Friday, January 16, 2015

Evidently, this guy threw one into Krenny...

Topper Price on stage with the Subdudes. (Photo by Chris Baker)

Local musician, libertine, and hard-living nightlife veteran Topper Price shuffles off with a legacy of unbeatable stories.

By Ed Reynolds, May 31, 2007

Topper Price, a local blues harmonica virtuoso and singer, died on May 16 at age 54, a victim of the rock 'n' roll lifestyle he enthusiastically led for nearly 40 years. A legend in Alabama for his spirited, emotionally charged performances in seedy bars and the occasional elegant nightclub, Price—a baseball fanatic—once defined his style with this appropriate quote: "Chicago-style rhythm and blues, buddy. That's my pitch. That's the one I can knock out of the ballpark."

A joke that spread around town in the days following his death was that with Topper's demise, angry bartenders were ripping up tabs that he'd left unpaid for months, if not years. Topper was a mess—a "mess" in both senses: as a rascal for whom we harbor fondness, and as a self-destructive personality in the way he often conducted his life.

Strangers, close friends, and mere acquaintances were continually amazed at Topper's gregariousness and seemingly endless knowledge about a number of topics. If anyone wondered who pitched the third game of the 1982 World Series, for example, Topper had the answer. Price could tell you what car Mario Andretti was driving the year he won the Formula One world racing championship (a Lotus), then give engine and chassis specifications before reeling off accomplishments by drivers A.J. Foyt, Dan Gurney, or Al Unser—and that was before he got around to discussing music or obscure historical facts about World War II. He rarely shunned an admirer who wanted to talk, and would spend hours at a bar asking strangers questions about their lives, though it usually helped spur conversation if the strangers were buying the drinks.

In a 1999 documentary by Birmingham filmmaker Chris Holmes, Topper explained how he started in show business: "I played my harmonica everywhere I went, at wildly inappropriate times. Wrong keys, wrong bands. Walked up to people I didn't even know and started playing for them. I was the prototype of a really enthusiastic, horrible harmonica player who drove everybody around him nuts. Finally people started giving me lessons just to get me to be a little better, because they knew they were going to have to listen to me anyway . . . So I was bad for a long time and then all of a sudden one day I was pretty good. People started asking me to play instead of asking me to leave. I guess that was my big commercial break."

Price eventually met Wet Willie singer Jimmy Hall, who gave Topper his most useful harmonica lesson. "Just blow as hard as you can and you'll figure out the rest," Hall said. Price's masterful touch of country and blues literally defined Dickey Betts' early solo work after Price was invited to play on the former Allman Brothers Band member's first solo record. Topper's late buddy Rick Danko invited him onstage with The Band from time to time. "Hey, pal. That was j-u-u-u-st right," drummer Levon Helm told Price one night in Atlanta after Topper played with The Band on "Mystery Train."

Topper was known to call friends on the anniversary of their parents' deaths, and he'd drop by the hospital to visit those whom he knew only peripherally. He often phoned friends unexpectedly simply to tell them that he loved them and was thinking about them.

“I was bad for a long time and then all of a sudden one day I was pretty good. People started asking me to play instead of asking me to leave. I guess that was my big commercial break.”

Tim Boykin was Topper's guitar player for a decade. "Topper was leading the band, and he would do stuff to try to scuttle the band performance, trying to screw up the band on purpose. Sometimes I would stand behind him, if we had new guys playing that night, and cue the band to what was supposed to happen. Topper would get pissed off at me because I would give the band the right cues," Boykin said, laughing. "But I sure did love Topper and I miss the hell out of him."

Price's ability to play while extremely intoxicated was legendary. Boykin remembered Topper would get pretty drunk and forget who he was playing with. "He'd turn to me and call me 'Rick' [Kurtz, who often swapped out guitar duties with Boykin], but he could still play his ass off and not even know where he was."

Once, his backing band The Upsetters were playing in Florida. "God, he almost burned down a condo we were staying at in Destin," said Boykin. "He put a TV dinner in the oven without taking it out of the cardboard box and went to bed. Smoked up the damn condo."

Don Tinsley, who played bass with Topper in The Upsetters for 20 years, recalled Topper's swagger whenever he entered a room, his head tilted at a cocky angle. "If it wasn't his gig he would wander up with that swagger and lean on the stage, as if to say, 'you're going to get me up to play, right?' The first time I met him was at a club in the late '70s or early '80s when he walked up and did that to the Amazing Rhythm Aces. They didn't even know him."

Tinsley's favorite story involved a dead opossum. "We were coming back from an out-of-town gig up over the hill by Vulcan. We started down and there was a car coming up the hill. All of sudden, from out of nowhere, the biggest opossum I'd ever seen in my life was slowly ambling across the road. We slowed up a little and it kept on walking, but the other car didn't see it. Topper stuck his head out of the window of our van and shouted "Heeeey!" as loud as he could, and he sounded exactly like James Brown. And the guy in the oncoming car looked at Topper and the opossum stopped and looked at Topper, and the other car squashed the opossum flat. That was Topper, trying to do the right thing."
Price in the recording studio with Robert Moore
"I've seen him light a cigarette on a stove and then turn the flame up instead of off, and then walk away, oblivious. He wasn't looking at the stove, he was on autopilot, just taking care of business," Tinsley said. "I think that was in Florida, just like the TV dinner incident. For some reason, Topper and the coast just didn't get along."

The day Upsetters guitarist Rick Kurtz learned that Topper had died, he found a baseball glove that Topper had given him in 1988. "We played catch in the backyard all the time when I lived with him for a while . . . About a year after that he gave me [Minnesota Twins slugger] Rod Carew's instruction book on hitting a baseball. Here I was, 38 years old, and that's something you give a Little League kid. It was beautiful. He even signed it for me: 'Kurtzy, I want you to have this.'"

Highland Music owner Don Murdoch said that his wife always insisted that Topper be invited to Murdoch's Christmas parties. "Everybody would be standing around, making small talk, with things not too lively. Then Topper would show up, pull out his harp, and start doing Christmas carols. He saved my Christmas party every year," Murdoch said.

