Monday, September 12, 2005

And this Little Pic went to Market

There is a new book just out called DREAM A LITTLE DREAM OF ME- The Life of Cass Elliott.

You can buy it here. We don't get any money from it, but it is a VERY well researched book. Maybe I'll review it later.

Anyway, here is the pertinent stuff from the book for TLB. Pic Dawson is a drug dealing friend of Cass' in the book. He is also mentioned in detail in Sanders and I think the Bug's book.

I'll just point out that a variation of this theory is what I believed actually occurred. No bullshit race war stuff.

But read the excerpt- I just had my assistant type it for you. You will learn from it more than you will from anywhere else today.

In the immediate aftermath of the horrific murders, nobody had any idea who might have committed such violence, nor what their motive might have been. It would be months before the truth was discovered and in the meantime an atmosphere of panic, fear, and paranoia swept through the canyons. The openness and trust that had previously existed, particularly at Cass's, was replaced with suspicion and concern. With the very real possibility that the murderer or murderers might strike again, most of the previously peace-loving musicians and actors lost no time in equipping themselves with some sort of protection whether it was a handgun, a rifle, or a guard dog. As the police began what would turn into months of investigation, they began questioning virtually everyone who had known the victims and, in the absence of a clear motive, almost anyone was open to suspicion. "Weeks went by when no one knew what had happened," recalls Mike Sarne. "And the police interviewed absolutelyimmense feeling of paranoia with everyone having their own little pet theories." everybody – a few times. My phone was tapped. And so from then on there was an

Having regularly played host to some of the less decorous characters on the scene, Cass was subjected to particularly intensive questioning by the police. Apart from having known the victims – which half of Hollywood could have equally claimed – Cass was further implicated by association. When the bodies of the victims had been discovered, the police had found the word PIG blurrily scrawled on the wall of the house in blood. John Phillips had informed the police of the widely circulating theory that what had been written was in fact PIC - in reference to Pic Dawson. Some believed this could directly point to his guilt. Both Dawson and Billy Doyle were known to have been regular guests at Cielo Drive during the summer, and as Dawson was already well known to the police, Cass was once again called in to account for his whereabouts. For all his bravado, Dawson, however, seemed unlikely to have carried out a series of murders of this ferocity. Besides, Cass had no idea where Dawson was, and if she had, it is similarly unlikely she would have told the police.

The other major rumor ricocheting through the Hollywood Hills, which is still cited by many, all these years on, concerned Doyle. It was known at the time that Folger and Frykowski had a penchant for cruising Sunset Strip and bringing home young men. After drugging them, they would tie them up and film them. Some weeks before the murders, as the tale goes, they had a spectacular falling out with Doyle over a business deal gone sour and had decided to exact revenge not only by doing what they usually did to their pick-ups but by flogging him in front of an invited audience. They apparently recorded this on film. The story then goes that when Doyle realized what had happened, he was, according to Monkee Peter Tork, who was living in the canyons at the time, "murderous." Raging, Doyle insisted he would kill Folger and Frykowski. Wary that he might carry out his threat, a similarly macho friend chained him to a tree in Cass's garden to calm him down before hauling him onto a plane out of the country. In the light of Doyle's oft-repeated claims that he had killed a man and his overall hard-core machismo stance, it is easy to understand hoe an episode like this might have been considered sufficient motive for him to have committed the murders. "If they were gonna do that to Billy," says Tork, "they wanted to die! That was death-provoking. It was a murderously dangerously thing to do!"

Eventually, after months of rumor and speculation, both Doyle and Dawson were cleared of suspicion and Charles Manson, a thirty-five-year-old ex-convict, fraud, pimp, and conman with a Jesus fixation, and his "family" of (mostly young and female) followers were revealed as the murderers. Manson had a talent for attracting the young and dispossessed and he had somehow managed to brainwash his acolytes into accompanying him on his nihilistic quest for supposed salvation and power through murder. Manson and his crew had been frequent visitors to Cass's house, taking advantage, like so many others, of the plentiful food, drugs and generally laid-back, hospitable atmosphere. But Cass was not the only one who had played host to him and his acolytes, unaware of what would ensue. Although in the aftermath of the murders, few would admit to any link, many prominent figures in the Los Angeles rock community had not only socialized with Manson and company – particularly his harem of young women, who made themselves readily available to anyone who was interested – but developed closer associations with them. As Neil Young later remembered, "A lot of pretty well-known musicians around L.A. knew Manson, though they'd probably deny it now. The girls were always around too. They'd be right there on the couch with me, singing a song." The Beach Boys' Dennis Wilson in particular had welcomed them into his life and taken steps toward helping Manson in his attempts to obtain a record deal and his subsequent failure to do so was at one point considered a motive for the murders. But prior to that, Manson and his followers would have seemed like no more than yet another of the city's umpteen crews of nomadic hippies, sitting around smoking, playing the odd guitar, and hanging out at other people's houses. There would have been nothing to differentiate them from any other group, and the open-house atmosphere at Woodrow Wilson meant that it was easy for them to wander in and hang out.

Because of Cass's connections to the case, meanwhile, when it finally came to court, she was subpoenaed as a witness, as was John Philips, who was also a good friend of both Polanski and Dennis Wilson. The police had found sheet music to the Mamas and the Papas "Straight Shooter" propped up on the music-holder of the baby-grand piano in the living room of Cielo Drive when the bodies had been found, which seemed to link Phillips to the case. Eventually, as the true facts came to light, Cass and John were both cleared of any involvement.

1 comment:

spookycatz said...

It has also been said...I think it was on the site The House on the Hill, that music was playing on a loop, 12:30 Young Girls are Coming to the Canyon, by The Mama's and the Papa's

Col, is that a Turner site?