Sunday, February 26, 2006
Why the LaBiancas? That's this week's question.
Unlike the previous night, Charlie goes with everyone. Enters the house. Talks to and meets the victims. Ties them up/
Unlike the previous night, the group drive around town seemingly not having a victim in mind.
If you believe Kasabian, Charlie almost shoots several people.
THEN the group change direction (perhaps they did have a goal in mind) and they end up at the house NEXT DOOR to Harold True, where some of them had partied before.
I've been to both houses. They are pretty random and ordinary, not all that special.
I've heard a theory that Charlie was denied at True's like he had been at Melcher's and was sending a message. Don't make sense.
We've all heard that the girls had gone on garbage runs at the Gateway Market owned by Leno.
We've all heard the stories of black books and the mob. Contract killings.
But ask yourself this. Charlie WALKED into their house, like Tex walked into Voytek's abode.
I think Charlie knew Leno. He knew Tex would kill him. He wanted Tex to think it was random, hence the driving.
But I wish I knew HOW he knew Leno.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
The Col just finished watching his dvd of LIVE FREAKY, DIE FREAKY. This should be my review of the dvd. But I am not sure what I think. Hey I know, kids, how about two reviews? Excellent idea.
If you are well versed in the lore of TLB and have a sense of humor, you will LOVE this film. Done entirely with puppets, filmmaker John Roecker has a sick, twisted sense of humor- which you really need with a subject like this. He's not telling a story that's remotely trying to be accurate- Charlie is called Hanson, Sadie is Hadie, Sharon is Hate. Jay/Hay is gay. Voyteck is unnamed and survives the slaughter because he is too boring. The LaBianca characters are building supermarkets in the desert. If you know the general story and are in a good mood, maybe even stoned, you'll laugh at the madness. This is not a healthy film, but the Col laughed a few times. I thought the musical numbers were the best thing in it and the Creepy Crawl song was awesome.
The film advises you NOT to watch it if you are easily offended. It is wildely offensive. Puppets have penetrative sex. The victims are made to seem deserving of their fate. If you have no sense of humor you will hate this film.
In general, it is an insane idea to have Charlie as a puppet. So insane it is brilliant.
Might be worth putting it on your netflix. It came out last week.
[[ Funny note for regular blog readers - the hapless puppet "Steve Apparent" arrives at the Sharon Hate Mansion with a box full of $5,000 worth of drugs for the naked gay Jay character. He gets his money and then is thrown out of the house. He stands up and talks to an unseen "Hex Watson" and says "Hey guy, you wanna buy a clock radio?" before he gets stabbed. See Heaven, people DO find that odd!!!]]
Monday, February 20, 2006
Labyrinth 13 is a book available by Curt Rowlett at LuLu.com. The Col bought it upon its release in December because he read about it on Amazon under the review of another book called Sex and Rockets. The Col really liked Sex and Rockets. So he bought Labyrinth 13.
The Col enjoyed reading Labyrinth 13, but then the Col enjoys reading any book that questions reality and the status quo. The information on Jack Parsons was a repeat, and some of the points made about the Zodiac Killer were, umm, off the mark. But it wasn't a bad book. No, a bad book would be something by Adam GoRightly.
If you have a few dollars to spend, try the book. Here. It will make some good bedtime reading for you.
So anyway, Curt doesn't know that the Col read his book already. Hell, I was on his email newsletter reminding me to buy it. But he likes the Blog. Everyone likes the Blog except Oogly and Debra. And Curt wrote me an email.
Hello Col. Scott:
I am writing a book on the Manson case and am hoping that you might be able to assist me with some information.
I found a comment on a thread on your blog that mentions a possible gay relationship between Steven Parent and William Garretson that I found to be quite intriguing (see www.tatelabianca.blogspot.com/2006/01/
Can you supply me with any more information about this? Maybe even some sources?
Also, would you have any objections to my mentioning your blog in my book? If not, I would be interested in learning a bit about your background as you seem to be very involved in researching the case.
I also wanted to let you know that I have just discovered your blog and have spent the last couple of days reading through most of the archives. You have some very interesting and well-thought out information there. I thought I knew a lot about the Manson case, but learned several new things since having been to your blog.
Now, there are only two books the Col wants to read about this case- THE BUG, the unauthorized biography and The Manson Family Encyclopedia. The Col is too lazy to write either, so he hopes that is what Curt is writing. The Col DID want to read Tom O'Neill's book and Gypsy's book and Linda's book and so many others. But they don't come out and GoRightly's did. Life sucks. Hard.
So Curt, I don't know what you are writing but you can have my $15 now if you want it. I need to keep my shelves complete.
