What caused Tex Watson to go from all American boy to knife wielding killer?
He was brought up in a country setting, with parents that tried to guide him. He got in a little trouble at school, had average grades, made good on the football team, a seemingly idyllic life in a small North Texas town.
So what made Tex into what he became?
He moves to California, the "land of the fruits and nuts" as we used to call it, got a crummy job selling wigs, found out that selling drugs was more lucrative, hitched a ride with Dennis Wilson, met Charles Manson, and hooked up with The Manson Family, which consisted of lots of drugs & sex.
But how does that change him into a bloodthirsty killer?
Some people are "born bad". Was he one of those? He wasn't abused as a child, had a nice life, had girlfriends, had friends in school.
When did he go haywire?
Tex claims that after the TLB murders and Shorty's murder, he got "confused" and went back to Texas. But if he really had remorse, wouldn't he have told his parents what happened? His parents, the 2 people on this planet that he could truly trust??
But no, he didn't do that. He spent some time there, split for Mexico & Hawaii, and finally returned to Texas, still not telling anyone what he did. It wasn't until California put out a warrant for his arrest that his parents even knew he had anything to do with the murders.
Tex had plenty of opportunity to confess his sins and seek help, but he chose not to. In his mind, if he kept his mouth shut, no one would ever know he was the one who did it. He wasn't planning on Susan Atkins blabbing about it. Too bad for Tex.
Then...instead of owning up to it, he denied it and played crazy. He thought that would get him out of this "jam". And Mama Watson was right there, spoon feeding him and believing that it was all nonsense, that her baby boy couldn't have done these crimes.
I think he stayed in Texas because he was protected by his "kin". He thought they would get him off.
He thought wrong. Even his kinfolk couldn't get him off this rap.
Eventually he was tried, convicted and sentenced to death. But the California Supreme Court changed that to life with the possibility of parole.
What really changed Tex into a murder machine? Tex claims it was Charlie's robot voice commanding him. Was it? I would think that "robot voice" would have subsided in time. But according to Tex, it hadn't subsided even by December of 1969 when he was arrested.
Tex did a lot of things away from Charlie. He did a lot of things "sans" Charlie. Was he really under Charlie's control? He admitted at Cielo Drive that "I am the devil and here to do the devil's business".
Was it the constant drug use and Charlie's mantra that made him act this way?
Tex stopped eating in jail and tried to put up an "insanity defense" which didn't work.
Tex's childhood home is now up for sale.
I wonder if Tex even cares about his country home, about his parents, about his family, about their feelings in all of this, about their disappointment and hurt caused by him. Does that even matter to him? I never see him mention it.
It's one thing to have a wayward kid who can't quite keep a job, can't quite make things work, always a dollar short and a day late, those kinds of kids are irritating.
But it's another thing to have a kid that commits the most horrendous murders of our time, for no reason at all.
Does Tex ever think about the backlash for his parents. How they suffered through this horrible situation? How they anguished that they gave birth to such a demon-child? How they sacrificed for him, taught him, took him to church, tried to give him the best life he could have had, only to have a thankless son that left this legacy for their family?