes were written by Family members, Share describes hers as defining the Family as “…I fell in love with Bob, Bob was already in love with Squeaky and Snake, and in the meantime Bruce fell in love with Sue…but actually we’ve all just fallen in love with each other – one by one.” Comprising of mostly older material in would contain only one new song composed in jail Never Say Never to Always. The album cover photograph and typography were inspired by the Manson cover of LIFE magazine.

Watson Trial

On May 10 Watson entered a plea of “not guilty by reason of insanity” and then spent the next few months being interviewed and tested by several psychiatrists. Watson later wrote that his defense attorney believed it possible to have the charge reduced from first to second degree murder on the basis of diminished mental capacity, or even win an acquittal resulting in Watson being hospitalised.

The prosecution called upon many of the same witnesses as in the first Tate-La Bianca testimony: parents of two of the Tate victims; 10050 Cielo Drive caretaker William Garretson; the Los Angeles County Coroner, and Deputy Medical examiners who had performed autopsies on the victims; ex-Family members including prosecution star-witness Linda Kasabian, Diane Lake, Paul Crockett, Brooks Poston.

The defense called eight psychiatrists; Family associate Dean Moorehouse whose testimony included describing the effect of LSD on Watson as “the more acid [Watson] had taken the more and more beautiful a person he'd become”; and other character witnesses included Watson’s mother.

During September Watson testified to stabbing and shooting all the victims at the Tate residence with the exception of Tate. Watson admitted under cross-examination that Manson had instructed him to go to the Melcher residence (10050 Cielo Drive) and “kill everybody in the house as gruesome as I could.”

Dianne Lake testified that around 17 August 1969 whilst sunbathing with Watson at Barker Ranch: “Mr. Watson said that he murdered Sharon Tate and that she had pleaded for her life; and that they had written ‘Pig’ on the door and that Charlie asked him to do it and he said it was fun and ‘Charlie sent us’."

Also of interest is that Lake confirmed that she had lied under oath to the Grand Jury about her whereabouts on the nights of the murders, but was now telling the truth, her reason being “Because I was afraid that members of the family would kill me and that Charlie had asked me not to talk to the authorities.”

Similar to the first Tate-La Bianca trial, Watson’s defence attorney during his summation would also accuse Kasabian of being the real ringleader of the murders describing her life as “She was going from commune to commune, travelling from man to man, living off boyfriends, shooting speed, selling drugs, living by her wits."

Hinman-Shea Trials

By August the Hinman-Shea trials were underway.

The two murders took place either side of the Tate-La Bianca killings, indicted for both were Manson and Davis, with Atkins and Brunner indicted for Hinman, and Grogan for Shea.

Brunner was granted immunity for her Grand Jury testimony. She would recant and then re-instate her testimony several times, at the beginning of the 1971 trials she stood up in the audience gallery and declared “all my testimony before the Grand Jury was based on a lie” and explained “I made that up to get my kid back. That whole procedure is a lie.”

The trials did not get underway until the completion of the first Tate-La Bianca trial. Initially Atkins and Manson argued that the prosecution mentioning the Hinman murder during their Tate-La Bianca trial had placed them in jeopardy and it would be unconstitutional to try them in a new case, the judge rejected it. Soon afterwards Atkins entered a guilty plea, questioning the judge as to whether or not she should serve her life sentence for the Hinman murder before or after her execution.

Davis being tried was delayed by his case being heard before the State Supreme Court. So only Manson and Grogan were present at the initial hearings. The attorneys of both Davis and Grogan felt it unlikely their clients would receive a fair trial having the recently seven times convicted murderer Manson as a co-defendant. Judge Coate who would preside over Manson’s trial also felt that Grogan would benefit from being away from the disruptive Manson, as the pair of them made faces and used sign language to each other in court.

Because of these factors the judge decreed that they would have separate trials. A displeased Manson tore a button from his shirt cuff and threw it at the judge stating “we ain’t started yet.”

The Manson trial was held in a smaller court with fewer spectators than the Tate-La Bianca trial. Although jury selection had begun in May, over 55 prospective jurors had been rejected, Manson defense attorney Kanarek was jailed for two days for contempt for delaying the trial, giving Manson another opportunity to ask to defend himself and be denied. Shortly after the jury had been selected Manson had attempted to plead guilty stating to them “I’ll admit it, I chopped his head off” and to the judge “your Honour, could I plead guilty?” but the judge refused to accept his plea until he had discussed the matter with his attorney.

He was less friendly with the members of the press that day, informing them “I’ve told all my friends in jail to kill all of you.”

Another time during arguments from Manson to represent himself he screamed for five to ten seconds because “I’ve got a voice, sir” he explained to the judge before asking to be removed from the court.

