Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Favorite Scene in the Book


Flirt with danger
A victim befriends a killer in the notorious Manson case

By SUSANNAH CAHALAN

Last Updated: 1:15 AM, February 26, 2012

Posted: 11:09 PM, February 25, 2012
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Restless Souls

The Sharon Tate Family’s Account of Stardom, the Manson Murders, and a Crusade for Justice

by Alisa Statman and Brie Tate

It Books

They were among the most shocking murders of the 20th century.

In 1969, seven members of the Manson “family” brutally murdered six people in a two-day killing spree, among them one of the most famous actresses of her day, Sharon Tate.

They scrawled “Rise” and “Death to the Pigs” on the walls with the victims’ blood. Tate reportedly begged for the life of her unborn child as the group of murderers heartlessly stabbed her to death. The media went wild with the story, especially when ringleader Charles Manson carved out a swastika on his forehead during the trial.
Suzan LaBerge, daughter of a Manson family victim Rosemary LaBianca, now corresponds with her killer, Tex Watson.
Suzan LaBerge, daughter of a Manson family victim Rosemary LaBianca, now corresponds with her killer, Tex Watson.

Yet the shocking postscript of the story has gone largely unreported.

According to a new book written by a surviving members of the Tate family, Charles “Tex” Watson, one of the main perpetrators of the Manson family crimes, has bizarrely befriended the daughter of one of his victims, Rosemary LaBianca, whom he helped stab a total of 41 times.

Suzan LaBerge, Rosemary’s daughter, has been one of Watson’s closest friends behind bars after allegedly bonding over their shared beliefs as born-again Christians. She visits, writes and has even advocated for his release.

More than 30 years after the murder, Sharon’s mother, Doris, father, P.J., and sister, Patti, have all died of natural causes — leaving Patti’s daughter, Brie, and partner, Alisa Statman, to put together the pieces of the complicated story.

On August 1969, four members of the cult were directed by Charles Manson to kill everyone at the home of “Valley of the Dolls” actress Tate and director Roman Polanski (who was away filming during the murder).

Three guests and the 8-months-pregnant actress were brutally murdered.

The next night, the Manson family entered the home of supermarket mogul Leno LaBianca (LaBerge’s stepfather) and his wife, Rosemary. Watson stabbed Leno through the throat and carved “War” in his stomach.

After LaBerge, then 21, arrived on the scene with her brother, she reportedly suffered a nervous breakdown.

Watson’s death sentence was reduced to life in prison after the death penalty was repealed in California. He was allowed conjugal visits, married and fathered four children (until conjugal visits were banned in 1996 for those serving life).

But none of this stopped LaBerge from writing to Watson, after she discovered that he had, like she had, “found God.” She reached out to Watson through his mail-order ministry, called Abounding Love Ministries.

She wrote to Watson for a year anonymously, until 1987, when she visited the killer — and told him that she was Rosemary LaBianca’s daughter. They continued speaking for three more hours, and she followed up with several more visits and regular correspondence.

Patti Tate had no inkling of this when, in 1990, she met LaBerge at her daughter’s middle school, where LaBerge had coincidentally (or not) sent her own daughter.

They began to chat and Patti revealed the name of her sister, Sharon.

Suzan’s eyes grew wide; “You’re never going to guess who I am. Rosemary LaBianca is my mother!” LaBerge said.

Patti was taken by the coincidence and felt comfortable with another victim. So she let her daughter stay the day at LaBerge’s house, which was just two miles from her own.

Meanwhile, Suzan shared the news with Watson’s wife, who relayed the message to him in prison. He thought this was the key to getting his parole date set.

“Suzan LaBerge, née LaBianca, is my ace in the hole,” Watson boasted to another inmate. “The Tate kid is playing in Suzan’s yard as we speak.”

Patti learned about the connection only a few hours later — and ran to LaBerge’s house to collect her daughter.

