Monday, June 20, 2011

Stupid? Ignorant? Lazy? Or Hiding Something?


No the headline doesn't refer to AC, Poirot or JimNy.

I was reading some of the new Hendrickson book last night, DEATH TO PIGS. It's a fun read for all 3 of us who care about the truth. Otherwise it simply summarizes interviews he has on film I would rather see as interviews.

So in one chapter the BUG shows up (like always) and Merrick and Hendrickson try to talk to him. He mostly talks over them.

In an interesting bit of mumbo jumbo BUG kind of admits that he isn't sure why Charlie sent Linda. That she didn't kill anyone but she must have known that killing was happening on the second night. That had Sadie kept her deal he still would have only gone after Linda for 2nd degree murder. He doesn't seem to really believe the "she had a license" explanation and speculates that maybe Manson loved her and wanted to lock her in to the group.

He also talks about the "why" go to 3301 Waverly and Merrick tries to point out that someone at the house had called the cops during a party at the True house next door, but BUG says he researched that and dismisses it out of hand.

Also much babbling as BUG says he'll appear on film for free he doesn't want no stinking $500 and then hey offer him $1000. He also hates on Sanders book quite extensively for not understanding the "significance" of these murders.

ANYWAY

This all got me wondering- WHY did BUG decide to make up the Helter Skelter motive?

1- To hide something because he did not like the real motive
2-He was too lazy to find the real motive
3- He was too stupid to figure out the real motive
4- Because anyone who would stalk his mailman for fathering his child is nuts and would therefore come up with a nuts motivation like Helter Skelter.

Personally I have always believed it was #4. That was what Aaron Stovitz personally told me at dinner- it was nuts and all the attorneys tried to stop BUG from being nuts. In the new book, they actually point out a quote where BUG admits that Jakobsen, Watkins and Brooks, when first interviewed, never mentioned the Helter Skelter bullshit AT ALL and that it took multiple interviews until they did. Plant much?

So anyway that was that - and then I started wondering about #1.

BUG barely made Melcher testify.
He did everything possible to control all witnesses. He still tried to control Kasabian on Larry King.
He allowed Charlie et al to go forward with weak lawyers.
He did regular interviews with the TV people.
He was determined to not only win, he was determined to get Charlie and bring the whole thing under his control.

It was almost as if he wanted to make sure NO OTHER MOTIVE was even offered.

Why?

What would he want to put a sock in?

Drugs? Maybe. LAPD had already speculated about this but maybe sure.
Copycat? Maybe, but I don't think he ever took it seriously, so why cover it up.
Black Book? Maybe but I don't even know what the fuck that means and it only surfaced as a real theory years later.

I don't know.

But it did get me thinking. I mean, IF he did cover up the true motive, what was it and why?

42 comments:

adam said...

Maybe he DID uncover something down the line, but by that point he'd spent months preaching the HS and realised that if he did an about face to the jury he would look an idiot in front of his peers. No one likes to admit they are wrong.
Plus he was gunning for Manson bad and without a motive to tie him to the crimes, the best he would have had was an accomplice charge for the second night. If that had happend a "GOOD" lawyer could have argued that their client had no prior knowledge that murders were to be commited that night.

starship said...

Yes, he was gunning for Manson in a big way.

But did he cover up for the real motive? No, I don't believe he did. If he could have proven anything else, he would have. HS is too far out to hang your hat on. That said, remember a couple of things about it though: you can't just dismiss it out of hand as it was written in the victim's blood at oneof the crime scenes. And if only the good ole LAPD had seen fit to release that information, then this crime would have been solved by August 12, 1969

Vera Dreiser said...

Col,

While I don't place a whole lotta stock in the HS motive if you also read the Ronnie Howard interviews in Merrick's book you see that Howard maintained from the start that Atkins told her that the murders were committed to frame the blacks and incite a race war.
So it didn't, in fact, come up for the first time with Watkins, Poston and Crockett months and months later, but, actually (if Howard was telling the truth and I know that's a big "if", but she seems awfully sincere in Hendrickson's trscpts) at the VERY START, before anyone was implicated in the murders and, most importantly, when it was just Atkins and Howard in a jail cell in late October/early November 1969 -- weeks BEFORE the Bug got involved in the case.

Matt said...

Vera, Sadie also spoke to Nancy Jordon in jail. The jury never knew about her. Sadie never even mentioned to Jordon that Charles Manson was involved in the Tate murders.

Vera Dreiser said...