Murdoch recalled the day that he and an ex-girlfriend were driving to lunch in his convertible sports car with Topper. Murdoch's lady friend had a severe case of poison ivy and was complaining constantly as they drove. While at a stop light, Topper suddenly stood up in the back of the tiny convertible and loudly sang the classic "Poison Ivy" while they waited for the light to change. The light turned green, and Topper took a bow as fellow motorists applauded and cheered.

Topper's former road manager Joey Oliver spoke of the night that Topper played a party at the home of Southern Poverty Law Center director Morris Dees in Montgomery. At the end of the evening, Topper playfully punched Dees in the arm as he often did to others. Dees did not find it funny, and Topper turned to Oliver and said, "Joey, I think I just fu**ed up. I just hit the man who got rid of the Ku Klux Klan."

Oliver remembered being at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival with Price, who was backstage after playing with The Radiators. Topper spied CBS newsman Ed Bradley and introduced himself. About that time, Price's girlfriend walked over and asked Bradley, "Do you know Topper?" Bradley smiled and said, "Everybody knows Topper."

"I've often credited Topper with giving me a career," said Damon Johnson, formerly of Birmingham's Brother Cane. The band's 1993 hit "Got No Shame" featured a blistering harmonica intro by Topper. "That harmonica intro is what made our song stand out above everything else on rock radio at the time. . . . We worked with a producer named Jim Mitchell, who was an assistant producer and engineer on the Guns N' Roses album Use Your Illusion." Mitchell wanted to use a harmonica player who had worked with Guns N' Roses but Johnson argued for using Topper. Price, who had never heard the song, came into Airwave Studios in Birmingham where Brother Cane recorded the harmonica overdub, and recorded two takes, the first of which is heard on the song. "The first note that the world heard of Brother Cane was Topper inhaling [to begin] the intro to 'Got No Shame.'"

Jazz singer and trumpeter Robert Moore, who recently moved from Birmingham to Oregon, spoke at length on Price: "Topper robbed my liquor cabinet constantly. He would put bottles that he'd drained back into my freezer, empty. But Jesus, I loved him. I'll never forget once asking him about an old Memphis soul tune, to which he instantly recounted the year, the producer, label, musicians on the date, etc. It floored me. Why Google when a phone call to Top would tell you more? And the range of his data bank wasn't restricted to music. I bought a used Ford pickup a few years ago. Top only looked at it, and said to me, 'Moore, that's a 289 right? I think those engines were made in Canada by Ford that year—great vehicle.' I later opened the truck door to examine the ID plate, and found that every detail he'd 'guessed' was exactly accurate."

One summer while living in Mobile, Topper had a brief fling of sorts with Charles Manson clan member Patricia Krenwinkel before he discovered that she was a fugitive (Krenwinkel participated in the Tate/LaBianca murders in 1969). Topper, who was then about 16 years old, was watching television with some friends when a news bulletin announced that Krenwinkel had been arrested in Mobile (Manson had sent her there to live with her aunt after the murders). Krenwinkel had been apprehended at a favorite Mobile hangout of Topper and his pals. "We've got to get out of this house!" said one guy, terrified that the police might raid the home, where Krenwinkel had been hanging around for a week or so. When Topper asked why everyone was so freaked out, one fellow said, "Hey Top. Remember Katie, that girl who's been giving you back rubs whenever she stops by? That's Krenwinkel."

I'll never forget being at The Nick around 3 a.m. when Topper, usually low on cash and always searching for free drinks, walked outside and spied a dozen plastic cups of half-consumed cocktails on the banister in front of the club. With lightning speed, he grabbed each cup and drank the leftover contents. Before walking back into the club, he stopped long enough to spit a hail of cigarette butts, machine gun-style, against the outside wall. My jaw dropped, just as it had several nights previously when he snatched the cup of water The Nick's security guard had been using only moments earlier to polish his shoes outside the club. Topper downed the liquid that he must have assumed was bourbon and water.

If only Topper had cared about his own health as much as he did about the well-being of his buddies. I remember once complaining about my problems with gout. "Eddie, what you need to do is go to the grocery store and get a can of Bing cherries. That's Bing cherries, you got that? It's a miracle cure," he growled in his affected Howlin' Wolf voice. Months later he asked about my gout. I told him the Bing cherries didn't work. Then I asked how he had been doing, and I'll never forget his response—the last words I ever heard from him. That his reply referenced chemistry was appropriate. "Eduardo, my friend, I'm a free radical in search of a covalent bond."

Story Here:


sunset77 said...

Topper Price and the Upsetters at Sloss Furnace

katie8753 said...

Thanks Lynyrd! So Krenny was giving a 16 year old "back rubs"? Sounds like child molestation to me. But that was their "Raison d'ĂȘtre".

I thought Pat was apprehended at her Aunt's house. Or am I remembering it wrong?

I'll bet that guy took a hot shower that day. LOL.

TomG said...

I feel sorry for Patty Krenwinkel, because she has had a rotten life. Some of it was her fault, some of it wasn't. We could apply that matrix to everyone, I guess.

That's a fellow human being alone and suffering. Or do you hold 1969 against her still?

sunset77 said...

Apparently, there was a bit of confusion over various arrests of Patricia Krenwinkel. Wikipedia says "On October 10, 1969, the group was once again arrested. This time, Patricia's father bailed her out of jail, but she immediately returned to Barker Ranch. Upon her return, Manson (who was not present at the October 10 raid), ordered her to go to Alabama and live with her mother until he sent word for her to come home. The orders to return never came, however, because of Manson's subsequent arrest on October 12 at Barker Ranch."

I'm guessing Manson didn't want her dad snooping around and was well aware of her involvement in the Tate/LaBianca murders and figured the further she was from Los Angeles, the less chance she could snitch.

There's a news article on blog describing some of the events around her arrest(s) in Mobile, Ala dated Dec. 5, 1969.