I don't know about a comment on a thread on my blog... did you read the whole blog? You need to research thoroughly in this case. No one but me does. There is a posting somewhere- google it- with a photo that reads "Homophobia is so Gay" In it we learn that two cops and Aaron Stovitz told me that Steve and Bill had a tryst. They investigated everything those cops. But don't take my word for it. Do your homework and read the police reports. They are on CM .com or Bret's site. Or buy it from Aesnihil like I did. William G was a "known homosexual" like they used to say. And Steve was experimenting I guess. Don't know. Doesn't really matter in the long run. It had nothing to do with being slaughtered.
Or I guess you could believe that a young boy from El Monte was visiting guest houses in Bel Air at midnight to sell clock radios to a virtual stranger.
I still believe Paul McCartney is gonna invite me to join the Beatles to replace John.
As for mentioning the Blog, no worries, please do. Just note that we are the only OFFICIAL TLB Blog on the worldwide web.
As for background, I am Col Scott, originally from the Ronson Board. co-opter of the name Harold False from an unmitigated douche bag who hates me, a disbarred attorney from Torrance California, a private investigator from New Rochelle or a little known film producer. I annoyed the piss out of the Yahoo RTV group as well as Linda Mann's board and later Mark Turner's first board. Ultimately I met my match with the Yahoo KTS housewives, who, after accusing me of horrible things, beat some sense into me and found internet friendship. I am mentioned in the closing chapter of that GoRightly book but please do not buy a copy. Like Charlie, everywhere and no where is my home. I adore Bobby and think he should be free. I hope SA and PK and TW never see daylight again, and do not think they ever will. I think CM made a deal with the devil to be famous and has to live with that deal. And, more that anything, I want to know WHAT HAPPENED that weekend in 1969 and WHY. The truth.
I am whoever you say I am. If I wasn't, then why would I say I am?
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Ryan's Daughter shipped on DVD this week. This beautiful film is an interesting failure in the career of major director David Lean. The two disc DVD is worth a look. Put it on your netflix.
Why, since this Official Blog only deals with subjects of direct interest, is this on site? Because the film was the high water point in the career of pretty boy actor Christopher Jones.
Jones was the Brad Pitt of his day. He starred in only a handful of films. And then, soon after this film, he disappeared from Hollywood. GONE. Next spotted in the eighties homeless on Sunset Boulevard asking for change.
The E True Hollywood Story did a piece on him four or five years ago. It was good stuff. Catch it if it airs. You'll see a studly, handsome man slowly lose his mind.
The Col went to meet Jones in the Valley a year after the piece aired. The story as aired only hints as to what caused his breakdown. Jones was very upfront about it with me- he was having an affair with Sharon Tate before she met Roman. They stayed friends. He loved her. Her murder flipped him the hell out.
There is a Yahoo group about Chris and some sites about him you can link to through the shitty IMDB service.
But watch the dvd and you will wonder at the career that could have been his.
The Col has spoken.
This year alone so far we have
- revealed that Col Tate is not buried in the family plot
- that Col Tate's ashes are being held privately by Debra Tate
- that Debra Tate was specifically dis-inherited by her father before he died
- that Debra Tate does NOT control the estate of her sister, mother, father or anyone
- that Bobby Beausoleil is being held against the standard rules of the Parole Board
- that Bobby Beausoleil may never get out of jail
The Mark Turner site provides news and was starting to provide open discussion.
The Bret site is just hours of fun fun reading.
KTS offers insights.
But ONLY the OFFICIAL Blog provides you exclusives you can use.
Like I said earlier- I am on assignment in a very cold clime so I cannot post as often as before.
But trust me- the Truth is in here and the COL will find it!
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Okay, no, it's not Jabba the Hutt, it is Donald the Hutt, aka Donald Lee Laisure.
This fat waste of space married Susan Atkins back in the crazy eighties for like ten minutes. Then, during a conjugal visit, she supposedly attacked him with a knife.
Ahh, fun times.
Here's the question though. You're in jail for like seven murders and stuck with sapphic love and self-diddling for life. For a short window you get the chance to get married and have some man love. And you choose this freakazoid?
I know the new husband is no prize, but he at least helped expose Nelson.
What the hell was Susan thinking?
The most irritating thing at each parole hearing was to hear Steve Kay (Judy to Bug's Punch) list this marriage and alleged stabbing as another reason why she shouldn't get out of jail.
Hey, four eyes you nerd- she shouldn't get out because she stabbed a pregnant woman and danced in her blood, okay. If you need another reason then you suck as much as you look like you do. You claimed BLACK DAHLIA AVENGER was an accurate book, you idiot, Susan can marry a Hutt if she wants to. Just keep her away from the Col.
Sorry for the rant.
Anyone know what became of Donald the Hutt?
Friday, February 10, 2006
I know Squeaky says in the revised Bravin Biography that Daddy never molested her and shit but does it really make sense? She seems to have had the same upbringing everybody on my Blueberry Lane street had and none of those people are infamous. Why did so many people who knew her as a teen THINK she was molested (and why did no one do anything? I know at the time silence was the norm but still)?