Correction, Matt. Read it again (page 443):
Jordan: She didn’t even hardly mention Charlie, uh, associated with the murders at all.

sptrfn said...

I agree with Starship. He made Manson the centerpiece for the whole show.

Here's another thing: There may have been some pressure on him to convict someone since the city was pretty scared at that time, so he found the perfect scapegoat, and he concocted some nonsense with the help of Manson's associates not involved in the murders.

sptrfn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
adam said...

To be honest if Bug didn't make Manson center stage, what did he really have left. The main killer of those nights was out of reach way down in Texas, leaving him with 3 young, middleclass girls of varying degrees of attractiveness, who with a decent legal team could have got them off with insanity. And with Sadie (who due to her bragging was at the time believed to be the main offender)he'd already cut a deal to testify.

If the case happened today the HS theroy would have been laughed out of court as the goose egg it is, but back in 69
1; people still believed that rock and roll was a dangerous influnece on the young (today only Christian nuts still think this).
2; nice middleclass America had little understanding of drug culture and the effects of LSD. It is now reasonably accepted that you CAN'T , repeat, CAN'T force someone to do something against their will through the use of acid.
3; society was shellshocked by one of the first cases of seemingly random mass murder and were obviously more willing to accept it was because of an evil hippie guru with a lifelong criminal history than look a little deeper and admit that it was stuffy conservative values that had in part helped create Atkins, Krenwinkle etc...

St. Circumstance said...

Well if we are going to get back to what matters- then I am back in...

Bugs needed and wanted to win and he would have done anything to do so- we learned that about him later....

BECAUSE of the prevailing fear in the area at the time, and because Charlie and company didn't really do anything to make anyone feel that Bug's stories of mind controlled zombies were not accurate- it is exactly why he was able to get away with that outrageous motive...

I mean- as ridiculous as it sounds to us today- if you heard it back then- and then Charlie and the girls show up in court and acted like they did- while those outside the courthouse acted like they did... it was probably very easy to believe what Bugs was pushing at that one moment in time-

But therein lies what always brings me back to these discussions...

Why did they throw away the freedom they had for the disaster they chose... everyone of the major players- guys/girls- all of them - chose to go from traveling partying hippies- to criminals of some sort...

Black book, drug burn, random sites, familiar places, ....

After all the time, arguing, reading, watching, studying...

Books, videos, movies, stories, web sites, blogs, rumors, legends...

LOL

The only thing I am sure of so far is that Charlie and crime are the two common denominators in this case...

He was the leader- no matter what anyone says- and he had a history of doing criminal things....

How and Why he was able to transform one big party filled with young girls, and influential rock stars into a scary on the run group of stealing/conniving/lying/murderous maniacs is the question....

and since we know he did exactly that- and was able to draw out the very wort in every one around him...

Bugs may have been on to the right idea- but had to find some way to articulate it that people in those days could relate to...

and maybe cooperating people who wanted to keep there 5 minutes going like Paul Watkins put words to it...

But hey its just an idea...

St. Circumstance said...

I think he could have cared less what the motive was- because he knew how big the case was, and that he had them dead to rights...

Once he figures this- it is like having 5 aces in Vegas... lol...

" I am cashing in- the only question now is how big can I make this, so as the prize keeps getting larger"

The more outrageous the better, and I am sure he realized after hearing both Sadie, and Linda- he could not loose...

St. Circumstance said...

Of course- only a drunken Saint can have 5 aces :)

how lucky the hand I have been dealt

I bet Bugs, at some point, felt the same way....

ColScott said...

He only had the killers dead to rights. He had next to nothing on Manson. Zilch. Jailhouse wisdom said Manson walked. He had to make some shit up and he did.

St. Circumstance said...

I respectfully disagree...

There was a need for a bogeyman and to have caught the bogeyman so the people would feel at ease...

Manson gave them all they needed with his behavior...

Bugs is many things- but obviously not stupid. He let this guy hang himself, and built a legend he could cash in on long term in the process...

He had to see that Manson was not going to put up any serious defense, and that the others were going to do exactly what Charlie said- which would further play into his grand scheme of things..

I would also disagree he made shit up- respectfully- I think he was dishonest, and manipulative of things he heard or was told- but I think he exaggerated things and terms that had some basis in fact- so that he would be able to back some of it up when he put it out there. for example some people in the family certainly did hear the words Helter skelter- it was painted on a door... no doubt he spun things his way though in every case...

He was a wormy type dude

St. Circumstance said...