"MOBILE, Ala., Dec. 5 – Mobile police rearrested Patricia Krenwinkel, a suspect in the Sharon Tate murders, within minutes today after her original arrest was ruled invalid.

Circuit court Judge Joseph M. Hocklander gave police only 30 minutes to rearrest the brown-haired California native after he ruled shortly before noon that she had been arrested on an improper warrant Monday.

Her attorney, M. A. Marsal, argued at a habeas corpus hearing Thursday that his client was arrested on a city street before a warrant was ever issued in California.

Capt. Riddle testified that the arrest was made on the basis of a telephone call from a Los Angeles police sergeant who said the Krenwinkel woman was wanted on five counts of murder.

Riddle also admitted that Miss Krenwinkel spent two days in city jail before the arrest warrant from California arrived in Mobile."

If I understand this correctly, Krenwinkel was arrested on Monday, Dec.1, 1969 based on a phone call from detectives in CA, spent 2 days in jail, and I assume she was released because a judge didn't think a phone call was a proper arrest warrant. I assume she was re-arrested 30 minutes after the court hearing on Friday, Dec. 5 when the "proper warrant" arrived from CA. Krenwinkel was apparently arrested twice in Mobile, I suppose it's possible she could have been arrested at/near a nightclub AND at/near her aunts house.

Irregardless, from around Oct. 10, to Dec. 5, 1969, she may have had time to have some type of relationship with Topper Price in Mobile.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Thank You Sunset.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Evidently, Pat was able to "readjust" and "move-on" pretty quickly in those days.

She was only in Mobile Alabama for roughly 7 weeks, and she had already roped herself more cock.

So much for the shy, unwanted, ugly-duckling persona she always portrays. LOL

Quite to the contrary, it seems Ol' Pat was a pretty confident, outgoing, independent operator.

I guess Manson really "brought her out of her shell". LOL!

Something tells me the terminology "back rubs" in this article, is a (politically correct) euphemism for "blow jobs".



1.the substitution of a mild, indirect, or vague expression for one thought to be offensive, harsh, or blunt.

2.the expression so substituted: “To pass away” is a euphemism for “to die.”

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Tom said:
"I feel sorry for Patty Krenwinkel, because she has had a rotten life. Some of it was her fault, some of it wasn't. We could apply that matrix to everyone, I guess.

That's a fellow human being alone and suffering. Or do you hold 1969 against her still?"


Hi Tom,

I find Pat to be the most contrite, remorseful, grounded and truthful (of the incarcerated group).

Of course, my opinion is subjective.
I certainly can't "prove" that Pat possesses those qualities (to everyone's satisfaction).
That's simply my own personal opinion (based on what I've observed).

I do feel bad for Pat on some levels.
I hate to see anyone throw their entire life away... and yes, that includes Charles Manson.

There are no winners in a situation like this... the victims lose, the perpetrators lose, and society (in general) loses.

I don't take pleasure in seeing anyone spend their entire life behind bars.
It's an unnatural situation.
I don't think anyone was born, to spend their life in prison.

Having said all that...

Although I feel bad for Pat on some levels, I believe she's where she belongs.

If we released prisoners based on remorse and "not being dangerous" alone... I'd let Pat walk in a minute.
Pat appears genuinely remorseful, and I highly doubt she's a danger to anyone.

However... unfortunately... there's a thing called "restitution"... and therein, lies the bugaboo.

The gravity of Pat's crime(s), in my opinion, warrant life in prison.

I won't list all of Pat's "crimes"... but bear in mind, she participated BOTH nights.

(The fork in Leno's abdomen is/was pretty disgusting.)

Suffice it to say... she demonstrated complete disregard for human life and suffering... (during the crimes AND afterwards).

Folks generally agree, that Tex Watson was most culpable for the "physical perpetration" of these crimes.

Pat Krenwinkel definitely holds second place.
Pat is first runner-up (in the "physical culpability" department).
That's just my personal opinion, but I make that statement with confidence.
(Anyone who disagrees, needs to study this case more closely).


How much is a human life worth, in terms of years served?

How much is two nights of total disregard for human suffering worth?

I can only give my personal opinion, Tom.
These questions are very subjective.

In a perfect world, the victims would all still be alive... the perpetrators would have been free for the last 4-5 decades... and society wouldn't have paid the bill for the trial, and/or the incarcerations.

Unfortunately... it's not a perfect world Tom, and restitution for two nights of murder is a bitch.

I tried to answer your question, as honestly as I possibly could...

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

One final thought, on the subject of forgiveness and sympathy:

The idea of leaving home and experimenting with sex and drugs, was popular in the 60's.

Communal living was common.

In the beginning, these kids weren't doing anything unusual.

In fact, if I were in California myself (at that time in history) as a teenager, I may have joined a commune too.

What teenage guy doesn't like freedom, sex with women, and partying?

I made some pretty bonehead decisions of my own, during my misspent youth.
Who didn't?

Ken Kesey, Wavy Gravy, The Dead, and seemingly everyone in that area, was "hip" to the "lifestyle".

So yeah... I get that.


The majority of the 1960's communes did not turn criminal... (and, there were many of them).

Unfortunately for Pat (and company)... they chose a commune, which did.

Regardless of one's motive theory... I've always believed that Manson manipulated these kids.

By the end, these kids were zombies and robots... and Manson had no small hand in that.

These were young suburban kids who chose a path which MANY did... and unfortunately, they didn't come out the other end (as most did).

To no small extent, these kids were victimized and exploited themselves.

I get all that Tom... and yes... on some levels, I DO sympathize.


The real question becomes:

Were they just at the wrong place, at the wrong time?

Could this situation have happened to any unsuspecting kid?

Here's my opinion:

They WERE at the wrong place at the wrong time, initially.

Many kids (including me) could have ended-up on that ranch themselves, initially.

Both of those factors ring true initially.

But, here's the rub Tom... :

These crimes were NOT the result of one isolated night of poor judgement.

These crimes were NOT the result of one isolated instance of bad luck.