She leaves home very young (after Daddy lives with her, but according to her stops speaking to her). She replaces dad with Charlie and tries to recreate a nice home unit. Long after it is clear Charlie/Daddy is never getting out of the brig, she still remains loyal to Daddy. She screws George Spahn (Dad #2?) regularly to please Charlie which cannot have been that pleasant a task (fallen scrotum?) . I mean, it's clear that Daddy is the pivotal fixation in the woman's life.
Is THAT why she never wants to get out? Biological Daddy is dead and gone.
Replacement Daddy is never getting out of jail.
Daughter tries to kill (sort of) Daddy/President of country.
Am I stretching the metaphor?
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Writing like he/she was actually born in the 90s, 60skid keeps writing bizarre non-sequiturs in the comments. Maybe this poster is not retarded, but the Col just cannot tell.
To lay out the argument and chronology briefly.
1- Col Scott posted something about Patti in December.
2- Col Scott was shocked at the venom flung Debra's way as a result of that post..
3- Col Scott posted something about Debra in Jan.
4- Col Scott received an anonymous email to look into where Paul Tate was buried.
5- Paul Tate is NOT buried in the family plot. Col wanted to know why.
6- Col found out that Col's ashes were still somewhere in the possession of Debra Tate, who as direct next of kin automatically was in charge of burial because Paul Tate mistakenly did not indicate otherwise.
7- Col then wondered about that and ordered the last Will of Paul Tate.
8- Col found out that Debra was disinherited by her father.
9- Col points out that this is shocking BECAUSE she has spent so much time on the internet enforcing publicity rights (that is what they are called under Ca Law) to her dead sister and it would seem that she does not HAVE those rights.
10- Col asks for Paige to reply and she ignores like usual.
And for the commentators saying "Hey , why is this in public?"
Debra goes on TV, does interviews and brought the photo fight to the public. That's why.
This is a Blog, an opinion site. I think Bobby, UNDER THE LAW, should be free. If Bobby can be kept locked up for unclear reasons, we all can. I also know Bobby and like Bobby. That is my opinion. Kid, you can disagree. I don't give a shit.
In my opinion, Debra should explain to her public, the people on Paige's board, why she was disinherited.
But I cannot make her do it. And if you disagree, that's fine too.
The Col has always maintained that he has forgotten more about this case than BUGliosi ever knew. This is still true. But the Col does not know everything.
This is the only Official Tate LaBianca Murders Blog. Anything RELATED to the subject will be discussed here.
So Kid, I know you have issues. That's fine. I spelled it all out above. Read slowly and carefully.
You'll feel better I hope.
Monday, February 06, 2006
The Col did what y'all could have done- he wrote away to the government and got a copy of Paul J. Tate's probated will. The government has to give you copies of public documents, in between starting wars for oil and shit. You don't have to be a disabarred attorney from Torrance, California to understand what it says. Col Paul J. Tate, as an honorable man, HONORED his wife's unprobated (and thus not valid) will and provided monies to Debra Tate that her mother Doris (Gwen) wanted her to have, and past that, SPECIFICALLY DISINHERITED his daughter Debra. I am leaving out names that are irrelevant to our discussion.
FIRST: FAMILY. I hereby declare that I am a single man,
that I have one surviving daughter Debra ____,
and four living grandchildren,____,____,____,____.
My wife Gwen Tate and my other two daughters Sharon Tate
and Patti Tate have predeceased me.
SECOND: EXECUTOR. I name ____ Executor of this will…
THIRD: DISOPOSITION OF PROPERTY: I bequeath all
articles of personal property including
household furnishings, equipment, boats and
automobiles as follows: I hereby give certain my
tangible personal property to those named in a written
statement or list which I intend to be in
existence at my death, which statement
shall either be in my handwriting, or signed by me,
which shall contain a
description of the specific items and recipients
of such property. If not such
written statement or list is in existence
at my death, then all of such property
shall pass in accordance with the remainder of my estate.
In the event any person
designated to receive certain property in such written
predecease me, then such property shall pass
with the remainder of my estate.
As herein, the term “tangible personal property”
means articles of personal
or household user or ornament, for example, furniture,
boats, airplanes, and jewelry, as well as precious metals
in any tangible form,
for example, bullion or coins. The term includes articles
even if held for
investment purposes and encompasses tangible property
that is not real property.
The term does not include mobile homes, or intangible
property, for example,
money that is normal currency or normal legal
tender, evidences of indebtedness,
bank accounts or other monetary deposits, documents of
title or securities. The term does not include
property used primarily in trade or business.
SO WHAT PAUL IS TRYING TO SAY IS, EVERYTHING I OWN.
FOURTH: DISPOSITION OF PROCEEDS FROM SALE OF RANCHO
PALOS VERDES HOUSE: My
deceased wife, Gwen Tate, and myself owned at the time
of her death, our home in
Rancho Palos Verdesin Southern California.