By the way- I do not disagree he had next to nothing on Manson as far as real evidence-

I just think bugs realized it wouldn't matter too much if the rest of them acted like zombies, and charlie continued to thumb his nose at the world...

If Charlie had played it another way- this is a whole diff discussion to me... but how hard was it to see what was going to happen in court??? None of the people had any self control of any kind....

ACFisherAldag said...

Youse guys keep forgetting to throw 1% bikers into the mix. There is a history of criminality there, and that adds motivation.

ColScott said...

Saint
To clarify I do agree with everything you wrote in those two entries. One hundred percent.
I also think he made shit up.
Was Charlie okay with it? Yes. But it was still bullshit.

adam said...

Although they did it with good intentions, if I were Charlie I would have told Sandy, Squeaky and co to shut the fuck up to the press and stop their little streetcorner protests. All they did was make themselves look nuts which Bug fed straight back into his 'Charlie malnipulates and controls these people' spiel.

Also I wonder if it really was Charlie's idea to make Sadie, Katie and Lulu act up in court. Was he actually allowed contact with them during the trial outside of the courtroom?

candy and nuts said...

adam: I dont know if he was able to but I read in one of the books some girl gave Sadie a kite saying charlie said to put on X on yur heads-they didnt know why but they did it -( not sure the book will have to check thru them)

adam said...

It does seem that Charlie at times was willingly sticking his head in the noose. I wonder if he and the girls thought they were going to beat the rap or not? Maybe they just gave up. I think Sadie in paticular had a death wish.

leary7 said...

the moon must be made of cheese because I too think the Saint's posts are dead on.
Charlie and the girls behavior during the trial really does support the belief that TLB was a crazy concoction of idiocy and anger.
I don't think you can apply logic to Manson anymore than you can reason with a fool.

jill said...

Are there more than interview transcripts in Hendrickson's book? Do you recommend it? I'll probably get it anyway, still, I'd like to hear people's impressions...

jill said...

actually, just saw the price, so, I AM counting on you for the relevant information from it

leary7 said...

Is there anyone on these blogs who argues Helter Skelter was legit?
Personally, HS as a specific motive doesn't work for me, but when seen as an "umbrella" explanation it has some merit.

Bottom line, its been forty plus years and still no concrete evidence of mafia or drug burns. so what are we left with? AIG.
AIG explains it for me. Anger, Idiots and Guns. It is a biblical recipe for disastour...think Columbine, Tuscon, etc.
Was the Family comprised of idiots? It's a rhetorical question. Grogan and his scrambled brains, Tex and his bella donna insanity, Sadie and her vile skankiness, Lulu and her angel wings....these folk were fried to the gills.
That is the biggest myth, THE BIGGEST LIE, of the TLB story, that Manson took a bunch of normal middle class kids and turned them into monsters. Calling Sandy, Squeeky, Tex etc idiots is an insult to idiots. These people were delusional zombies, retarded psychos. What did Gypsy say, it took her ten years after Spahn to clear her head, and she was probably the most intelligent of the bunch.

And ANGER. Let's count the ways Manson was pissed off on 8/8/69.
He was pissed about Crowe and the percieved Panther threat.
He was pissed about Bobby's arrest and how it made him vunverable.
He was pissed about Mary and Sandy's arrest
He was pissed about the eminent loss of Spahn and not having the funds to get to the desert.
He was pissed about losing control and people leaving (TJ, Ella Jo etc).
He was really pissed at Melcher and Wilson.
He was pissed at society and his mother and a thousand other things.
You cut away all of Charlie's jive ass bullshit and you have one angry SOB. He admits that himself.

While I respect everyone's theories and beliefs, I also suspect fifty years from now all we will have is the same round and round the mullberry bush speculation.
Anger and idiots.
Helter Skelter was just a way for the Bug to package it to the jury. And Charlie and the girls sold the package with their behavior. How hard was it to convince the jury that Manson was a killer when he leaps out of his seat and lunges at the judge. Or to convince the jury the girls were zombie killers with their robot behavior?
Sure, Helter Skelter is bullshit as a specific motive. But it sold.
Can't argue with that.

St. Circumstance said...

Seems we can all agree about some things....

and that is a good thing

adam said...

AIG could work for me. There were lots of counter revolutionary groups around at the time - Black Panthers, Red Family, Weathermen,etc..
I wonder if Charlie's preachings set their acid addled minds into thinking they were fighting a similar fight? Much of what Charlie said made a lot of sense, but that type of thinking in the wrong hands could be dangerous.

leary7 said...