This situation... ie,... the zombie-like personalities... the callous disregard for human life and suffering... the murders themselves... the complete lack of remorse... etc, etc,... was the result of MANY bad decisions in a row.

These things do not happen overnight.

These folks were not transformed from middle-class suburbanites into murderers in 24 hours.
(And no, I don't believe they were ALL capable of murder, before they landed on that ranch).

At some point... these kids should have let common sense (and moral fiber) be their guide.

They should have left... and, I'm sure some kids did.

I DO feel bad for Pat and the other kids (to some extent).

As I said... I believe many kids could have ended-up on that ranch (in the 60's) initially.... and I believe Manson was a manipulator.

At some point Tom, everyone becomes responsible for their own actions. Murder, is definitely that point.

As a society, we cannot condone murder.

As I said Tom... this was NOT the result of one night of poor judgment.

This situation was the result of MANY poor decisions in a row.

By the night(s) of the murders, it was too late.

By the night(s) of the murders, these kids had already been stripped of all moral fiber and sense of decency.

They should have started making better decisions LONG BEFORE the night(s) of the murders.
If they had... they wouldn't be in jail today.

I may have ended-up on that ranch myself in the 60's... but I like to think, that I would have walked, when I saw crimes being planned and perpetrated.
If I chose to stay in that environment, I'd have no one to blame but myself.

This was a criminal outfit Tom, not just a traditional commune... and anyone who couldn't recognize that fact (from the inside) was more than just naive.

My two cents...

katie8753 said...

A lot of people comment that they parole murderers all the time, so these killers should get out too.

But how many murderers who received the death penalty eventually get out?

A jury spent months of their own time hearing this case and decided that the death penalty was warranted for such cruel, sadistic acts. I think at the very least, they should just leave these people in prison for life.

Mrstormsurge said...

A question. If the theory was that Manson exerted so much mind control over the killers then shouldn't that make them less than fully 100% culpable? Yes, they deserved time and lots of it but we're now at 45 years or close to it and lots of killers get out by then. I'm speaking only of Krenwrinkle and not the others. If she had murdered someone named Joe Blow and never met Manson and been under at least considerable influence by someone else...wouldn't she have been released by now?

katie8753 said...

Stormy!! :)

Dilligaf said...


Here's the thing, in a case with multiple defendants, and involvement, the sum is often more than the whole. You have a person(s) that are dead. Under a typical Felony Murder rule, one is as guilty as all. It will depend on factors such as the strength of the case, the players involved, and potentially mitigating factors. Add in conspiracy charges, and whether you pulled the trigger or not, you legally are just as culpable, thus the sentences can potentially carry the same weight.

As far as whether the victim were Joe Blow or not, you can find instances on both sides as to the severity of the sentence and release. However, because these sentences were originally DP sentences subsequently commuted, there are few examples to judge by. But, remember this, no two homicides are the same, and neither should be the sentences, each inmate, each victim, each punishment should stand alone.

To Bobby's question about teachers and accomplices, I do know that the boy toy of Pamela Smart is still in prison, though he is petitioning to be recategorized and sent to a minimum facility with potential work release. The thing that will play in his favor will be his age at the time of the crime, which I believe was 15. I am not saying it is right, but that is an example of a potentially mitigating factor, but in sentencing, and parole.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Stormsurge said:

A question. If the theory was that Manson exerted so much mind control over the killers then shouldn't that make them less than fully 100% culpable? Yes, they deserved time and lots of it but we're now at 45 years or close to it and lots of killers get out by then. I'm speaking only of Krenwrinkle and not the others. If she had murdered someone named Joe Blow and never met Manson and been under at least considerable influence by someone else...wouldn't she have been released by now?”


Hi Stormsurge.
It's great to see you.

You hit upon multiple topics with your question.

I'll do my very best, to cover several topics in a condensed space.
Wish me luck! LOL!

I hope Dilligaf doesn't mind if I briefly paraphrase him, for the sake of discussion.

LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Dilligaf has expressed in the past, that a chief conspirator (i.e., Manson in this case) is often the most culpable and dangerous person in a criminal group.

As usual, Dilligaf compiled a very convincing case for his assertion.

I won't elaborate further, as not to put words in Dilligaf's mouth.

On the other hand... as you know... some folks believe that Manson is innocent... or at a minimum, "least culpable" because he "never physically killed anyone".

It's an argument which rages on... but ultimately... according to the final sentencing... the courts sided with Dilligaf's opinion.

Manson was given nine counts of first degree murder, and one count of conspiracy.

The other crime partners received lighter sentences.
So yes, Stormsurge... one might conclude, that the courts ruled Manson “most culpable" of the group.

So… in a round-about sense Stormsurge... you're right.
Manson WAS found most culpable, and should actually serve the most time in prison.

HOWEVER Stormsurge...
In "real world application" (LOL), it may not matter.

Being sentenced to death for one murder, two murders, seven murders, or nine murders, can essentially become the same sentence... because each human being, has only one life to sacrifice (in terms of serving a death sentence OR life in prison).

Point being, I guess:
Technically… Manson probably should serve more time (in prison) than the others... but people only live (approximately) 80 years on this earth... and ONE count of first-degree murder is enough to ruin a lifetime. LOL

At some point Stormsurge... the old childhood game of "he made me do it" and "he's more guilty than I am" becomes moot.
When you're sentenced to death and/or life in prison for murder, you‘re kinda fucked… even if your crime partner is “more fucked“ than you are... LOL.

I’m being funny here, but you get my point.

If ALL of the incarcerated “Manson folks” were capable of living for 200 years, then Manson would probably be the last person paroled. LOL

Also... On a serious note:
One must not assume, that the other crime partners were not "100% culpable" for their own actions, just because Manson was found guilty of more crimes. **Raising my eyebrows**. LOL


LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...

Having said all that... LOL

As for parole specifically... you have to understand Stormsurge, that a considerable portion of these "parole decisions" are subjective.