It was owned as community property.
Upon her death, Gwen left a Will which was not probated,
but which Will
nonetheless devised her one-half interest in that home
to our then two surviving
daughters, Patti Tate and Debra Tate, in equal shares.
Both daughters survived
Gwen, however Patti subsequently died. I recently sold that
house and the net
proceeds came to $ _____. In order to honor Gwen’s
non-probated Last Will and
Testament, I am bequeathing one-quarter of the sale proceeds
to Debra Ann
______. This one-quarter interest comes to $_____. I may
even pay Debra this sum
prior to my death. Except for this one-quarter interest in
the proceeds from the
sale of the house at
, I intend to make Rancho Palos Verdes
no further devise or
bequest to Debra Ann ____. Should I disburse those proceeds to
Debra prior to my
death, then she will receive no additional portion of my
estate and I will in
that circumstance be intentionally disinheriting her.
When my daughter Patti Tate died, she left three children
____, ____, ____. To further honor my deceased wife
Gwen’s non-probated Last
Will and Testament, I am bequeathing to Patti’s three
children in equal shares,
one-quarter of the proceeds from the sale of the house
at Rancho Palos Verdes;
$_____ to be divided equally three ways or
in other words, $____ to each of
Patti’s surviving children. The shares to ____, ____, ____
are to be distributed
to _____ as Trustee, to be held pursuant to the trust
provisions set forth below.
THIS IS THE CRUCIAL PART TO UNDERSTANDING WHAT
TATE WANTED TO DO.
LET'S SAY THE HOUSE WAS WORTH, FOR THE SAKE
OF ARGUMENT, $100.00.
HE WANTED $25 TO GO TO DEBRA ANN TATE.
HE WANTS $25 TO TO TO PATTI'S THREE KIDS (VIA A TRUSTEE).
BUT HE SPECIFICALLY ASSIGNS THE REMAINING $50 TO BE PART
OF HIS ESTATE.
THE HOUSE SOLD FOR FAIR MARKET VALUE TO THE FRIEND OF NELSON,
SIX MONTHS BEFORE HE DIED. I AM PULLING THE SALES NOTICE, BUT
THAT THE HOUSE WAS WORTH AT LEAST $2M. THAT'S 500K TO DEBRA,
500K TO PATTI'S KIDS
AND $1M FOR THE ESTATE.
WHERE DOES THAT GO?
FIFTH: RESIDUE: All of the rest, residue and
remainder of my estate, whether real or personal
property, or mixed and wheresoever located I give,
devise and bequeath to my four grandchildren,
____, ____, ____, ____ in equal shares, per
stirpes. The shares to ____, ____, ____, ____
are devised and bequeathed to
_____, as trustee, to be administered as separate
trusts for the benefit of each
of my four grandchildren, or their issue should
any of them predecease me
leaving issue surviving. The trust provisions are
set forth below.
SO THE REST OF THE ESTATE, EXCEPT FOR THE NOMINAL
SUM DORIS WANTED DEBRA TO HAVE, GOES IN TO A
TRUST FOR PATTI'S THREE KIDS AND I BELIEVE DEBRA'S
So, Ladies and Gentlemen, unless I am missing
something here, WTF?
I have a damn list of WTF's?
1- WTF did Debra Ann Tate DO to get disinherited?
2- WTF right did Debra ever have to tell sites
that SHE owned her
sister's image when she clearly does not?
(It would have gone to Polanski, who gave it to the
Tate's, and would now be in trust for the 4 grandkids)
3- WTF does Paige and her peons have to say
about this piece of news?
Obviously her own father did not trust Debra to preserve
her sister's memory.
4- WTF does Stephen Kay say next time Debster
goes to parole hearings?
5- WTF do we have to do to get a beer around
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your time and input.
I have gone from defending
Debra and feeling that she was the wronged party to
now completely feeling ill at the thought
of my last position.
I am sure the comments will get hot and heavy,
wants to hear, and
hear now is WHY DID DEBRA KEEP THIS FROM
HER FANS ON PAIGE'S BOARD?
Someone get that woman some crow RIGHT NOW!!!!
Friday, February 03, 2006
The Col mentioned this letter a little over a month or so ago. It manages to highlight what happened, and just how wrong everything is with our world.
December 18, 2005
Dear loved ones and friends,
It makes my heart ache to have to tell you that I will be unable to join you in the free world until. . . well maybe until hell freezes over, from the looks of things. My fifteenth parole hearing since I became eligible for parole in August of 1976 has ended in a denial of parole for an additional three years.
