Friday, July 12, 2013

Some Brief Thoughts About Motive, Helter Skelter, Bugliosi and RFK

While doing some liesurely pleasure reading by one of my favorite authors, Nelson DeMille, I came across a couple of tidbits that struck me as significant.

 "Money is motive. In fact, statistically it is the main motive in most crimes."

 And, "Motive is tricky and you can't ascribe a motive and then try to make it fit the crime."


So what does Mr. DeMille's prose mean to us TLB motive seekers? The first is fairly straight forward, and even Tex Watson has said that part of what they were to do at Tate was to get as much money as they could, even moving on to the other houses down the street.

So where does that leave LaBianca? I wonder.

To me in this case drugs and money are probably the same. Sure, they wanted some drugs to have to take for fun, but drugs can be proffered to buy favors or influence, and also can be sold for good cold cash.

"Helter Skelter" as Charlie's concept - no matter what anyone tells you - played a role in these nights of murder, even if it was used solely to motivate Tex and the girls to perform. Manson himself admits it was the name of the nightclub at Spahn's and was painted on the door there at the ranch. Hell, it was written in one of the victim's blood on their own refrigerator at the crime scene. And if the LAPD had only released that little bit of information, Charlie himself would have been in custody by August 12th. That's how closely Charlie had tied himself to Helter Skelter.

There are some who believe that Bugliosi is evil in part because he used the Helter Skelter theory to convict Charlie and the others when it is ludicrous to believe that could be the real motive. Oh, and then he wrote a book about it and has remained rich and famous ever since.

Whatever. I've said it before, and I will say it again now:
If Bugliosi could have proven any other motive, then he would have. As a juror, which is easier to believe: race war armageddon bottomless pit 144,000, or drug burn give me money or I will waste you bitch?

Bugliosi got the job done and served the citizens of Los Angeles well.

As for Bobby Kennedy, there has been some discussion of late, and so I am ready to call Urban Legend on the notion that Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate had dinner with RFK the evening of his assassination. Anytime this is mentioned I think most people get the idea in their head of a nice intimate dinner on the sofas in Bobby's hotel suite, when in fact it, would have been with many many other people, probably just a handshake and photo and that's about it. Anyway, while researching I came across Ed Sanders, that fug and of all people, and his research:

The Dinner

Apparently John Frankenheimer had planned an early dinner and invited some guests over. According to Robert Blair Kaiser’s book RFK Must Die the guest list included director Roman Polanski whose movie Rosemary’s Baby was selling a lot of tickets and his wife Sharon Tate. Other guests were future head of Disney Pictures Frank Wells and his wife Luanne, plus actress Anjanette Comer, nightclub owner Brian Morris, set designer Richard Sylbert, and a woman named Sarah Hudson maybe a pseudonym for someone who later married Sylbert.
(I e-mailed Mr. Kaiser a few years ago, and he replied that Frankenheimer himself told him about the guest list and the early meal at his Malibu house)

Perhaps Tate, Polanski and the others were invited for dinner but RFK had been too eager to get to the hotel so Frankenheimer quickly took him before, or just as, the guests arrived? Or, maybe they arrived, but Robert Kennedy had already departed for the Ambassador? Robert Kennedy, His Life, by Evan Thomas does not mention an early dinner in Malibu... Nor does RFK, a Candid Biography, by C. David Heymann.
(I recently wrote Roman Polanski in Paris seeking clarification but so far no reply)‎

So there's that.

And so back to motive: 
I think I will stick to keeping the statistics on my side and agree with Mr. DeMille.
Can't go wrong as Woodward and Bernstein found out from Deep Throat: "Follow the money."


LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Thanks Starship!

I've got more to say, later...

Gotta run, for now.

katie8753 said...

Starship I agree with you 100% on all your points. I think Gary Hinman was 100% about money. They thought he had some and they wanted it. He didn't have any and Bobby killed him.

I also agree that Roman & Sharon were probably incidentals on a large guest list at RFK's dinner.

CarolMR said...

Thanks, Starship. Wow, Anjanette Comer. What a blast from the past (and a reminder of just how old I am!). She was so good in the movie THE LOVED ONE.

Unknown said...

If Bugliosi could have proven any other motive, then he would have. As a juror, which is easier to believe: race war armageddon bottomless pit 144,000, or drug burn give me money or I will waste you bitch?
I know which one I'm voting for.
But I still don't think a drug burn could account for the overkill that took place.
And it hasn't been established that the Tates or Labiancas were selling Drugs anyway.
But you can prove that Manson talked about Helter Skelter and the kids at the ranch believed him so if i'm Bugliosi i know which way i'm gonna go.
Or else they had evidence of a drug burn and kept it hidden(for some unknown reason) preferring to take their chances on the Helter Skelter Theory.

Doc Sierra said...