As Vincent Bugliosi once explained quite aptly:
Parole is based on a good measure of "pardon" and "mercy".
No murderer truly "earns" parole in the truest sense.

If one goes with the "eye for an eye" system (which is equitable), these folks actually deserve death.

But as a society, we try to rise above that level of punishment.


By now, you're probably wondering where I'm going with all this (and, I'm starting to wonder myself)... LMAO!

Here's the point, that I'm trying to make Stormsurge:

I agree with you, on some levels.

If these whackjobs had acted alone, and killed a gas station attendant in East Bumfuck North Dakota (over $50 in the cash register)... they’d probably be paroled by now... OR at a minimum, they'd probably be much closer to the door.

The high-profile nature of this case... and the fact that these ass clowns acted as a high-profile "criminal group", works to their detriment (in terms of parole chances).

Everyone knows the name "Manson"... and that doesn't help their chances.
How could it?

But the fact is, Stormsurge... they CHOSE to participate in a high-profile case (in the context of a criminal group)... and now, they must live with the result(s) of their decision.

Let's not forget Stormsurge, that the perpetrators shared a heavy hand in making this case "high profile" themselves!
That’s a key point, that many “Manson family” sympathizers seem to conveniently forget.

At the end of the day Stormsurge, there ARE NO concrete answers for some of these questions.

Why is it, that Bruce Davis keeps receiving parole approvals in recent years... and yet, Leslie Van Houten doesn't even seem close??
That question crosses MY mind frequently.

If it were up to me Stormsurge, I would probably release Leslie before Bruce... but alas, I'm not on the parole board.

Bruce has more advanced education than Leslie... but short of that leg-up, I think the playing field is pretty even between them.

For the record, I've always believed that Davis has minimized his role in Shorty's death.

(I also believe that Davis may be guilty of more crimes. Of course, we can't keep folks in prison based on suspicions.)

What about Clem?
Why did he deserve release several years before the others?
I understand Clem pointed-out Shorty's body (to the authorities)... but c'mon... there has to be more politics behind that situation.

Parole IS subjective to some degree Stormsurge... and it IS based on a certain measure of "pardon" and "mercy" (as Bugliosi said).
And yes, it seems that some prisoners are extended more “mercy” than others.

The moral of this story:
Don’t kill people, and your life will not be in the hands of a parole board (and Governor).
And God forbid, if you ARE going to kill someone,…act alone, keep your mouth shut, and do it in a remote location. And whenever possible, kill someone obscure. I JEST of course! LOL


LynyrdSkynyrdBand said...



Mrstormsurge said...

And God forbid, if you ARE going to kill someone,…act alone, keep your mouth shut, and do it in a remote location. And whenever possible, kill someone obscure.

A lot of holes in the desert, and a lot of problems are buried in those holes. But you gotta do it right. I mean, you gotta have the hole already dug before you show up with a package in the trunk. Otherwise, you're talking about a half-hour to forty-five minutes worth of digging. And who knows who's gonna come along in that time? Pretty soon, you gotta dig a few more holes. You could be there all fuckin' night.

Dilligaf said...


And you thought Vegas was popular only for it's gambling? There are a lot of bodies out in the surrounding desert...

MrPoirot said...

Pam Smart is trying to get outband a film may help her out.

This is another hot piece of ass who murdered and got convicted. She had a good plan. She talked half the school she taught at into murdering her hubby. Somehow the cops found out. Dunno how. Sounds like a good plan to me. Personally I think people get too upset about murder. She's got a nice ass. Let her out. We are putting all our good looking women in prison.

katie8753 said...

Mr. P, I don't remember that Pam Smart, but I will say this.

My kids reminded me that the "Now" crap was said long before Charles Manson uttered it.

Which makes sense to me. The Buddhists were saying it long before he did. And Gary Hinman was saying it. That's probably where Charlie got it.

He's such a Fucking loser.

Night y'all!

louis365 said...

In that Pamela Smart Docu, a friend of hers says like - "It's not fair that she got life without parole, even Charles Manson didn't get that."

Of course, we all know different, but it's Charles Manson's that
always seems to get mentioned when people want to pick the worse example.

TomG said...

When I was growing up in the 70's, there was no such term as autism. There was special ed. The slow kids. The retards. And we teased them as only the whole can torment the defective. Shamelessly.

Of course now, we can see the error and cruelness of judging.
As a society, we still see mental illness as something that is the individual's own fault.

But I can still remember as a child the beauty and majesty of an Catholic Mass, The feeling of being forgiven, as we have forgiven those who have trespassed against us. To reach out to the sufferer, not in a spirit of personal gain, but to be at one with compassion.

TomG said...

You know what, if I could elaborate a little bit,

The whole true crime industry is pitting people against one another. Betty with the Bee Hive hairdo and Awkward Jim with the oily hair, don't feel that their lives have been disappointments when they watch Snapped or read M William Phelps......about people who have really, really fucked up.

That's cable and internet popular culture these days. A person's true instincts, and personal spirituality, however, is to forgive and help another person, no matter what they have done.

MrPoirot said...

Pam Smart's case is another case where a person gets LWOP at 20 and will spend more than 60 or 70 years behind bars. They sit in prison so long they finally end up completely different people from the murderer they first arrived as thus causing society to wonder about the logic of LwOP sentences.

Today we have a problem with the high cost of paying for an aging prison population and the numbers of elderly are rising.

Smart is a tough nut because she still denies any involvement with the killing of her newlywed husband even 25 tears later.
Later this year she will become the only one out of five involved who is still in prison. Even the kid who actually shot her husband will get out. He is already on work release. This really makes Pam mad.

Smart will have to admit ordering her hubbys' murder if she is ever going to win a parole. The kid who shot her hubby says she will never admit that. She also tried to kill a teenage female witness against her.
So until Smart rehabilitates herself she is doomed.

MrPoirot said...

TomG mentions forgiveness. If a person wants to be forgiven they need to atone and ask for forgiveness before it can be granted. Pam Smart is a very intelligent woman with two masters degrees but she is far more controlling and self stubborn than she is intelligent. This is the nature off an extremely obsessive compulsive personality.