“It was just horrifying. Possibly the most horrifying experience of her life,” Statman told The Post.

Later that year, LaBerge did testify on Watson’s behalf, but the Tate family was also there to speak out against parole.

LaBerge went on about Watson’s “loving side” as Doris, Sharon’s mother, looked on in disgust. LaBerge proved not to be an ace — his parole was denied (and continued to be a total of 14 times).

“Watson watched like a proud parent at LaBerge as she read her pages,” Doris wrote in her journal at the time. “I couldn’t put my finger on it, but there was more going on than mere forgiveness.”

And according to Statman, “no one believes” the story of the prison meeting, especially when they likely knew each other long before. That maybe the “random” targeting of the LaBianca house wasn’t so random.

Suzan and Tex lived an estimated 200 feet apart in nearby apartments in Los Angeles for six months prior to Watson’s move into Manson’s home base, Spahn Ranch. Suzan’s then-boyfriend was a member of the motorcycle gang Straight Satans that often frequented Spahn Ranch.

“There’s lot of speculation that they knew each other. And take that where you will — you can only imagine what that might mean,” Statman said.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/books/flirt_with_danger_5wXmmgPPNIHGheea5xySaL#ixzz1nTdxVU8v

36 comments:

Panamint Patty said...

H. sapiens sapiens deals with grief in many different ways - one of them is forgiveness. Suzan is likely the "turn the other cheek" kind of girl, not the "eye for an eye" kind.

Who is Patty to say she's wrong? Certainly her actions have been hurtful to the Tate Family. But how can Patty expect anyone who lived through that nightmare to respond to it "logically?"

As excited as Patty is to read Restless Souls, she will try hard to remember that it's just one more viewpoint. It is one of the most important accounts in her mind, but certainly not a complete or balanced account, or they would have said more about Debra, no?

Janson2112 said...

"Sharon and 3 guest killed"
"6 people killed in 2 nights"

Poor Steve Parent, first one killed, first one forgotton!
Don't worry Steve-o, we still remember you

ColScott said...

From Alisa Statman--
Would love to join your blog and speak for myself, but the people there turn so nasty. So I'm going to ask you to please deliver a message for me. I was very disappointed (to say the least) that the NYP article listed "six" victims instead of seven. They simply inverted the numbers--six killers, seven victims. HarperCollins has been in touch with the NYP and they will be printing a correction...It should be noted that the only direct contribution I gave to the NY Post article are in direct quotes from me. The rest was researched by the staff writer...And, also a note for VD: the article does not state that LaBerge and Dorgan went to Spahn, it says the Straight Satans went to Spahn.

Thanks so much!

Magpie said...

What a classy message.

Marliese said...

I don't know if Suzan is a 'turn the other cheek' kind of girl, but I think she's nuts. Batshit crazy.

bobby said...

Marlise, bat shit crazy for sure. Do you think she was envolved with the murder of her mother ? I can't help but beleive she was.

leary7 said...

I truly do love a conspiracy theory as much as the next nut, but while I respect the Col's assertion that drugs were the motive and even give pause to the claim that Susan might have been involved...
it is hard to figure how, in the 44 years since the murders, no concrete evidence has emerged to support such thesis.
I confess to being lazy and not getting my copy yet, but does the book say, or does the Col know, if Alisa ever met or talked with anyone in the Family?

Patrick Sullivan said...

Liz's blog sucks. They block everything. I'd like to know what Alisa thinks of all the stolen facebook pictures in the sidebar. Does Alisa enjoy viewing recent photos of ex family members which were stolen from facebook?

Panamint Patty said...

Patty is sorry if she stirred up any shit. Peace.

Marliese said...

bobby said...>>>>
Marlise, bat shit crazy for sure. Do you think she was envolved with the murder of her mother ? I can't help but beleive she was.<<<<


Hi bobby, i'd love to know more about why you can't help but believe she may have been involved.
I really don't know enough about the Suzan theories to say much.
As Leary said, is there anything concrete?

