Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Two Whales Consume a Lot of Plankton

Apr 15, 7:39 PM EDT

Women linked by Manson murders form odd friendship


CORCORAN, Calif. (AP) -- On August 9, 1969, two naive 17-year-old girls were launched on a path that led to the unlikeliest of friendships.

That infamous night, four young people under the sway of a charismatic career criminal slipped into a neighborhood of Hollywood glitterati, then bludgeoned and stabbed rising young actress Sharon Tate, coffee heiress Abigail Folger and three others. Across town the next night, the band killed again.

The name Charles Manson quickly became a synonym for unimaginable evil, which nobody knows better than Debra Tate, Sharon's little sister, and Barbara Hoyt, the Manson family member whose testimony helped put the killers in prison.

"We've got a lot in common," said Hoyt, now a retired nurse. "She has been a big help to me."

"She makes sure I am holding my head up high," Tate said, "and I do the same for her."

Now both about 60, a Manson family member and the last living Tate family member have bonded in their long quest to keep those responsible behind bars. Both have testified repeatedly at Manson's parole hearings. Both say they still get threats from the cult killer's supporters - mostly white supremacists enamored with murders Manson orchestrated to incite a race war dubbed "Helter Skelter."

Even now not a day passes without Hoyt dwelling on the suffering Manson and her former comrades inflicted and on the widespread terror that ensued.

"We are completely linked by this event whether we want to be or not," she said of Debra Tate, who now runs a crime victims group. "She understands me, and I understand where she's coming from."

Hoyt never committed a crime for Manson, and her testimony helped send the cult leader and four followers to death row in 1971. The following year, when the California Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional, their new life terms made them eligible for a while for annual parole consideration.

That is when the lives of Barbara Hoyt and Debra Tate began to intertwine. Over the decades, each as written letters to parole panels urging that the killers never be released, and each has traveled to obscure California farming towns for parole hearings in prisons housing some of the state's most notorious convicts.

At first Hoyt testified partly out of fear that the killers would seek revenge if released. But after becoming a registered nurse, she realized that the psychological and emotional pain of having to relive her involvement with the cult was another part of her payback to society.

"It's a descent into hell and then having to climb back out again," Hoyt said. "I think about it and I feel I was simply there to be a witness, because that has been my role. God gave me that role, and that's my reality."

Meanwhile Tate's late mother, Doris, had become the driving force for victims' rights in California and was instrumental in a 1982 law that allows family members to testify about their losses at trials and parole hearings.

When Doris died, that left her daughters Debra and Patti to carry on with her work. Patti died of breast cancer in 2000, leaving Debra, disabled from a postal service accident, to go it alone.

"Over time our mutual efforts brought us together," Hoyt said.

Now they talk regularly on the phone and get together when they're in the same town, usually for a parole hearing. Tate lives in the Southern California desert, and Hoyt in the Pacific Northwest, the specific location she wants to keep secret.

Trapped in drab institutional waiting rooms, they realized they were the same age and shared similar middle-class upbringings. Both were divorced mothers who raised daughters on their own. In 2006, when Manson associate Bruce Davis was up for parole for another murder Manson had orchestrated, the two had time to talk.

"I discovered that I really like Barbara," said Tate, who now works for victims' rights through her website http://www.sharontate.net . "She is a good person. She has a good soul and a good spirit and she has come through for us when it was very iffy whether these core members were going to get out."

As the friendship developed, Tate realized that Barbara has suffered from the murders as much as she had. "She flew under such a horrible social stigma for so long," Tate said. "For Barbara to have suffered the same stigma as those other sociopaths, well it just wasn't right."

Hoyt didn't appear Wednesday for the 77-year-old Manson's 12th and probably final parole hearing because she knew the prospects were virtually nil that the state would release such a notorious killer.

That left Tate alone to listen anew to the gory details of her sister's death, her hands tightly clasped, her lips pursed and her foot tapping.

They will be together again in June when Davis comes back up for a hearing at the California Men's Colony near San Luis Obispo. The parole board found him suitable for release in 2010, but then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger overruled the decision.

"We have been involved in this case since we were teenagers," Tate said. "Even if we could let go, the world would never let it go."

Both are adamant they will maintain the fight to keep all of them behind bars. Even though it is unlikely Manson's core group will ever be let go, they hope their resolve inspires other victims of crime.

"Both of us have been attacked by websites, viciously attacked over many, many years," Hoyt said. "I'd like to be an example to anyone who is ever a witness to a crime to come forward and be brave. Evil can be stopped, but it's up to us as people to do it."


Orca- If the world would never let it go that means you could comfortably do so.