TomG said...

Well, if you commit a crime, and get convicted, you have to do the time for that crime. I'm not arguing that.

But 45 freaking years?! This is not a sentence, but political retribution, from angry old hateful white conservatives, who thankfully die out a little more each and every day.

katie8753 said...

Tom: But 45 freaking years?! This is not a sentence, but political retribution, from angry old hateful white conservatives, who thankfully die out a little more each and every day.

Angry old hateful white conservatives? How about family members who had their hearts ripped out by these hideous murders? Who essentially stopped living in 1969. Why should these freaks live now? They should have been pushing up daisies years ago.

They wanted to shock the world. And they did. Leslie Van Houten was grumpy because she missed out on the first night's action.

Well, maybe somehow she can watch the newsreel every night in her cell.

The victims don't ever get parole. So why should the killers?

TomG said...

Well you know what? I'm in a dumbfound.

I probably can't change minds that have been made up a long, long time ago ( is that Boz Scaggs)

But I can, and I always will, summon up the best in us, the remaining best in all of us. No human being should be defined by the worst hour in their life.

katie8753 said...

Hey Tom, 2 questions.

What is the "worst hour in your life?"

And "how would you feel if the Manson Family killed your family member for no reason at all?"

Night pug!

TomG said...

What do any of you birds know about human suffering? Amuricans support torture, afterall. And invading other people's countries.

Solitary confinement is torture. They torture people in Amurrica. And I'm suppose to drink my booze and be alright with it.

I'm down with the drinking my booze part.

TomG said...

That's not somebody else's girl,
That's my girl.

I love you Erika. And I always will.

katie8753 said...




katie8753 said...

I hate coming on that strong, but some people just push the limit. And if need be, I'll do it.

TomG said...


katie8753 said...

Tom Shut the fuck up!

katie8753 said...

I think you know I mean it. Let people rest. Shut up.

TomG said...

My whole point with mental illness is sort of demonstrated here.
Sometimes we don't know. A friend is fine one moment, the next moment they aren't.
Live and keep learning, I guess.

TomG said...

Honey, I never meant to say anything hurtful.

But if I did, I'm sorry.

katie8753 said...

Tom, my point in saying this is that you are insulting the victim's families.

So stop doing it. And we will be fine and dandy.

I'm going to bed now. Please be respectful!

katie8753 said...

I accept your apology!

Night friend! :)

katie8753 said...

Okay I'm going to bed. Night ya'll! Have relief!

I hope that everyone has a nice night, and sweet dreams! I Really do! :)

TomG said...

It's raining in New Jersey. Fat ass Chris Christie ass New Jersey.

Another Nor Easter coming up the coast. It's raining in New Jersey.

TomG said...

A cold steady rain in New Jersey.

She didn't seem to like that I brought up Erika.

louis365 said...

bobby said...

"Bible instructs us to visit & comfort those in prison. NOT release them."

I couldn't agree more.

TomG said...

Number one, the bible was written by unscientific men who were probably trying to explain the world as they knew it. So it isn't the source of ultimate authority that you believers, settling for a weak argument, try to impose on the rest of us.

Number two, the laws of California should be for all offenders. And not discarded for high profile inmates.

MrPoirot said...

Tom you are getting yourself all worked up by brainwashing yourself with subversive propaganda.
Hell i'm a white gray haired conservative but I think most of the TLB killers should be freed.
I don't think liberal or conservative viewpoints have anything to do with Charlie being in prison.

Marliese said...

Bobby, there you are...! Making perfect sense as always. Hope all is well for you and yours.

Personally, I don't believe forgiveness is the responsibility of a parole board. Aside from religious faith and absolution, only the victims and those speaking for them can offer forgiveness. Parole boards determine whether or not these people are fit to live responsibly in free society again. And she doesn't help when she has to be reminded to apologize to the families of her victims, or tells the parole board that she hurt herself the most, or that Abigail Folger could have been more and done more with her life, or that short of taking her own life, she can't make up for what she's done.

The State of California has not mistreated Pat Krenwinkel. She was convicted of seven first degree murders and conspiracy to murder, and sentenced to die for her crimes, so lucky for her she's been offered and taken advantage of one therapy program after another in a medium security environment, earned an education and helped educate others, instead of being locked up on death row decade after decade like Socorro Caro, Richard Allen Davis, Scott Peterson and 700 and some other convicted killers in California...

But really, as long as she tells the parole board that she hurt herself more than those she terrorized, stabbed, sliced up and desecrated, she will never be considered fit for parole.

Applying the law fairly? How many calif inmates sentenced to life with the possibility of parole have been released that were convicted of seven first degree murders, and conspiracy to murder after having had a death sentence commuted? Or do each of the lives she's convicted of murdering not count?

MrPoirot said...

Marliese said:
How many calif inmates sentenced to life with the possibility of parole have been released that were convicted of SEVEN first degree murders

Poirot replies:

Seven is macbre. However if the law states she has a pathway to be released then the law must be followed if the inmate meets all demands and requirements. If the law is wrong then change the law. The courts must follow the law too.
It does look to me like the system is making new rules when they feel like it.

Europe doesn't even have LWOP. Yet I bet they never release the mass killer in Norway Andres Brevik even though by law they have to let him go in 20 yrs. Norway needs to change their laws.

Marliese said...

What is "macbre?" Never heard of it.

Agree or not, Pat Krenwinkel can be held for life. And "the law" is being followed. The California Supreme Court allows denial of parole based on the severity of the commitment crimes. It is not unlawful for the parole board to deny parole if a murder was carried out with "callous disregard" ...and they quote that language in their denials...but you tell them Pat has a "pathway to to be released."

Seven people brutally murdered over two successive nights? She's never getting out.

TomG said...

First of all, none of you birds know what goes on in a prison and how inhumane it is. Locking people up two to a room 23 hours a day because some half ass correctional officer called out sick because the roads were icy.