On the day a “mystery witness” was called to testify, Manson had been excused attending as he had already informed the judge he would be unable to contain himself from making outbursts. Ella Jo Bailey, an ex-Family member who had left in the days following the Hinman murder testified Manson had walked up and down the saloon bar at Spahn Ranch brandishing a sword demonstrating how he had slashed Hinman across the face. He had also said that he had “left Bobby [Beausoleil] to finish up.” She admitted that it had been her idea to name Hinman as a source of money for the Family after Manson had informed her of the need for money for dune buggies to go to the desert. Manson had approached her asking her to accompany Beausoleil on the visit but she had told him she “had better things to do,” and had walked away from him.

Manson missed many days of the trial owing to his outburts. In September after he set fire to his bedding in protest at being beaten twice in one day by his jailers he had already missed the day’s proceedings for telling his jailors he would “punch the judge on the jaw.” At the end of the session the judge asked him if he had been hurt, Manson replied “I live in violence all the time.”

The first prosecution witness called in Grogan’s trial was Magdalene Shea, the wife of Shea, her testimony was concerned with the pair of .45 revolvers that were his treasured possessions that ended up with Danny DeCarlo via Bruce Davis. Dawn Quaint, a good friend of George Spahn, testified that Grogan was likeable and pleasant until he became a Family member.

The defense at the outset of the trial had attempted to have the charges dismissed because there was no proof that Shea was dead. Mariam Binder, a family friend of Shea, testified that she had been in almost daily contact with Shea since 1965, but this had ended the last time she had seen him on August 19 1969. He had appeared upset with his new wife, she had left him a note regarding the man she had been going with threatening to kill Shea. In addition he was reluctant to stay at Spahn Ranch as the Family were “up to no good.”

Paul Watkins testified that Grogan, in the presence of Pitman, had confessed to his part in the killing. Pitman testified that Grogan had said no such thing, the conversation was about Watkins avoiding the army draft. She also told the prosecutor that it was the ranch hands and not the Family who disapproved of Shea’s marriage to an African American. After questioning to get Pitman to reveal her bias towards the family she told the prosecutor  “I love you, and you are trying to kill us.”

Barbara Hoyt testified that she heard Manson say that Shea had “committed suicide with a little help.” She also heard Shea screaming one night around the time he disappeared, although Davis in later parole hearings would state Shea was killed during broad daylight in the morning.

Near the end of August the trial was halted for a morning when Grogan’s defense attorney received a threatening telephone call shortly before the opening of the session, he admitted lunging at Grogan in temper and threatening him before calming down.


On June 24 “the girls on the corner” Good, Share, Fromme, Pitman, Lutesinger and Brunner began a ten mile crawl, expected to take five days to complete, ending at the courthouse, as Good explained “in witness to the second coming of Manson.”

In July Curt Gentry, the co-author of Helter Skelter, prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi’s hugely successful account of the case, approached Bugliosi to confide in him that he had heard from various Family members that a prison breakout was being planned.

Manson, now on trial for Hinman-Shea murders, supoenaed Kenneth Como to appear as a witness. On July 23 after his transfer from prison to the County Jail Como escaped and sought out the Family. Como was a member of the AB, a criminal prison organisation formed in California in the 1960s. Since being incarcerated Manson and Beausoleil had become involved with the group. Through Manson the Family was now aligned with them. They would offer protection to Manson inside the prison and in return the Family would offer support to the AB. In effect this meant the Family acting as a halfway house to recently released members, passing on communications, smuggling contraband and weapons into prison, and acting as pen pals to incarcerated members (as an aside this is the origin of the nude photographs of Fromme and Good. They were seized as evidence in 1975 by the authorities during a search of Fromme and Good’s apartment and later sold on to publications).

Apparently a plan was put in place to free Manson, and others, when he gave evidence at the trial of Steve Grogan for the Shea murder. Any attempt to free someone during an on-going trial in the Halls of Justice would require equipment, weapons and resources. To obtain the necessary money and guns the Family, now aided by members of the AB, turned to armed robbery.

The Hinman-Shea trials began its opening arguments, in course Brunner would fail to appear as a witness and warrant would be issued for her arrest.

Sandra Good would plead No Contest and was jailed for five days with one year’s probation for trespass after being arrested in the Halls of Justice carrying in her purse a pair of black gloves, flashlight, three screwdrivers, wrench and a pair of wirecutters.

The first week of August saw the openings of the second Tate-La Bianca trial with Watson.

The first Family armed robbery took place on August 13, Mary Brunner, Catherine Share, Kenneth Como, Lawrence Edward Bailey and Charles Lovett (another later member of the Family) stole $2,600 from the Covina beer distributorship.