I went into the hearing energized and upbeat, but without expectations, focused on communicating effectively while remaining detached from the outcome. Still, I could not help feeling somewhat hopeful. After all, Carolyn Hagin, my attorney, had prepared an impeccable presentation for the hearing. It incorporated numerous letters from family and friends, all eloquent and heartfelt in their expressions of support for my release, attesting to my character, abilities, and contributions to the community. Along with these were included solid parole plans with secure residence, offers of employment and a family support network, an excellent work and education history, an extremely positive psychological evaluation summery, etc. It is doubtful the Board has ever seen a presentation more strongly indicative and supportive of an individual’s suitability for release on parole. Despite my resolve to remain detached for the outcome, throughout the hearing, I could not help feeling optimistic.
So when the decision was rendered, and I realized that I will be 61 years old and have been in prison for 40 years when – as presently scheduled – my suitability for parole will next be considered, I was stunned. It knocked the wind out of me.
Ironically, the hearing actually went very well, for the most part. It was conducted in as professional a manner as the physical circumstances would allow.
The hearing panel was cooperative in making a factually accurate, hysteria-free summery of the events that brought me to prison. I was allowed to speak freely and honestly and at length about what I think and feel about these experiences, and what I’ve learned from them. Commissioner Farmer, the chair, was particularly encouraging and receptive in this process. The Deputy Commissioner, Ms. Grammer-April, was also professional, asking questions and listening to the answers in a manner that was helpful. Like the last several hearings, no reporters from the press were present in the hearing room to make everyone feel self-conscious. More than any previous hearing, it seemed to me there was an air of fairness to the proceedings.
Respectful attention was given to each letter of support individually and (over the L.A. prosecutor’s objections) I was allowed to comment on the nature and scope of each relationship. A good deal of attention was also given to some of the extraordinary endeavors and activities I’ve been involved in, and their far-reaching benefits.
Things got a bit dicey when the prosecutor from Los Angeles insinuated a recent “fearful” letter and attached computer printout from my confidential file into the hearing process. (That the prosecutor was privy to these items raises some suspicion that he was somehow involved in how they came to be placed in the confidential file, because by the rules neither an inmate’s attorney or the representative from the D.A.’s office is permitted to view the contents of this file without court order.
The panel had stated early in the hearing that no confidential information would be relied upon; later, I heard the prosecutor tell the panel to take a second look at the confidential documents.
The letter was barely mentioned and seemed of little concern. The attached printout obviously raised some eyebrows, however. I could not see it because my hearings are conducted over telephone between Oregon and California, and I had no “eyes” in the hearing room because my attorney could not be present (Carolyn will be giving birth to her second child in mid-January, and is on maternity leave from her practice). I was able to glean from the comments made that the printout consisted of a portion of a web page on the Clair Obscur Gallery website, where some of my artwork has been on display. Of the 36 pieces of my art on display there, only the few erotic pieces I did many years ago were included on the printout, apparently. Later I would learn that it also included some mention of Manson, but I’m still not certain in what context his name appeared in the printout.
There were some questions about my having done erotic art. I answered them candidly and honestly, explaining that they are part of a much larger body of work that I have produced over these many years. I explained that most of the more overtly erotic pieces depicted on the printout (the titles were mentioned) were created for Barbara, originally intended as a private expression of intimacy between the two of us, and that we decided to display them within the context of the larger body of work as a retrospective. This seemed to satisfy the hearing panel, more or less, but I sensed there was some sort of complication. Due largely to the archaic mechanism by which we were forced to communicate I was unable to put my finger on what it was until it was too late. I was literally blind-sided.
Throughout the hearing, up to this point the specter of the Charles Manson persona loomed large, like the proverbial elephant in the room that everyone is trying to avoid talking about. I spoke frankly about my relationship with him when the topic came up. The panel seemed to appreciate my candor and to respect my responses. I have reached the point in my life where it has become natural to simply tell it like it is. Perhaps this is why there had been relatively little focus on my former association with Manson, and refreshingly more attention on what has occurred since.
This was clearly frustrating to the prosecutor from L.A., who was chomping at the bit to have his say. I surmise that when the hearing was first begun last June and he had had an opportunity to review a copy of our presentation, all the letters of support, etc., he realized that his case was weak. Unlike his relatively low-key presentation last hearing, he came armed for bear when the hearing was resumed last week.
When the prosecutor’s turn came, he immediately launched into a vitriolic attack on my character. It consisted essentially of a scattergun regurgitation of Helter Skelter misinformation, in addition to some bits that I had never heard before and seemed to be drawn from thin air, laced with insinuation and innuendo. Naturally, there was a lot of Manson this and Manson that – intended, of course, to generate a cloud of suspicion and mistrust and prejudice deriving from the Manson hysteria. This is a typical tactic, in my experience, and is usually pretty effective. It serves notice of the potential, if parole is granted, for political fallout of a particularly unpleasant sort.