MrPoirot said...

Marliese I misspelled macabre. Sticky key you know?

So you are saying Pat can be paroled but she can't be paroled. The law in California seems to be vague. The law as is says if we want to let you out; we will. If we don't feel like letting you out; we won't. We can give you life without parole on a whim if we so choose without a court directive.

The only thing people agree on about the TLB murderers is they are not sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. That is a fact. Or is it? Apparently the system can follow the sentence or make up its own sentence.

Seven murders or no murder at all Pat has a court directed sentence that that has been crumpled up and tossed in the trash can. The court knew she had murdered 7 people when it sentenced her in 1971.

This what I don't understand and you do understand it seems. This isn't just you, me and Tom arguing this point. There are many people who couldn't care less about the TLB murders who are not comfortable with how these sentences are being carried out.

MrPoirot said...

Say a man steals a can of paint and a judge sentences him to 30 days.

What if they NEVER let him out of jail? There are countries where this happens. there are classic novels written about this type of injustice.

MrPoirot said...

If all of the TLB convicted murderers dies in prison is this even legal?

Surgio said...

Since California it now a de facto colony of Mexico, Leslie and Pat should appeal to the Mexican Minister of Justice for release yesterday.

Mexico's maximum sentence for any crime is thirty years. It's well past that now. Goofy assed moonbeam would be pissed but who cares.

As far as adjudication in the TLB cases, this is what should have happened.

1. Susan - paroled after 25
2. Leslie - paroled after 30
3. Pat - death
4. Watson - death
5. Manson - death

MrPoirot said...

I can see what yore saying Surg. There was varying of degrees criminality in the many murders.

I think they will all die in prison which is life without parole. I don't see any of them ever getting out.

sunset77 said...

"TomG said...

First of all, none of you birds know what goes on in a prison and how inhumane it is."

I'm not sure which "birds" Mr. G is referring to, but you can bet your ass I know precisely how inhumane prisons are, I did 3 years, I was housed on death row for 6 months. There were at least 3 people in my pod that had death sentences, I talked to them through my cell door. My guess is you don't have a clue what takes place in prisons.

I remember quite clearly being stomped and kicked by guards because someone on the top tier threw water on them and they thought I did it. They came running up in my cell with shields, helmets, clubs and beat, stomped and kicked me for several minutes to the point I'm nearly certain they broke one of my ribs. I was dragged out of that cell to the "cadre" where they put put shackles on my ankles and a chain around my waist with my hands cuffed to it wearing nothing but boxer shorts. That cell had no mattress, no blanket, no pillow, just a slab of concrete, a toilet and sink. I was in that cell for several weeks like that with the chains on the entire time. It was especially fun trying to eat with my hands chained to my waist. It actually didn't work out too badly however, because I spent almost the entire time lying on the slab of concrete, that gave my rib time to heal.

I know for an absolute fact that the guards smuggled tobacco into prison because some of it was smuggled to me. The guards in the prisons I was in would smuggle anything if they could sell it.

The smell of pepper spray was nearly constant. The 18 year old black kid in the cell next to me in super max would stick his foot in the toilet and hold the button causing the toilet to overflow and flood the whole tier. The cops would show up with their pepper spray, clubs and helmets and blast the pepper spray through the slot in his door. It would stink up the whole prison. Then the guards would rush in his cell and beat him for about 10 minutes, I could hear the "whack" "smack" "slap" sound in the cell right next to me. They would then drag his ass to the cadre. About 2 weeks later he be back, "Big Young-un" would holler over to me, "Yeah, I made use 2 of the big cans to get me out that time!!". 2 days later he would flood the tier again.

I'm pretty sure I know as much about what happens in prisons as you do.

MrPoirot said...

Sunset how the hell did you make it out and find yourself lucky enough to be riding your Triumph through the W Virginia mountains? You must have a bit of Papillon in you.

katie8753 said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa, back it up.

Sunset you were housed on death row for 6 months?

(1) What did you do to get housed on death row and

(2) how did you get out?

Marliese said...

Bobby, thanks. I feel the same about you. When I see a post from you, I always smile, and say oh good, there's Bobby...making perfect sense!

Glad you remember our chat about Rockford and Paradise Cove in Malibu. Lots of tv history there...

katie8753 said...

Marliese & Bobby! So good to hear from you both! I've been under the weather for a few days. Still am, but I'm checking the blogs.

It's amazing to me how people compare these Manson monsters to other people who did get parole.

Mr. P: Say a man steals a can of paint and a judge sentences him to 30 days. What if they NEVER let him out of jail?

Well, it doesn't take much thinking to know these people didn't steal a can of paint.

Why don't we do a new standard? Let's see if we can research and find where different family members of an evil cult broke into people's homes and slaughtered them without mercy, laughed at it during the trial, and then tried to look sorry.

Hmmmm....the only thing that comes to mind about a home invasion is Richard Hickcock and Perry Smith, the killers of the Clutter family in 1959.

They both were hung by the neck until dead.

And I truly believe that there was no premeditation on these murders. They got pissed off because the safe was empty.

So if these 2 got death by hanging, why would ANYONE think that the creeps from the TLB murders should be paroled? That's makes no sense.

Let me tell ya. These people are exactly where they should be. Forever.

How would you feel if Ted Bundy got paroled? That would be scary. Same with these monsters.

katie8753 said...

A home invasion is a very SERIOUS matter. The Clutter family wasn't famous at all. But their killers got the death penalty.

People like to trend that the only reason these folks are still in prison was because of the "high profile" of the victims. But that's not the case. It's the savagery of the crime.

Speaking of savagery, let's not forget the home invasion in Connecticut, the Pettit home by Steven Hayes and Joshua Komisarjevsky.

They both got the death penalty too.

These victims weren't famous, they just got slaughtered for no reason.

TomG said...

Well, number one, I'm sorry if I have hurt feelings because of things I might have said.
Number two, no one on this earth is hurting my girl. When we got this straight, we got a meaningful conversation to come.

TomG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marliese said...