On the evening of Saturday August 21 the same group, with the addition of Dennis Rice, undertook their second armed robbery. Whereas the first had been to raise necessary funds, this time it was to get weapons. They chose to rob the sporting goods Western Surplus store on the corner of South Hawthorne Boulevard and 134th Street in Los Angeles.

They arrived at closing time and parked in the alley near the store’s back door. Five of the group, four men and one woman, entered the store brandishing a sawed-off shotgun, and in other accounts pistols as well. The two customers and three employees were ordered to lie on the floor whilst the group began to smash glass cabinets, removing guns and taking them to the rear door of the store to the waiting white van where the other woman waited in the vehicle.

Unfortunately for the group, within moments of entering the store one of the employees triggered a silent alarm. Within 15 minutes two police units were approaching. The first patrol unit to arrive pulled up to beyond the front of the store, the two occupants, Officers Cox and McInerny exited the vehicle with guns drawn and took up position at the main entrance. The closed sign was displayed and the metal security gates were pulled across the windows and doors. Looking in through the windows the two police officers could not see any activity within.

As the second police unit pulled up, driven by the Watch Commander Lt Kobus, one of the officers saw movement as someone on the opposite side of the store raised themselves above the counter before quickly ducking back down again. Lt Kobus,  was requested to cover the rear of the store with Cox sent to assist him. Lt Kobus drove his station wagon around the corner onto 134th Street, came to the alley that runs up the back of the store and parked up against the curb at an angle so as to block the alley. He observed a white van facing him at an angle, it was backed up with its rear doors adjacent the rear door of the store.

Having decided that it was not a false alarm McInerny returned to his police unit to radio for assistance. Another police unit was arriving driven by Officers Matthew and Siegel and approached Lt Kobus’s parked station wagon, they observed him on the radio.
McInerny was running towards his colleagues, he heard a shot fired, possibly a shotgun, from the direction of the rear of the store. Lt Kobus radio in hand declared “shots fired”. The offers passing behind in a patrol unit saw the blast destroy the passenger window of Lt Kobus’s station wagon. McInerny reached the back of the recently hit vehicle, now crouched he observed Lt Kobus also crouched ahead of him behind the front left fender of his vehicle returning fire in the direction of the white van.

By now Cox was also returning fire with his shotgun. McInerny had begun to make his way beyond the police station wagon, he noticed a flash from the driver area of the white van, followed by a shot hitting the hood of the station wagon, glancing off before narrowly missing him.

The front windshield and siren lights were hit, in all twenty shots hit the station wagon. McInerny ran forward to take cover beside a low wall adjacent to the alley and fired six shots directly at the front of the white van.

Officers Siegel and Matthews noticed the gunfire appeared to be coming from under the white van and returned their fire directed toward the rear of the driver’s door, and below the van to bounce under it at unseen suspects.

Then the white van jumped forward, stopped, four rounds were fired by police and struck to the right of centre of the windshield on the van going right into the rear of the driver’s seat. The van backed up, then stopped again. Two shots struck the top centre of the van windshield, McInerny believed a suspect had been hit when he saw a figure, previously stood between the seats, fall backwards.

There was a lull in the shooting, McInerny approached and illuminated the interior of the van with his flashlight, the suspects were ordered out of the van, he observed someone slumped over the steering wheel and a male subject crouched in the rear left of the van. Siegel approached the driver’s door to open it. Suddenly there was more gunfire from within. Siegel poked the barrel of his shotgun in through the driver’s window in the direction of the rear side door and fired a single shot of double ought buckshot “to clear the area”.

Siegel then opened the driver’s door and a woman fell out, she had gunshot wounds to her shoulder, she offered no resistance, and collapsed to the ground. She was followed out of the van by a male who then knelt over her. As she was handcuffed Catherine Share said “I’m sorry”.

As officers made their way around the side of the van they heard noises coming from the back end of the van and saw suspects flee on foot. They gave chase into the alley.

At some point in the empty lot adjacent the back of the store Charles Lovett had been hiding beneath a car, when he judged the time to be right he made his escape on foot westbound on 133 Street.

The gunfire resumed, by now a third patrol unit with Officers Moedar and Gear, had arrived at the other end of the alley, they spotted the three suspects at the rear of the lot, they then  returned fire, Moedar firing three shotgun rounds and Gear four rounds from his .38.

 “Halt!” the suspects were ordered, “We give in!” was the reply. They were commanded to come out with their hands up in the air, which they did.

By the end of the gun battle at least thirty police officers had responded from Hawthorne, El Segundo, Redondo Beach and Lennox Sherrif’s Station. In addition a LASO helicopter arrived to assist in the search for Lovett.