I just believe Suzan's behavior regarding parole for Tex was very wrong. If she wanted to 'turn the other cheek' and forgive her mother's killer, she should have kept it private...not go on television, and not go to a parole board hearing and publicly support his release...he's a killer guilty of viciously murdering seven or eight people...forgiveness doesn't equal justice.

She should ask forgiveness from the surviving families of all of Tex's victims for her stupid,insensitive support for a killer's release.

Anyway, back to the beginning, bobby, why do you believe she may have been involved?

Patrick Sullivan said...

I wonder if Alisa Statman knows that 'Evil' Liz is unemployed, and living on two sources of income? Those sources are welfare, and the proceeds from selling prescription drugs illegally on the street.

How does Alisa feel about Liz purchasing her book from these sources of income? Welfare and drug sales?

I also wonder how Alisa Statman feels about discussing her book on a website titled Evil Liz's 'Manson Cult'? Does Ms. Statman feel that being associated with a 'Manson Cult' is good for her image and her book sales?

Here's a handy website to update Alisa on the people she's associating with at Evil Liz's Manson Cult.

le-paradoxes.blogspot.com

or simply press this hyperlink

PRESS HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT EVIL LIZ AND HER ASSOCIATES

Panamint Patty said...

Lighten up, Paddy.

melee1969 said...

That's a good question Patrick. Why does Alisa discuss her book on a Manson Family blog? Why not go to a Sharon Tate blog and discuss it with a question and answer forum?

Marliese said...

Does anyone know if it's been established absolutely that Suzan's boyfriend was a straight satan? Or is it just talk? Kinda like Rosemary's millions. Has anyone ever actually been able to verify exactly what Rosemary's estate was worth?

melee1969 said...

Alisa states that the reason that Debra isn't mentioned is because Patti and Debra weren't close.

I don't buy that. There has to be another reason.

But what is it?

I would think that a "partner" of a loved one would want to include family.

What you see is what you get. There's a lot more to this story than is told.

I personally hope that Debra writes her own book. Then maybe we will see the missing gaps.

Marliese said...

If someone's been "disowned and disinherited" they're no longer considered family.

katie8753 said...

how do you know Debra has been "disowned and disinherited"?

It's not in the book.

katie8753 said...

In fact, nothing about Debra is in the book.

Which is sad.

What does Doris say about Debra? What dos PJ say about Debra?

It's not in the book.

This book is fucking lame!!!!

katie8753 said...

Marliese I'm surprised at you.

No speaking up until now?

prefeteria said...

Patti took child (Brie?) to Suzan's house.
Suzan told Watson's wife.
Watson's wife told Watson.
Watson bragged to another inmate.
The inmate (who was a spy for the Tates) told Patti.
All within a few hours.  Amazing!

cielodrivecom said...

Vera, Isn't all that - Paul's testimony - his own words. I could be wrong but I think that was from his unpublished book, Five Down On Cielo. He most likely wrote it as how he remembered it, rather than consulting the transcripts.

bobby said...

Hi Marliese, Great to have a chance to confer with you again. I hope all has been well for you.

Marliese said,"Hi bobby, i'd love to know more about why you can't help but believe she may have been involved"

This is why: I beleive it is docuemented that her & her mother had issues with each over over the boyfriend. I dont know if their is proof he was a SS but if he was it could tie him & her to Spahn. Because of the lack of anything else to tie the Labiancas to the killers is why I cant help but think the daughter was somehow involved.Many to most people are murdered by people they know & love. Then years later she forgives as far as I know only Tex. I dont think she spoke up for anyone else at hearings so that makes me think she may have been tied to Tex at the time of the murders.

That said I certainly could be all wrong about.

cielodrivecom said...

I don't have it so I can't make the comparison.