In my summation, which immediately followed, I was able to cut through the bullshit and clear the air to a considerable degree. But enough damage had been done to sabotage the hearing. Assuming the elephant in the room had not posed too great of an obstacle, and if the hearing panel had seriously been considering granting parole, the hope that it would was dashed at that point. I had been re-prosecuted yet again, painted with the ugly brush so that I would be barely recognizable even to myself: an implied threat to the Board that “the people of California” could get nasty if it dares to release me.
After a forty-minute recess for deliberation, the hearing was resumed. In rendering the decision finding me unsuitable for parole, Commissioner Farmer sited, as usual, the severity of the crime. The essential facts of the case will never change. I killed a man for reasons that seem, and were, trivial. I forfeited any say in how much punishment is enough, so I must accept, along with all of the other consequences for my actions, the repeated recitation of what I did. I have no one to blame for the choices I’ve made, and their consequences, but myself.
Then came the part informing me that the panel had determined that an additional period of three years was needed to evaluate my readiness for parole. He stated that it would be unreasonable to assume that sufficient change could occur in less time than that.
At this point Commissioner Farmer broke with formality and explained his reasons for this decision. I was impressed by his candor. Even though what he was telling me was devastating, I was appreciative of his willingness to be up front and open in telling me his reasoning for determining that 36 years of imprisonment was not enough. This was a first.
The hinge pin was the computer printout. I thought that maybe the erotic art was going to be a sticking point, but I was wrong about that. Commissioner Farmer carefully stated that he was not a prude, that while some people might consider explicit adult fantasy art to be pornography (as the prosecutor had suggested), he did not. It was not the nature of the art that bothered him . . .
No, what disturbed the hearing panel, he said, is that as late as 2005, this very year, I had contracted with an agent or gallery owner to allow my artwork to be displayed and marketed to the public in a manner that exploited the notoriety of my crime and the Manson connection to promote sales of my art and music (the Dreamways CD). This, he said, demonstrated a “serious lapse of judgment” that required a longer period of confinement so that there would be adequate time to allow the Board to evaluate my “ability to maintain a distance from Manson” in the public eye, and refrain from involvement with such displays in the future. He mentioned – again, with surprising candor – that he was concerned about possible repercussions from the governor and the public if he were to vote to parole me under the present circumstances.
I wanted to scream STOPP!!!!!!! I wanted to have an opportunity to tell him that he had made a mistake, to explain that the conclusion he had arrived at was based on evidence that was faulty due to omission of the original context, that was “cooked” to mislead. I wanted an opportunity to present evidence of my own to demonstrate that there had been no attempt to capitalize on the Manson connection or my crime as a strategy for promoting the Dreamways series art show, and any other work I have created.
I have been adamant in my communications with everyone who has assisted me in publishing my work that it be allowed to succeed or fail on its own merits. I have, in all cases, asked them to avoid making public references to the criminal part of my past except as necessary to meet the most basic requirements of ethical disclosure (it would be criminal of me to not be honest and divulge that this element exists). For the gallery show of my art I authorized the use of an “artist bio” that summarizes my life from birth to the present, and includes a very brief passing mention of Manson amid comments on the most essential circumstances of my imprisonment these many years; included with the intention of minimally meeting the basic requirements of ethical disclosure. I will provide each of you with a copy of this brief bio. Unless there is some other mention of Manson in relation to me on the gallery’s website that I am unaware of, it was this document that the hearing panel based their decision to find me unsuitable for parole.
Anyway, I had to resist the temptation to scream out during the recitation of the hearing decision and beg for an opportunity to clarify matters before the door was slammed in my face. By then it was too late. Once the parole hearing had gone into recess for deliberations, the opportunity to present additional information or speak for myself had passed. Mr. Farmer seemed pained by the decision he had been forced to arrive at. I waited for him to finish talking out of politeness, then hung up the phone.
So there you have it: the whole story, of the best and worst parole hearing I’ve ever had.
Where to from here?
I have spoken with Carolyn, and we have discussed all of this. We will be taking the outcome of the hearing on appeal in superior court as soon as the decision becomes final, which will occur at around the time that Carolyn returns to work from maternity leave, about 120 days from now.
There are more than adequate grounds for a successful appeal. There are at least several glaring errors, both substantive and technical. Not least of which is that the document central to my being denied parole, the computer printout from the website, was the one document that I was not provided a copy of prior to the hearing. There was no way that I could have reviewed the information in advance of the hearing and prepared an appropriate answer to it. And in fact I could not even see the document while the hearing was taking place, making it virtually impossible to have formed an adequate response on the fly.
This violates one of the Board of Prison Terms’ most fundamental rules: that the prisoner be provided with copies of all documentation that the hearing panel will be relying on far enough in advance of the hearing (10-30 days is typical) to allow for reasonable preparation. That this basic requirement was not met is inexcusable.