No police officers were injured, Share was wounded by buckshot in her backside and a .38 bullet through her shoulder, Brunner was shot in the hand, and Bailey had a gunshot wound to his kneecap.

Bailey, Brunner and Share were taken to the jail ward at the County USC-Medical Center, Como and Rice to Hawthorne Police Station, where they were booked for Armed Robbery and Assault with intent to commit murder.

Inside the white van, which was hit around 50 times, police discovered nearly 100 rifles, shotguns and handguns, whilst inside the store another 40 or so were stacked ready to be taken. In a canvas bag in the van was discovered a purse inside of which was the ID for a Catherine Louise Share.

The following day press reports included a description of the fugitive Lovett described as “with Manson Family ‘x’…on his forehead.”

The Hawthorne Five released a statement that read in part “We were and are determined to free as many of the victims of this Criminal System as we possibly could and to build and spread this thought to others.”

The prosecutors decided to ask for a Grand Jury to investigate in order to protect witnesses, and because the Brunner and Share had requested to represent themselves, something that was seen as a possible conflict of interest. Those being held had bail bonds set at $100,000.

Brunner in addition, appeared at Manson’s Hinman trial where she invoked her privilege not to incriminate herself and refused to continue with her testimony. The prosecutors introduced into evidence her original testimony from Beausoleil’s earlier trials. Having already successfully avoided having her immunity removed for re-canting her testimony during the Beausoleil trials for the Hinman murder, she was now indicted for the murder and four counts of committing perjury.

Good and Fromme still keeping the street corner vigil expressed their views on the subject. Good was “getting tired” of the vigil and said of the Manson incarceration, “we want him out soon”. Fromme said that the defendants did not hurt anyone although they could have, and felt that “everybody ought to have a gun. It’s getting to the time where everybody ought to have a gun.”

By October Rice was granted permission to represent himself and was not charged with the Covina Beer Distributionship robbery. The first pre-trial hearings began shortly afterwards. The trial would then be postponed as the judge was busy with another trial.

The Hawthorne trial would not take place until early 1973, and in some respects can be seen as the final Family reunion, with defendants Share and Brunner calling amongst others as witnesses Manson, Beausoleil Atkins, and Grogan

The Fall and Winter of 1971

By October the trial of Watson was coming to an end. On October 12 he was found guilty of seven counts of first degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder. As he later wrote in his autobiography “The sanity phase of the trial was short, and the verdict a foregone conclusion. On October 19, after only two and a half hours of deliberation, the jury decided I was sane when the murders were committed.”

On October 20 Good, Fromme and Pitman were involved in the escape of Kenneth Como. Shortly after escaping from the Halls of Justice, Como, Fromme and Pitman stole a vehicle belonging to a homicide detective, drove to a rendezvous whereupon Como was transferred to the familiar white van belonging to the Family being driven by Good. Fromme and Pitman left, and within minutes news of the escape was broadcast, a passing police officer recognised the van and a brief chased ensued. Making its escape towards the Hollywood Hills the van hit a parked car. Como left the vehicle and disappeared down a nearby alley. Dozens of police officers undertook a house to house search under the glare of a police helicopter searchlight and Como was arrested two blocks away from the crashed van. He would receive a fifteen-year sentence. Fromme, Pitman and Lutesinger, although arrested that evening, would be released the following day owing to lack of evidence to prosecute. Good would be sentenced to six months for aiding and abetting in the attempted escape.

Later the same day Fromme, Lutesinger and Pitman were released, Watson was sentenced to death and then sent to Death Row in San Quentin prison. The judge however remarked “If I had tried this case without a jury, I possibly would have arrived at a different verdict.”

Early in November Fromme would this time be jailed, for five days for contempt during the trial of Davis. The Davis Hinman-Shea trial had only just begun the jury selection process and would not conclude until April of the following year, whereupon Davis would have his conviction for conspiracy to commit murder stayed, but would be found guilty on two counts of murder in the first degree.

November 30 after a little over five hours deliberation the Manson Hinman-Shea trial ended with Manson sentenced to three life sentences, one each for the murders of Hinman and Shea and a third for conspiracy to murder. Before sentencing two jurors confirmed that they had a fistfight over a “personality conflict” in the hotel during deliberations. One of the jurors involved later felt Manson should have been acquitted. A barefooted Manson greeted the verdict with a smile. After the verdict the jury foreman Daniel Hunt speaking to reporters told them he considered Manson “a little bit insane.”

By December the Grogan Hinman-Shea trial finished, although sentenced to death the judge used his judicial power to commute it to a life sentence, stating that it was his belief that Grogan was “too stupid and too hopped up on drugs to decide anything on his own.”