Good points Matt P.
My theory is that Tate was a hit contracted to Manson and that he used his Helter Skelter BS to get his minions to do his dirty work and buffer him from culpability, which didn't work.

CarolMR said...

Doc, who would contract a hit to a person like Manson?

Doc Sierra said...

CarolMR said...

Doc, who would contract a hit to a person like Manson?
Manson had many contacts in the underworld from his time in prison. We see Manson acting like a loon but Charlie had the ability to turn it on and off, depending on the people he was dealing with at the time. A lot of people that knew him back then say he could be quite charming.

MrPoirot said...

Here's Raving Roland Friesler if you've forgotten

CarolMR said...

Doc, I agree Manson could be very charming. But both nights of TLB were such a mess, full of hatred and rage. Those are not contract killings - they should have been swift and clean without one of the killers (Susan) bragging about it. Manson really messed up if it was a hit contracted to him.

Unknown said...

I agree with Carol.
If this was a hit I think Manson would have been the next to go for screwing it up so badly.
He(they) never would have made it to Trial.

Unknown said...

They would have contracted Zodiac to hit the family.

CarolMR said...

"If this was a hit I think Manson would have been the next to go for screwing it up so badly." - Matt

I totally agree.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

To say you love is not enough
Even you can be true.
You can tell those lies, baby-baby, but you're only foolin' you.

Can you feel?
Are those feelings real?

Look at your game girl...
Look at your game girl...

What a mad delusion.
Livin' in this confusion...

Frustration and doubt, can you ever live without... the game?

starship said...

Three more things:

1) Thanks, Lynyrd

2) I shall probably not be around much for a few weeks because my annual gig with the NY Jets Training Camp has begun.

3) I once went to a wedding (yes I was an invited guest) where both Keith Hernandez and Michael Eisner were also in attendence. Could I claim to have had dinner with them?

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...


Wow... football training camp already?

Life is just going by, WAY too fast. LOL

starship said...

Well, there's training camp which beginsd in a week, and then there's all the work you have to do to be ready for training camp..which is this week....

Cuntry Trash said...

Manson was obviously talking about Helter Skelter, and regardless of what he says now it was a part of what he was preaching. However, like Paul Watkins has said; it was Black Muslims and not Black Panthers. Paul Crockett, Phil Phillips, Sandra Good, and even Manson himself have all talked about Black Muslim attacks. Now it may also be coincidence that a few years after his conviction that a party of Black Muslims DID in fact try and start a race war dubbed The Zebra Killings. I think Robert Hendrickson has also talked extensively about this angle.

But Tex has said that the murders were mostly to obtain funding FOR Helter Skelter (e.g. to move to Death Valley) and for legal funding to help get his people out of Jail. We all know Susan Atkins has also said nearly the same thing. Both downplayed the fact that the murders were to SPARK the race war.

In a parole hearing Patricia Krenwinkel also stated that she was under the impression that she went out the first night in a creepy-crawl robbery mission and did not know that tex was indeed going to kill until they got across the gate.

I don't believe that, but it does downplay the "spark Helter Skelter" theory.

Manson admits a lot, he admits it in riddles. In the Geraldo interview Manson said that (in so many vague words) the victims were chosen due to debts they owed to others. He also calls it a Holy War- religion. Black Muslims.

My take on it is that Manson spoke a lot about a race war coming that he believed would happen. He no doubt went on a tangent while on LSD saying God knows what-- the things people on LSD talk about and skew.

When it was time to get things done, so many things lined up to where the murders could be done and kill three birds with one stone.

I do think the victims were chosen due to the drug circle connection. In my mind this is clearly obvious.

Like Tex said, a motive for the murders was to try and free Bobby. Atkins also said this.

I think Manson and Tex had money on their mind. How much money came through the Family 1968 - 1969 - at least $35,000... all stolen or donated. That is what- $250,000 today. Shit.

So, for those who believed in the race war, well they were lead to believe that angle. The ones who loved Bobby were lead to believe that. But in my mind it was all for the prospect of a huge cash payout.

I really don't believe Manson believed all that Helter Skelter hoopla the Family spoke about. I think he may have said it, LSD influenced, but surely did not believe it.

I think the Family, collectively, deconstructed the White Album. I don't think Manson believed it more than is all being a funny coincidence.

Bugliosi obviously used the Helter Skelter theory because it would convict the entire group, even Manson. Using a theory of drugs would probably have had the saqme outcome. All circumstantial evidence. Even now it is vague.

The motive of Free Bobby, again, would have convicted the participants and not Manson- Bug wanted Manson. Period.

Even Bugliosi said to Bill Curtis that he didn't believe that Manson believed in all aspects of Helter Skelter.

In the end, it doesn't matter what convicted him. But I will say with the motive the prosecution chose, it may not have brought true justice to the Families. Even Doris Tate has said that.