I agree totally Adam. In the context of the times Charlie's rap wasn't all that bizzare. But still, believing he was Christ returned marks Family members as borderline insane.
Group think - Guyana, My Lai, etc etc - getting idiots like Clem and Tex and Sadie etc to do his dirty work was a piece of cake for a con wise guy like Manson.

MrPoirot said...

Col you are the Bernie Madoff of bloggers.

Vera Dreiser said...

See Col,

There is a good case to be made for the Helter Skelter motive as true and accurate -- at least as far as the killers are concerned.
I've seen the trscpt of Howard's first taped int w/ the LAPD on Nov. 25, 1969, and notes of her Nov. 18 int w/ the LAPD -- and in both she tells the police that Atkins told her "Helter Skelter" was written at the LaBianca home, that it was "from a song" and represented, "like, this new movement."
In the 2nd, transcribed interview (Nov. 25) Howard specifically states that the Tate-LaBianca murders were committed to "make colored people wake up and take notice that this is what they should do to get what they want out of the world, you know, some violence."
So, this argument that the motive was conjured up by Bugliosi many, many months later through prosecution witnesses Jakobson, Watkins and Poston doesn't hold a lot of water. Unless you believe the Bug was already at work Nov. 18 and 26, 1969, orchestrating his false motive from behind-the-scenes. Remember, he wasn't even assigned to the case until Nov. 18, the day of Howard's first interview.

So, Col, and others, why are you so firmly resistant to believing the girls and Tex (at least), believed in Helter Skelter?

What is YOUR proof they didn't???

jill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jill said...

leary7 said...
"Is there anyone on these blogs who argues Helter Skelter was legit?
Personally, HS as a specific motive doesn't work for me, but when seen as an "umbrella" explanation it has some merit."

i wouldn't call it an umbrella, but i think it was one of the ideas somewhere in the complex mix of factors that led to the T-LB murders, but how much of a factor is an interesting question, I definitely don't think it was the main motive, maybe a useful bit of added impetus...

adam said...

Anything Sadie bragged to Howard and Graham in prison must be taken with a large pinch of salt. Plus none of the killers claim that Charlie directly told them to commit murder. Bug had to rely on statments such as "I knew/felt that's what he wanted me to do".

Vera Dreiser said...

Adam: "Anything Sadie bragged to Howard and Graham in prison must be taken with a large pinch of salt."

Yes, but when you go through the two documents recording Howard's first statements to the police re: Atkins accounts (pre-Dec. 1, 1969) you see that on the essentials Atkins was clear, concise, consistent and correct about EVERYTHING except whether or not she personally stabbed Sharon Tate. It was Howard (and later Graham) who sometimes were confused about the details.
Point being, for the purposes of this thread: she talked about Helter Skelter and inciting blacks to violence AGES before Poston, Watkins and Jacobson introduced it to the conversation.
As such, I ask again, how could the Bug have simply made it up as the Col alleges and, really, defines the very foundation of this web site?
Anyone?

adam said...

It's not so much that Bug made up Helter Skelter as he singlemindedly honed in on it as the sole motive to the point of excluding any other potential avenues. He went for the option that pointed the finger at Manson as the ringleader - again as I've stated before, if he'd had his hands on Tex he would not have - . Also as Sadie withdrew her testamony, Bug was able to pick and choose what parts of it Linda was to repeat on the stand.

sbuch113 said...

If Helter Skelter is the indesputable motive, why wasn't it presented at leslie Van houten's retrial? Robbery was the motive at that time......the sack of coins she took.

Sharon's mother, Doris Tate never believed Helter Skelter. She said Helter Skelter was a "concoction" of the D.A.. Doris felt the true motive was never told and Sharon was a victim of circumstance......wrong place, wrong time.

Bobby beausoliel, on Helter Skelter........."I guess because I know the truth, to me that explaination seems ridiculously simplified. How can anybody not see through that? Murder by Beatles records-this is what happens if you listen to Beatles records and take LSD!? What could be a more blatant attempt to discredit the youth movement of the 60's than that? To use that theory as the basis of convicting these people stretches credibility to the breaking point".

Bugliosi himself pointed out that he only went with Helter Skelter because he had to.

Magpie said...

sbuch113: My understanding is that without co-conspirators on trial with her, the HS tripe would have been near impossible to prove, so they went with the "murder during comission of a robbery" in order to get the equivalent verdict for LVH in the absence of Tex and the others.

Not uncommon and not considered unethical or underhanded in legal circles.

sbuch113 said...