Ordinarily the goal of an appeal is to get a new hearing. It makes more sense in this case to reopen the hearing that just took place. I want to keep the record established in this hearing intact and add to it my answer to the information that was insinuated into the hearing process midway. I may (if Carolyn agrees) write a letter to Commissioner Farmer, gambling on the off chance that he will act to reopen the hearing on his own volition when I point out to him the nature and magnitude of the mistake that has been made in the handling of my hearing. The BPT is not known for revisiting its own decisions without being forced to by an order from the courts, but I figure it’s worth a shot.
The parole board has recently eliminated the direct administrative appeal process. This is a good thing, as it was nearly always a useless waste of time. Seeking remedy in court is now the only available recourse in most cases.
In order to pursue this course of action, Carolyn will need to be paid her reasonable fees for preparing the writ and making court appearances. I do not have adequate funds to cover these costs. I will state this plainly and without shame: You can count on me to stand my ground and do my part in the fight, but I need some help. If you are in a position to make a contribution to cover some of my attorney’s fees for what’s ahead, and you would like to help in this way, you may send funds to her in my behalf to the following address.
Carolyn M. Hagin, Attorney
Pier Five Law Offices
San Francisco, CA 94133
There is another way you can help me to meet this challenge, one that may well be even more important than helping me to get my case into court.
I am faced with a very serious dilemma, and I must soon make a decision that will undoubtedly determine the direction of my life from this point forward. Ultimately the course of action (or non-action) I choose will be my decision alone, but before I make that decision I would very much appreciate having the benefit of your venerable collective wisdom.
Before me are two paths, each very different in what they demand of me and all of the people closest to me, each with its own set of possible advantages and potential perils.
If I choose this path I would comply with the parole board’s recent recommendations to avoid any activity that may even remotely be construed as an attempt to promote my work, or myself or to profit by it, on the basis of criminal notoriety such as my long-ago association with Manson. Effectively this means that I would have to curtail all efforts to publish my work or publicly communicate directly with the world at large – to pull my music releases off the market, to stop showing and selling my art to the public, to decline interviews, to suspend any plans to publish my first book, to pull down the websites and cease my ongoing public dialogue. It means that I would have to hunker down, keep a low profile, maintain good prison behavior and work record, and make myself as invisible to the public as possible.
Among the possible benefits of choosing this route are that with the passage of time I may shake the “Manson cooties” enough for the L.A. district attorney’s office to lose interest in opposing my release. By demonstrating my willingness to comply with the parole board’s recommendations over a long enough period of time, they may reward me with my heart’s desire – to be with my beloved Barbara in the home she has made for us, enjoying the company of our children and grandchildren, and be generally engaged in life as a free man.
The potential pitfalls of this course of action (or rather, inaction) include the distinct possibility that the Manson specter will continue to morph unchecked into ever more bizarre mutations, and that, correspondingly, resistance from the D.A.’s office to releasing anyone associated with Manson will be insurmountable to me and to the parole board as well. There will be little to show for the years creatively and artistically wasted, sacrificed in the hope of a result for which there are no guarantees of any payoff, ever. And if I am released, may be just in time to gulp a few deep breaths of freedom from prison before I die.
This may seem an extreme response, but I see no way to avoid any potential risk with halfway measures. In practice, ironically, the Manson association has proven to be more of a liability than an asset when displaying and offering my work publicly. Still, there is bound to be someone who will adopt the position that my work could not possibly be of interest to anyone on its own legitimate value as art. No matter how conscientious I am (as I have been) in avoiding the appearance of exploiting some misbegotten notoriety as an expedient for marketing my work, there’s just no sure-fire way to avoid being perceived as pandering to people who are interested in that sort of thing. Perception, not fact – much less truth – defines what is real for most people.
The workaround of publishing under an assumed name is simply absurd. The style is distinctive and already known under my own name. And besides, it is conceivable that I could be held liable for fraud if I fail to disclose the true origins of the work that I publish.
So I’m stuck with what appears to be an either/or choice. As one who is an artist by nature, I’m sickened by the prospect that the price of my release from prison may be to stop expressing who I am for an extended period of time.
The alternative path would be to stay the course.
Years ago, when I consented to do the interview with Michael Moynihan for Seconds magazine, I made a covenant with myself in relation to the world. After many years of keeping a low public profile and getting much stagnation and status quo in my life as a result, I resolved to open myself to scrutiny to a degree that I had not previously permitted, to reveal not only those parts that I’m proud of, that it pleases me to show, but to shine a light into the dark shadows where the shameful parts are as well. Essentially, I resolved to allow myself to be an open book. I knew the risks, but it seemed to me that if I wanted the world to open to me, I had to be willing to be open to the world. Until last week I had no reason to doubt that my decision to begin this process had been the right one.
If I decide to continue along this path it would be to do so with even greater dedication and resolve, putting myself out there in the world through my art, my music, my writings, and being willing to answer, honestly and forthrightly, any reasonably intelligent question posed to me by individuals or responsible public media.
