I think trying to rationalize someone who was raised in confinement, and probably not by the best role models, is a never ending process with no finish.
The "psycho-social" aspect of this case, is one of the first things that grabbed me. I'd love to roll-around in Manson's head for a week, and see what makes him tick. But having said that, I tend to agree with you.
Trying to "make sense" of "Manson" (and the crimes which ensued) from a standpoint of "mainstream reasoning" is, to a large extent, an exercise in futility. As you said, that study would be a never-ending process with no finish. History itself, is proof of that.
Manson's background and brain is so very different from the "makeup" and experiences of the average American, that understanding him in linear terms, probably isn't possible.
And let's face it... brutally killing multiple people in their suburban homes, in and of itself, is a "non-sensical happening". How do you really "make sense" of that?
When Harold True was being interviewed, his interviewer was attempting to "make sense" of the perpetrators' thinking and rationale (behind the murders).
Harold True responded to his interviewer by saying:
"You can't ascribe reason to crazy people".
I think Harold was pretty accurate with his response. If these folks had great reasoning skills at the time of the murders, the murders wouldn't have taken place.
"I think things would have turned out much much different (for Manson) had Tex been tried with the others."
This is probably your best point, and I spent the better part of last night thinking about it. In short, you might be right.
The girls echoed what Manson did in the courtroom. To some extent, they still exuded the "hippie persona" during the trial. They carved "X's" into their foreheads. They shaved their skulls. They demonstrated to the jury, that they were puppets... and that certainly worked in Bugliosi's favor.
Tex on the other hand, seemed to "sober-up" really quick when he was facing the gas chamber. He went to court looking like a Wall Street lawyer. He had a well-groomed haircut, a fresh shave, and a suit on. There was no shaving or carving of his head. Tex's outward appearance (and behavior) didn't really fit the description of "Manson puppet". That of course, may have presented a challenge for Bugliosi.
I think Tex's appearance and behavior, would have boiled down to "peer pressure".
The question becomes:
If Tex had been prosecuted with his crime partners, would he have succumbed to peer pressure, and continued to exhibit "group actions" (shaving and carving) and "group appearance" in the courtroom?
When Tex's "participation" in the crimes became examined and detailed in the courtroom, it certainly would have pushed him towards the "forefront" in terms of culpability. It's impossible to listen to Tex's "participation" in the murders, and not become physically nauseous.
Tex had SO much blood on his hands, that he may have overshadowed Manson as "most evil" (in the eyes of the jurors). This of course, would have worked to Manson's advantage.
Bugliosi's workload would have been increased with another defendant to prosecute. This may not sound like a major factor, but it may have made a difference.
Ultimately, we'll never know how Tex's involvement would have effected Manson's fate. But I will say this: I really don't think Tex's involvement could have hurt Manson.
"My interest lies in the last of the old time prisoners. CM was around before drugs and Reagan and all that."
Manson really HAS become a part of history. There's just no denying it.
Manson's legacy will be as big and memorable as "Billy the Kid's"... probably bigger actually. I'm not sure I'd want to spend an entire lifetime behind bars to achieve that goal (LOL)... but, it's true.
And "Manson" isn't just national, he's "international". A very large portion of our TLB bloggers are from Britain.