Marliese said...

katie8753 said...>>>>
how do you know Debra has been "disowned and disinherited"?

It's not in the book.<<<<<


Because several times now over the years, Colscott has stated this as fact and since he's not in the habit of speaking about things he knows nothing about, i choose to believe him. I don't think he'd emphasize "Debra Tate was disowned by her family a long time ago" and "Debra was specifically and clearly disinherited from all wills that were drawn up" as fact unless he knew it was factual. i think he's probably seen the wills.

Whenever he mentions it, he usually adds 'and i don't know why.' Not knowing why doesn't make it untrue.

Marliese said...

Hi bobby, great to talk to you too. Thanks for letting me know your reasons...

At this point, all i know is my gut reaction that she was certifiably out of her mind to suggest that any forgiveness she chose to offer Tex would have anything whatsoever to do with whether or not it was time to let him out of his life sentence.

I guess i need to study up on Suzan.

cielodrivecom said...

Vera, where did you get Five Down?

Vera Dreiser said...

Got it from a someone kind and committed to truth and justice unlike the Col who, if you'll scroll up, you'll see finally deleted my posts questioning the veracity (and integrity) of Ms. Statman and her book. Don't think this'll last that long up here either. Absolutey amazing when you consider the fact that the Col claims to be pursuing the truth behind the official version's lies. He's like China & Putin to their artists and activists: all lip service!

bobby said...

I guess i need to study up on Suzan.

Marliese, Have you watched the Six degrees video that Missy posted on Lynryd's site. I enjoyed it. It does does show some possible connection between Suzan Struthers, Dorgan & Watson. Of course nothing proof positive but intriging non the less.

Panamint Patty said...

See now that Patty has actually READ the passage in question, she's pickin up what the Colonel is layin down. And for the record PPatty is suspicious that they did know each other before. That would certainly lay the foundation for everything that just coinicdentally happened later on...

bobby said...

Thank you Patti, I thought there was something to be gained from it. other than what Leary saw it

"This is cheap, tawdry voyeurism at its most blatant form."

leary7 said...

yeah, Bobby, that was probably a bad chnice of phrase. the film just contains to mucn undocumented speculation for my taste, and also a fascination with coincidence. Sort of like the old "did ya know Kennedy secratary was named Lincoln and Lincoln's secratary was named Kennedy". Allot of folk love that kind of stuff, just not my cup of tea.

bobby said...

Starsip said "Damn...I actually bought this years ago. I think its very good by the way. Its a more watchable and more accurate portrayal of "what actually happened then you'll find on the E! or the History Channel.

I wish that guy Scott Michaels would offer me a job. I just might give it all up and move out there and dedicate my life to this sort of thing."

I dont know Leary, Starship is a heavyweight you know. And:

Katie said: "I agree..this is a great film. Very entertaining and I felt it was a good source for information.

I'd definitely take the tour if I was out in LA!!!"

You need to try some new taste in tea Leary. lol.

leary7 said...

you're probably right Bobby. I just spent to many years in academia.
As I said in the post though, I totally understand folk liking the film, it is fun in parts. I mean it was fun to stand on the hill above where Shorty was buried. But was anything added to the how and why Shorty was killed?
Anyways, I had a sense that Starship was a heavyweight. I can't remember if Starship is a he or she. But whatever, he/she and Beauders do seem the most knowledgable.

starship said...

Hey, uh....can we leave my weight out of this? I have enough problems with self-esteem.

Insert smiley face...

Uncle Gilly said...

I found Scott Michaels film excellent it was cool to see what is left of the original sites related to the mureder including El Coyote where you can sit at one of the original Sharon Tate tables if your party is big enough lol As for Steven Parent being forgotten. at a parole hearing Patty tate refered to him as " that kid in the car" not by name, nuff said !

Uncle Gilly said...

Colonel where are you? Leaving the posts with a sanctimonious pair of used undies like st cirque du soleil isn't wise sir !