1969 had been the year when the Family became intolerant to the pressures being placed upon them and attempted to put right perceived wrongs being committed against them. Throughout 1970 the first Tate-La Bianca trial had brought the Family wider celebrity and notoriety giving them a worldwide platform to address their concerns. By the end of 1971 they were now mostly at the mercy of the state system they felt was persecuting them and had been judged by the society that they had attempted to live separately from.

Many, if not most of the inner-circle of Family members, now found themselves having to contend with the prospect of living ‘in the now’ confined in prison cells. Manson, Atkins, Krenwinkel, van Houten and Watson were awaiting execution, although rumours were abound that the legislation would soon be repealed, as indeed it was in February 1972. Grogan had begun a life sentence for murder and would shortly be joined by Davis.

Share, Brunner and Bailey were awaiting trial alongside the now captured Lovett, for armed robbery. Rice would plead guilty, whilst Brunner would also fight against her indictment in the Hinman murder.

Good was serving her 6 months sentence for aiding Como to escape. Fromme continued to work on her book about the Family. Along with Pitman, all three were still maintaining close contacts with recently released AB members. This arrangement would eventually undermine the Family and cause a split in allegiance between the followers of Como and those who remained loyal to Manson, but not before Pitman would be jailed as an accessory to murder the following year.

The preceding essay was compiled in a neutral voice. It is intended to be factually accurate. It was created to allow interested parties to gain a contextual perspective to the Family in 1971 and also to promote discussion.

Any corrections or additions welcome, please email:

I would like to acknowledge,,,, and for use of their materials. As well as the books Helter Skelter Bugliosi/Gentry. Squeaky Bravin, It’s Coming Down Fast Wells, Child of Satan, Child of God Atkins, The Family Sanders, and Charles Manson in his own Words Emmons.


LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Great job Chris... Thanks!

katie8753 said...

Wow thanks Chris! This is great reference material!

Unknown said...

Hello everyone. Hope everyone had and is still having a great a holiday season!

I guess it's just my sarcastic sense of humor, but I burst out laughing when I read that Squeaky asked if the judge was mad at her.

Why did Share implicate Leslie in the Hinman murder? What a great friend.

katie8753 said...

Hi Lauren. Happy holidays to you.

So Charlie threw a button at the judge. They should have switched him to T-shirts.

Susan: "Should I serve my life sentence before or after my execution?"

HA HA. These are the clowns that make the dark side fun! :)

starship said...

Wow, this is awesome. I shall get to it as soon as I am finished with Gone Girl

Doc Sierra said...

Lauren Webster said...

Hello everyone. Hope everyone had and is still having a great a holiday season!

I guess it's just my sarcastic sense of humor, but I burst out laughing when I read that Squeaky asked if the judge was mad at her.

Why did Share implicate Leslie in the Hinman murder? What a great friend
It still surprises me how some members of the family cooperated with DA and Grand Jury, and testified for the prosecution in court and then were welcomed back to the family.

leary7 said...

Good stuff, comprehensive and such. But not really flavorful. Clearly that is what the writer intended - something nuetral like an insurance adjustor's report.

Lauren is right, the ebb and flow of Family loyalties remains intriguing. I mean they accepted Watkins back after they had tried to torch him, didn't they?
I am fascinated by the whole plan to put Lulu at Hinmann's in place of Brunner. You wonder if Charlie was behind that or who? And for what purpose? Just a payoff to Mary for recanting? Maybe.

katie8753 said...

Chris I just want to say that this compilation of facts is most excellent! This must have taken you a long time to put together and it's very appreciated.

I've not read much on the Hinman-Shea or Watson trials, so this is very interesting stuff. I knew that Tex tried to cop a plea on insanity but didn't know little details of the trial.

It's interesting how certain family members vacillated between camps.

Mary Brunner saying that Leslie was at Hinman's? Mary said a LOT of things that weren't true. I don't know how she was even credible. I guess she was a "necessary evil" in this whole mess.

katie8753 said...

In reading thru this, it's so obvious that Charles Manson was definitely dominating certain family members' thoughts, words and actions. It seemed to start waning after his first conviction, but he still had a strong hold on many.

Unknown said...

It still amazes me how Gypsy implicated two of her friends who SHE recruited into the family, Linda and Leslie.

Shak El said...

What ever happened to Fromme's book?

Shak El said...

BTW Larry Bailey/giddenings has published an auto-bio account of Hawthorn without identifying the action outside of using its date.

Shak El said...

I have a print copy...I'll post it if i can find a digital copy somewhere.

katie8753 said...