Katie, hi! You're always so welcoming. Thanks! I hope you feel better soon.

MrPoirot said...

How many of you think Charlie, Tex, Bobby, Pat, Leslie and Sadie should die of old age in prison even though they do not have life without parole sentences?

leary7 said...

I've long loved me some Katie, but that latest post is amongst your best, friend.
It is indeed the savagery that society won't forgive.
Parole can be argued for the TLB killers for another hundred years, it won't change the fact that the savagery of the act was ingrained into the conscious of America - and Charlie and the girls, with their actions at the trial, ARE EVERY BIT AS RESPONSIBLE FOR THAT FACT as the Bug or the media etc. No amount of compassion or enlightened argument is ever going to change that truth. Honestly, it breaks my heart a bit because Pat and Leslie seem like real decent people now, but their path is set in stone.
I suppose a Manson blog is as good a forum as any for a discussion of mental illness, but a strong moderator is most definately needed for that discussion for there are a thousand dark alleys to that subject.

MrPoirot said...


So the sentence does not matter? Rather it is the severity of the crime and the consciousness in the minds of people that determines the length of an inmates prison stay?

katie8753 said...

Thanks Marliese. I'm feeling a little better every day. It just takes time....

Leary good to see you Amigo! :)

Mr. P, let's remember one thing.

The sentence was reduced to "Life with the P-O-S-S-I-B-I-L-I-T-Y of parole, not the P-R-O-B-A-B-I-L-I-T-Y of parole. The sentence doesn't mention longevity, nor does it imply it.

Possibility doesn't mean the prisoner will be released, it only means that the release can be considered, and accepted or rejected.

People like to get tangled up in thinking, "well they've been in prison for "X" amount of years, and it's about time they got out, cuz others did."

But it doesn't work that way. There are many factors involved in sentencing a prisoner the death penalty in the first place. Those mitigating factors don't disappear when the sentence is commuted.

Ergo, the heinous nature of the crimes remains the same. And they will always be taken into consideration.

katie8753 said...

Oh well, the clock on the wall is calling my name. The big hand is on the 44 and the little hand is on the 10. LOL.

I guess I'll say adieu.

G'Night Jugdish!!! :)

katie8753 said...

Well let's see, nobody's saying anything about these losers getting out. Good 'nuff.

Now on to more important things.

Boxing's on!

sunset77 said...

Off topic comment:

Apparently, one of the first cases to use DNA involved a Mr. Shawn Harris in Medford Oregon. He was 21 and apparently raped and murdered a 14 year old girl named Leah Joleen Lavis. A news story about that case can be seen-->HERE

While I'm not certain it involves the same "Shawn Harris" a YouTube music vid was recently uploaded that apparently involves Mr. Harris and Mr Bobby Beausoliel

katie8753 said...

Thanks Sunset.

Well it looks like fatass loser Bobby B. has attracted another fatass loser to his "swinging band". HA HA.

A pedophile killer. HA HA. It's just gets better and better! Maybe he can replace the other fatass loser!

Too bad they can't have a concert at Yasgur's Farm.

Maybe next time they can lose some weight and change out of those dirty dungarees.

Not that the music would sound better. They could work another 6000 hours and still sound like they were just practicing.

And..."practice makes perfect". Hmmmm.......


katie8753 said...

Q: Why does Bobby always wear sunglasses in the daytime?

A: Because he has a chronic case of a queer-a-matic puke-a-phile and he has an imagined damage called "I'm-a-jerk-off-ass-hole-dick-wad-manic-know-it-all-suck-it in-wad-a-mania-tuck-&-blow till it makes us wanna puke-I'm a Lucifer reject-don't hate me-I'm a love man-Why did I leave the knife in the wheel-I deserve to die - But I wanna live to marry women and make putrid music-until something happens-since nothing ever did"

That's why!

katie8753 said...

That music is slower than death. Compare that to a real musician like Stevie Ray. GET OUTTA HERE!!!

Trash and more trash. Anyone could play music to that time. A 3 year old could play a tiny fake piano to that time.

That tempo is so boring you could sleep for 3 hours and still be playing it in your sleep.

I hope that Bobby can come up with something more tempo.

Maybe he should do a Funeral Marche!

Okay, calm down, I know he's too dumb for that, but maybe if he tries?

Yeah, he's too dumb...


katie8753 said...

Ahhh, I feel much better tonight!

I'm finally back baby! :)

louis365 said...

katie8753 said...

Q: Why does Bobby always wear sunglasses in the daytime?

A: Because his future is so bright, he gotta wear shades.

MrPoirot said...

Star is in the Daily Mail today.

katie8753 said...

Mr. P, I put a new thread up.

katie8753 said...

Louis you ROCK! :)

Sharmagne Leland-St. John-Sylbert said...

Absolutely! She murdered innocent people!
A fellow human being was alone and suffering when these fiends stabbed her 19 times! She deserves to rot in hell in her jail cell! What an imbecilic thing for you to even ask!

Zillah Noir said...

Seriously, what a load of CIA schizophrenic bullshit all the people commenting on this crap are prob the same person and its probably roman polanski who staged the manson hoax with CIA you can tell this is a CIA written blog by what is never mention that being operation chaos look it up none of these people spent a day in jail polanski and debrah who is actually sharon pocketed millions the tates were invovled in human trafficking and drugs and sharons father was in the navy tho CIA lies and says he was army and roman and sharons son is jj abrams you can tell they have the exact same nose and everything jj does was written by his pedovore father polanski and jj abrams is trafficking kids too through childrens defense fund freedom schools he is supposedly the anti christ tho the lamest weakest antichrist i could imagine and even tho christ never existed WHAT A JOKE!!!!! CIA has been hoaxing our 'rights' away for a long time now and starting illegal wars they are the terrorists and you all will burn one day. just read roman polanski's ghost writer thomas pynchon all the answers are there about him staging false flags and trafficking children world wide running blackmail rings with CIA FBI MOSSAD while you all chase your schizophrenic tails the answers are out there.