Magpie- It may not be considered unethical or underhanded in legal circles.

But I think it's still worth pointing out, that instead of going with the "official" motive the D.A's office in 1977-78 found it necessary to go with robbery as the motive.

By then the book and the movie had been seen by millions of people.
Bugliosi's Helter Skelter was generally accepted by the masses as fact.
Surely the D.A. could have resold it to a new jury, with little trouble.

Unless of course it wasn't true.

Murder for a sack of nickels wasn't exactly an easy sell.
Leslie's first retrial ended in a hung jury.

adam said...

I don't think Kay bought into the HS theory that much. Plus Leslie's defence team argued that she was more shellshocked than anything else that night and only stabbed a dead body at the insistence of Tex. By making the jury focus on the sack of coins, Kay was able to convince them that as Leslie had enough frame of mind to help herself to whatever took her fancy in the LaBianca's home, she was responsable for her part in the stabbings.

rfoster1 said...

Vera Dreiser said..."So, Col, and others, why are you so firmly resistant to believing the girls and Tex (at least), believed in Helter Skelter?"

I believe the whole Helter Skelter thing was just a smoke screen to stymie the police, and started at the Hinman murder scene. The Tate-Labianca murderers continued the same theme in an attempt to take the heat off of Bobby Beausoleil.

It was no more than that, and it almost worked, were it not for that yappy skank Sadie.

For whatever reasons, the Bug latched onto the story and ran with it. I'm sure he must've recognized that crazy ass story would be a gold mine he could bank on for the rest of his life.

I believe it's no more complicated than that.

Vera Dreiser said...

Rfoster1: "I believe the whole Helter Skelter thing was just a smoke screen to stymie the police, and started at the Hinman murder scene. The Tate-Labianca murderers continued the same theme in an attempt to take the heat off of Bobby Beausoleil.
It was no more than that, and it almost worked, were it not for that yappy skank Sadie."

Uh, well, if you look at it that way it sure DIDN'T work. Beausoleil was no where NEAR getting off. Try again, bud.

rfoster1 said...

Vera Dreiser said..."Uh, well, if you look at it that way it sure DIDN'T work. Beausoleil was no where NEAR getting off. Try again, bud."

Of course it didn't work in taking the heat off of Bobby. I should've also stated that their intention was to also keep the police off of their trail.

I'm not understanding the "try again, bud" part of your reply. If you're referring to me, I am in no way "trying" to do anything here but participate in the discussions.

Janson2112 said...

I just dont get this whole motive argument. HS was just a story told to the girls to keep them in the family. NONE of the guys beleived it, (except maybe clems dumbass)
he true motive is all about MONEY.
money to buy drugs, money to buy dune buggy parts, money to keep people in the family, money, money,money. All the male members new the true motive. Whether there may have been some secondary motives, Tex -drug burn, or whatever, it still about money and control not Helter Skelter

grimtraveller said...

adam said...

Although they did it with good intentions, if I were Charlie I would have told Sandy, Squeaky and co to shut the fuck up to the press and stop their little streetcorner protests. All they did was make themselves look nuts which Bug fed straight back into his 'Charlie manipulates and controls these people' spiel


The problem with this logic is that there were only 12 people in the universe with the power to put the 4 defendants away --> the jury. Bugliosi simply did not have that power. Rag on the man all you like, he did not. He even states that he was worried that the jury could scuttle all his hard work, remember that phrase of his, "it only takes one to hang a jury."
So in a real sense, he was powerless.
The jury on the other hand, were not. In fact, they held all the aces. And they were simply not aware of the action going on outside with Sandy & co on the street corner or what the press was writing. According to one of the jurors who wrote a book a year before "Helter Skelter", there were times when they were taken out of court, times they never even went to court, when Ronald Hughes disappeared they weren't in court for nearly a month and no one told them why the whole time, times they had to get to court through an underground tunnel, times when the windows to their bus were blacked out so they didn't know what was going on. There seemed to have been much that they weren't aware of and they weren't allowed to discuss the case among themselves. That is why they turned in on themselves and partly why William Zamora's book is so interesting, you get to see a group of jurors who came to resent the situation they were in and there was quite a bit of in fighting.
But they wanted to come to the right decision and not be influenced, even by the antics of the defendants. Some of them understood that desperate people sometimes act in desperate ways.

Also I wonder if it really was Charlie's idea to make Sadie, Katie and Lulu act up in court. Was he actually allowed contact with them during the trial outside of the courtroom?


Ah, yeah.