Thanks Shak. I'd like to see that.

Lauren, Gypsy would have thrown anyone under the bus to get Charlie off the hook. That's how enamoured she was with him. Uggh.

Leslie evidently told the jury that she was at Hinman's. Another sad chick looking for a master.

And Brenda testified that Linda told Tex she was pregnant with Bobby's child? That is such a crock of shit.

How would ANY of them know who sired a bun in the oven? Anyone who knows anything about Biology 101 knows that the fertile cycle is brief and you have to know when it is. Did these girls keep a log about their fertile cycles and make note of who they were with? Even so, if you're with 20 guys during that cycle, how do you know for sure whose "boys" got through?

And the copy cat stuff? A 3 year old could see through that crap. Only a mental midget would think that shit up.

There was nothing copy cat about the Hinman and Tate/LaBianca murders. I've stated the reasons previously and won't go into a long post now.

Did they think the jury was going to buy this stuff? Amazing!

And the ruckus they raised in the TLB trial was the reason it was the "trial of the century". No one else has EVER gotten away with the yelling, screaming, jumping, throwing, threatening, laughing, cutting and shaving that these yokels pulled.

Even OJ and Casey Anthony knew how to sit still and keep their big mouths shut. That's part of why they got off.

Nobody rallied for Tex Watson. Nobody came to his defense. Nobody tried to get him out.

Anyone who says Charles Manson is innocent, or that Linda & Tex were in charge, hasn't read up on this case.

Michelle78 said...

Chris, that must have taken a lot if time and effort to put together. Thanks! I had not read much about the Hinman-Shea trials, so this was very informative for me.

I also agree with the others that the dynamics behind the loyalties the Family members had to each other is fascinating. There was so much snitching followed by recanting that it's hard to follow who was in good graces and who wasn't. I've read that Leslie and Pat, post conviction, remained friends, but that neither remained close to Susan. I wonder if that was because of Susan being the one who led the police to the Family for TLB by running her mouth in jail.

Katie, I have always wondered the same thing when there has been discussion of who fathered the girls' children. How could they possibly know who the father of any of the children were? I'm pretty sure no one at Spahn was keeping an ovulation calendar, and equally as sure that the girls that got pregnant had more than enough partners to make it near impossible to say with certainty who the fathers were. It's really surprising that there weren't more children born to the girls in the Family.

katie8753 said...

Hi Michelle.

I agree, there is no way that any one of these girls could positively have pointed a finger at anyone being the father of these babies. It's a million to one shot.

I don't believe any of the stories that the babies were Charlie's, Tex's, Bobby's or anyone elses. To me it's all nonsense.

They did all turn on Susan because she blabbed about the murders, but even when she recanted, they shunned her like the plague, which is probably the best thing that ever happened to her.

I think the reason there weren't more children born to the family is because of miscarriages and stillbirths, due to drug use, etc.

I wouldn't be surprised if some tiny graves at Spahn's or Barker's would unearth a small child or a fetus.

Unknown said...

I literally just spit my diet coke out of laughter, Katie. I always enjoy your comments/comebacks.

katie8753 said...

Tom get help now. It's out of my hands....

Lauren...glad you enjoyed it. I have come to the point in my life where I don't care if anyone is offended. I'm going to say what I think. Just one of my little quirks. HA HA.

Okay, I'm heading to the bunk house.

I'll reiterate....this thread is probably the most interesting and informative thread I've ever seen on ANY blog. I hope that each and every one of you takes the time to read and absorb it.

So much bastardy has been thrown your way. Digest the truth for a change. Then you will be prepared to come into the ring next time.

Sweet goodnight....

MrPoirot said...

Katie said:
I wouldn't be surprised if some tiny graves at Spahn's or Barker's would unearth a small child or a fetus(end quote)

Poirot replies:
A fetus is a child. In order to legalize mass abortion the courts decided not to call unborn babies as babies. 40 million babies have been murdered since 1972 and nobody cares.

The US did the same thing to skirt the Bill of Rights in order to allow slavery. The courts just said that slaves weren't citizens. Voila! Slavery was legal! Unborn babies became fetuses not babies. Voila! Abortion is legal.

I'm glad that the same political faction that vehemently clings to the right to abortion in 72 were also aghast at the children being shot in Connecticut. Maybe they have some humanity left in them............not!

"You are endowed by your creator with inalienable rights". That means you have rights as soon as you're created whether they call you a fetus or a baby.

katie8753 said...

Well I'm assuming that since you're referring to this girl as an "autistic bitch" that she's not a personal friend or relative of yours.

Therefore, I would suggest that you form a posse, saddle up, ride here and save her from "Taco Tuesday".

