Saturday, May 05, 2007

Brenda is now selling ceramics in Oregon

"On November 8, 1972, a hiker near the Russian River resort community of Guerneville, in Northern California, saw a hand protruding from the ground. When police exhumed the body, it was found to be that of a young man wearing the dark-blue tunic of a Marine dress uniform. He had been shotgunned and decapitated.

The victim was subsequently identified as James T. Willett, twenty-six, a former Marine from Los Angeles County. This information appeared on radio and TV newscasts on Friday, November 10. {Page 26 Cal.3d 800}

On Saturday, November 11, Stockton, California, police spotted Willett's station wagon parked in front of a house at 720 West Flora Street. When refused entry to the house, they broke in, arresting two men and two women and confiscating a number of pistols and shotguns.

"Both women had Manson Family X's on their foreheads. They were Priscilla Cooper, twenty-one, and Nancy Pitman, aka Brenda McCann, twenty. A few minutes after police entered the residence, a third female called, asking to be picked up and given a ride to the house. The police obliged, and also arrested Lynette Fromme, aka Squeaky, twenty-four, ex-officio leader of the Family in Manson's absence.

"The two men were Michael Monfort, twenty-four, and James Craig, thirty-three, both state prison escapees wanted for a number of armed robberies in various parts of California. Both had the letters 'AB' tattooed on their left breasts. According to a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections, the initials stood for the Aryan Brotherhood, described as 'a cult of white prison inmates, dedicated largely to racism but also involved in hoodlum activities, including murder contracts ....'

"While in the house, the police noticed freshly turned earth in the basement. After obtaining a search warrant, they began digging, and early the following morning exhumed the body of Lauren Willett, nineteen. She had been shot once in the head, her death occurring either late Friday night or early Saturday morning, not long after the identity of her slain husband was revealed on the news broadcasts.

"Questioned by the police, Priscilla Cooper claimed that Lauren Willett had killed herself 'playing Russian roulette.'

"Although, like Zero, Mrs. Willett was not able to contradict this story, the Stockton police were far more skeptical than had been LASO. The three women and two men were charged with her murder.

"They were scheduled to go on trial in May 1973. On April 2, however, four of the five surprised the Court by entering guilty pleas. Michael Monfort, who pleaded guilty to the murder of Lauren Willett, was sentenced to seven years to life in state prison. Superior Court Judge James Darrah also ordered consecutive terms of up to five years and two years for James Craig, who had pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to murder and to possessing an illegal weapon, {Page 26 Cal.3d 801} i.e., a sawed-off shotgun. Both girls also pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact, and both Priscilla Cooper and Nancy Pitman, aka Brenda, who Manson once indicated to me was his chief candidate for Family assassin, were sent to state prison for up to five years....

Don't you love how Squeaky always knew where the camera was?

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