What purpose and meaning there may ever be to my being here may be to stand alone in the center of my own essential goodness and surrender to allowing the true nature of who I am to radiate outward in ever widening ripples. This is my one life, it is finite, and I become increasingly aware of this as I enter my sunset years. What meager gifts I have to offer are nothing if I don’t give them.
At the very least, following this path would permit me to add to a legacy of creative expression and some modest redeeming services. I want to be able to give this to my loved ones, to my sons and daughters and to my grandchildren, and to anyone who might benefit thereby. I want to be able to leave a legacy good enough, responsible enough, and substantive enough to relegate “Manson killer” to a mere footnote too insignificant to negatively impact their lives.
Part of this legacy would be the effects Between Love and Fear, my book-in-progress, could eventually have on the social conscience. If I’m a good storyteller, and fearless in the telling, this book might initiate the sort of self-searching community dialogue that could result in a more enlightened understanding. What I want, what I hope, is that this work will help to ignite a beam intense enough to bore right to the malignant heart of the imbroglio spawned by Helter Skelter, and sink its gratuitous influence on western culture (it would be a travesty to allow that literary monstrosity to remain the historic record of those tragic events).
Among the potential benefits is the possibility that these efforts could bring about a change of heart on the part of the parole board, that they might even forgive me for defying the recommendation Commissioner Farmer emphatically made to me at the conclusion of the hearing. Stranger things have happened.
Which points up Path B’s only obvious downside – running the risk of never being granted parole, and dying in prison. It is a frightening prospect. How do I justify choosing this path to Barbara, who has invested 24 years of her life in me (our anniversary is today, December 18th) in the hope that I would one day come home and be a full partner and companion to her? How can I justify this to you? Or for that matter, to myself? Choosing this path means being willing to give up all my dreams of being out there with you. It’s a heavy price to pay to fulfill some vague, unmeasurable higher purpose and to create some worldly legacy.
Path C, the middle path, appears to be a dead end and not a viable option. There’s really not a whole lot of leeway here. If we manage to get the hearing reopened this could change, but as things stand now it’s pretty much an all or nothing proposition. If I try to travel a middle path neither objective can be reached and I will likely find myself profoundly miserable and abandoned by everyone.
Like I said earlier, it’s a serious dilemma. I’m at a crossroads, and it’s hard to see the best way to go because I’m so close to it. I intend to approach my decision cautiously. Each of you is invested to some degree in all this, and therefore you each have a voice in the process of my making this decision. Please give me the benefit of your perspectives and insights.
To each of you, all of you, I remain grateful beyond words for your love and support. When the world and my future seem most bleak, it is this, your light, that sustains me.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
The Will has not arrived yet. Friday or Monday at the latest.
But if we learn that "Sharon" is owned by Patti's kids, which among us will bring Debra to task for her mis-representations?
It is a tragedy if true.
Fingers crossed that I am wrong.
Here's Debra with a convicted pedophile... Doris and Bill, Debra and Don... (Sharon and Roman).
Is such a thing genetic?
Okay, now- there was a full on combat vest the girls made for Charlie around the time of Barker Ranch. There are photos of this vest that exist and you can see it in the Hendrickson Documentary. The girls added their hair to it as a macabre neck lining when they shaved their heads during the trial. This is the main LEGIT vest that would be worth a fortune to someone today. Except we know for a fact that Charlie CUT THE VEST into pieces (which pissed Sandy off but good) when he was finally incarcerated for good so he could curry favor with the inmates and maybe minimize assrape. So Main Legit vest is no more. It has ceased to be. It is an EX-vest.
The girls also started on a SECOND Legit Vest. They fully cut it, illustrated it and half finished the embroidery. This was Bobby Beausoleil's combat vest. You can see many photos of it on the cover to THE FAMILY JAMS CD. This was UNFINISHED but high quality and done by the girls. This lay dormant in Bobby storage somewhere until it was unearthed by Barbara in 2002 and sold to a private collector. This has unknown value but surely must be worth $15-25 k in the right hands. It has museum quality value.
The vest offered over at Mark Turner's site and seen above is some sort of hybrid thing. Dennis was not a real member of the group, just a later hanger on. His vest was not done by any of the main Family girls but by newcomers as well. And to add to comments that I have receieved, his vest looks like shit. And if it was a three piece suit that he describes, where are the other two pieces? Like, back up your own tale man, okay?
Go buy the vest if you believe that criminals who find Christ should be selling crime artifacts to benefit their ministry. By all means.
But we asked Bobby to speak on the subject and he said "Listen, the whole thing is laughable. The girls spent MUCH love and detail working on Charlie's, okay, and then the trials started and they did great work on mine, but only halfway. Any other "Manson Girl" embroidery is something tossed off in between hearings, kind of like reading the newspaper. I have nothing to gain here, having sold mine years ago. But buyer be aware, you know?"