And please don't promote your "pity party" anymore. I'm not fallin' for it.

katie8753 said...

Okay back to bidness.

Mr. P., I'm currently reading Candy Bergman's autobio "Knock on Wood". I'm on the 2nd chapter and she mentions that her Dad bought Bella Vista (year not mentioned) and he lived there for years with his mother and dummy Charlie McCarthy before he even married and had children. I'm assuming it is near Cielo Drive, although she hasn't made the connection yet.

Is Bella Vista the same as Falcon's Lair?

MrPoirot said...

Thanks Katie. Bella Vista is the road that comes out at 10050 Cielo directly across from the Tate driveway. Falcons Lair was the name of the grand home of Rudolf Valentino which has its address on Bella Vista. Sharon would routinely visit Falcons Lair to visit Doris Duke who owned the Bella Vista mansion in 69. Falcons Lair Faced directly across the canyon onto the Tate home.

katie8753 said...

Thanks Mr. P. I remember you posting that link to the discussion about Falcon's Lair and Valentino. Interesting stuff!

Candy says her Dad bought Bella Vista. I'm assuming she means the house that was called Falcon's Lair which was ON Bella Vista. She just calls it Bella Vista, which is a street, not a house.

But in her defense, that house might have been the only house on Bella Vista at the time. I think this was around the early l940's. Candy was born in 1946.

I think the Cielo Drive house was built in 1942 for Michelle Morgan.

Clear as mud? LOL. I'm only on Chapter 2 so I'll report more later. :)

beauders said...

katie i know of one other l.a. trial where the defendant got kinda crazy. it was the trial of serial killer douglas clark. he is referred to as the sunset strip killer. he killed prostitutes and a couple teenage girls. clark would get so riled up during his trial that at one point he was tied to his and a sanitary pad was shoved into his mouth then that was covered with tape, no joke. clark currently sits on death row--he's been there since 1981 or 1982. his attorney was the guy they hughes with during the tate/labianca trial.

MrPoirot said...

Lauren Webster said...
It still amazes me how Gypsy implicated two of her friends who SHE recruited into the family, Linda and Leslie.

Poirot replies:
If you speed read Chris' entire article in two minutes you get a real sense of the outrageous amount of control Charlie was exhibiting over everyone involved in the trials on both sides. The Family would be ordered to testify against Linda to impune her testimony. They would testify against Leslie trying to deflect blame away from Charlie. Leslie was pleased to be falsely implicated. Even if they had stuffed cotton in Charlie's mouth for months he still controlled everything the Family said in court. I think this strategy of group thought is why those convicted of murder appear today as political prisoners when in fact it was The Family's mass civil disobedience back then that makes parole boards unsympathetic today. The Defense Attys strategy of not offering a defense in Charlie and the girls trial would have resulted in some of them being free by now but Charlie made a mockery of justice and every defendent still pays the price today for their own mass idiocy back then.

Mrstormsurge said...

Chris, thank you for this extensive article and the hard work you obviously put in.

katie8753 said...

Well in reading Candy Bergen's auto bio it seems that her father, Edgar Bergen, was obsessed with his little dummy Charlie McCarthy.

Evidently when Edgar bought Bella vista, Charlie got his own room. In fact, Charlie ran the house. That was until Edgar married Frances and had Candace. Then Charlie got run out of his room for the nursery.

Okay...yeah...that's creepy. A dummy getting mad at a baby.

So in addition to this creepy Charlie, Candace came in contact with 2 more creepy Charlie figures in later years, that could well have ended her life at Cielo Drive.

katie8753 said...

I really think that Charlie was just mad at Cielo Drive because he represented rejection to him. He didn't care who lived there....just kill everyone there.

If Terry & Candace were still living at Cielo Drive in August of 1969, they'd probably be dead if they were home. In fact, I'm sure of it since Terry knew Tex.

The current residents of Cielo Drive didn't know Tex, but that didn't help any of them.

In fact, if Sharon & Roman had moved out of Cielo Drive in July of 1969 and Don Knotts or Wally Cox had moved in, they would have been killed.

You see, it didn't matter who lived there. What mattered to Charlie was to kill whoever was there.

It wasn't a personal vendetta against the people who were living there. It was a personal vendetta against the house. Charlie knew Terry didn't live there anymore.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post!!

Really great read :)

I am hoping that everyone has a very Happy and Safe/Healthy New Year!!

L/S- Katie and everyone else:

Thanks for another year of really excellent stuff!!

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Happy New Year Saint!

katie8753 said...

Love ya St C!!!! Happy New Year!! :)

katie8753 said...

Well you got ridda most stuff, including that riff from stoopid.

But here's something else that's not....

Happy New Year Folks.

Brian Davis said...

Katie wrote, "The current residents of Cielo Drive didn't know Tex, but that didn't help any of them."

Oh yes they diiiiiiiid.

katie8753 said...

Hi Brian! Happy New Year! :)

Mrstormsurge said...

Happy New year all !!!! And especially to Lyndyrd and Katie who've been so great in keeping this blog going and welcoming new persons. May the nipple never run dry on you and may all your stools be soft serve smooth.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Happy New Year StormSurge!!!!

katie8753 said...


Happy New Year to you too! :)

fiona1933 said...

So Manson asked Ella Jo to go to Gary Hinman's and she told him she had 'better things to do' and walked off.

really, so much for the terrifying mesmeric Manson power, obeyed without question.

It's ridiculous to make the claim that the group was a cult. People came and went absolutely at will, Charlie included. Even after the killings, Watson left, so did Patricia, Yeller left after Hinman...I never believed Clem and that other guy were stalking 'human game' . That statement is totally unverified. After all, did Clem say that's what they were doing? No. It's just another flight of fancy by the Bug. There is absolutely no back-up for that statement.

The armed guards were posted against the supposed Black Panther threat. The Family had reasons to be paranoid: they had trouble with the bikers, endless police harassment, and after the Lotsapoppa shooting, it wasn't unreasonable to think they'd have black trouble, too. (If you shot a dealer in Moss Side, and he knew where you lived, you'd be fearful). The guards were not to prevent people leaving: for if that's what they were for, how come even the killers could stroll away?

And therefore, Linda Kasabian is totally lying about being forced to leave Tanya there. She makes no sense anyway. She 'didn't get help' in the Tate murders, even though she had the car keys and the others were in the Tate house. She could have sped away and got the cops. She didn't, she said, because Tanya was at the ranch. Bullshit. The safest thing for Tanya would have been to get the cops to descend on the Tate house, nab the killers and then get those at the ranch: how would Charlie have known what was happening? It's not like Watson had a cell phone, and he'd cut the phone wires.

Why did she leave, then? It wasn't to turn them in. She went off, and left her kid with people she knew first-hand were crazy murderers. I can't believe Bugliosi could get past that.

Brenda I think it was, said Linda had dumped Tanya on the family and it looks like it's true. She didn't give the kid much of an upbringing afterwards, did she?

fiona1933 said...

Fuck you , Poirot. a foetus is not a child. It always gets me how the peole who are so concerned for a bunch of cells have no concern for the fully formed human being in which they are multiplying.

When you grow a uterus, you can comment. No woman should be forced to carry to term a child she doesn't want and feels unable to care for.

And generally speaking, the one who are so gun-ho for foetal rights are the same who want welfare and heath benefits for mothers taken away. Force the woman to have the kid and leave her to deal with it. And don't just say 'adoption'. That's plenty painful too. Nor is pregnancy safe.

How dare you.

fiona1933 said...

So Manson asked Ella Jo to go to Gary Hinman's and she told him she had 'better things to do' and walked off.

really, so much for the terrifying mesmeric Manson power, obeyed without question.

It's ridiculous to make the claim that the group was a cult. People came and went absolutely at will, Charlie included. Even after the killings, Watson left, so did Patricia, Yeller left after Hinman...I never believed Clem and that other guy were stalking 'human game' . That statement is totally unverified. After all, did Clem say that's what they were doing? No. It's just another flight of fancy by the Bug. There is absolutely no back-up for that statement.

The armed guards were posted against the supposed Black Panther threat. The Family had reasons to be paranoid: they had trouble with the bikers, endless police harassment, and after the Lotsapoppa shooting, it wasn't unreasonable to think they'd have black trouble, too. (If you shot a dealer in Moss Side, and he knew where you lived, you'd be fearful). The guards were not to prevent people leaving: for if that's what they were for, how come even the killers could stroll away?

And therefore, Linda Kasabian is totally lying about being forced to leave Tanya there. She makes no sense anyway. She 'didn't get help' in the Tate murders, even though she had the car keys and the others were in the Tate house. She could have sped away and got the cops. She didn't, she said, because Tanya was at the ranch. Bullshit. The safest thing for Tanya would have been to get the cops to descend on the Tate house, nab the killers and then get those at the ranch: how would Charlie have known what was happening? It's not like Watson had a cell phone, and he'd cut the phone wires.

Why did she leave, then? It wasn't to turn them in. She went off, and left her kid with people she knew first-hand were crazy murderers. I can't believe Bugliosi could get past that.

Brenda I think it was, said Linda had dumped Tanya on the family and it looks like it's true. She didn't give the kid much of an upbringing afterwards, did she?