Orcette- Why have you been attacked? Because your Shorty Shea testimony is a complete lie based on the facts you present. Because your need for attention is on par with your need for curly fries. Because attention cannot fill the emptiness in your heart.

Hey is BUG going for her vagina with his left hand? Does he think she is his mailman's wife?

Looking at Kay's glasses do you think that guy EVER got laid?


Latisha Blacky said...

Click here for Thelma & Louise Part 3

bobby said...

someone has a bad cse of fatphobia

A.C. Fisher Aldag said...

One thing that immediately struck me about this article is that Ms. Tate and Ms. Hoyt are claiming that Manson supporters, whom they say are white supremacists and approve of the murders, are threatening them.

Took a quick review of a few supporters, and this is not happening as far as we can tell. Perhaps some isolated people are indeed threatening these ladies, but nobody in the ATWA movements are doing so. In fact, no one has contacted either woman at all, as far as I can tell. I suggest if either woman is being threatened by anyone, they contact the police.

Orrrr... Perhaps it's another bid for attention?

Jesse2112 said...
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rfoster1 said...


Your link leads to a page that reads, "Lonely alcoholic with rage issues, pantyhose phobias and oh so much more!"

As tantalizing as that sounds, I don't get the connection.

Latisha Blacky said...

She is the bitch that has been harassing Liz and co. with that awful blog. Jane McHugh is her name. She works for SPAWAR in San Diego. She has more than one screw loose.

louis365 said...

"That left Tate alone to listen anew to the gory details of her sister's death, her hands tightly clasped, her lips pursed and her foot tapping."

>> let me guess, she was tapping her foot in rhythm to the song that was playing in her head - namely - Helter Skelter

Louise said...
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melee1969 said...

Latisha Blacky is a fake account.

Give them both barrels Louise!!!!

Louise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A.C. Fisher Aldag said...

I wondered if that was joking around, or what. Apparently someone has too much time on their hands. Earth Day is coming, I suggest they go pick up trash off the roadside or something useful.

louis365 said...

Helter Skelter

blipcrotch said...

Gaia's Daddy

ST. Circumstance said...

I feel very badly for Deb Tate. I feel badly for what happened to her family, and how it has affected her life...

I dont understand Barbara Hoyt at all...

Why she continues to lie, and why she continues to attack people she once chose and considered family...

I do not think the does it for honorable reasons at all...

She seems to be someone that people on either side of this can agree is no good...

and yet she insists in remaining in the foreground whenever this subject gets a few minutes of public attention???

We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won't need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don't fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine.

Dwight L. Moody

Uncle Gilly said...

@ AC just what does " took a quick review of a few supporters" mean? explain yourself! what supporters ? what is their method of verification? how close are they to Debra Tate for example? Manson is tied with white supremacy in prison, many men are as a way of staying alive, however Manson is no doubt racist. who were the black family members? are you saying Debra Tate is lying? or not fighting fair? give your head a shake and remember the family and their legacy ! GAWD it now dawns on me, you are a fucking twit !

Uncle Gilly said...

YAWN a massive BORE FRONT has moved into the area, oh never mind it's just louis365! total the digits and ... never mind, if you total the digits louis would have to take his shoes off to count !

A.C. Fisher Aldag said...

Uncle Gilly asked, "AC just what does 'took a quick review of a few supporters' mean? explain yourself! what supporters ?"

I am referring to Manson supporters who belong to various ATWA groups, Manson music fans, and collectors... and you'll notice I said it was an informal poll. Meaning, I asked, a few people answered.

"Manson is tied with white supremacy in prison", you say. Really? There are currently fourteen inmates total in the PHU. Nine are White, three are Mexican, two are Native American Indians. So, assuming all eight other white dudes are practicing white supremacists, that's an awfully small gang to have "ties" to. I call bullsh*t.

There were two black guys in that unit; one was recently released, one was transferred. Mr. Manson helped them both with buying school supplies, purchasing commisary and other financial issues. Yeah, racist, my Aunt Fanny.

Am I saying Debra Tate is lying? No, not deliberately. I am saying that she's likely suffering some emotional impairment from her loss and it's manifesting as paranoia. No Manson supporters are "threatening" her.

Some crazy people who are attracted to the infamy of the case might be making threats... and if they are... call the cops, rather than the media!

beauders said...

a.c has manson mentioned what he thinks of the rapist/murderer of two teenage girls, john gardner? i know they had to put gardner in protective housing and that he's in manson's unit.

A.C. Fisher Aldag said...

Beauders, since Charles has been in SHU since October, no, he's not spoken on the phone. Writing about other inmates isn't really allowed, unless you use a euphemism, such as "that guy from Denver" or "the Apache". He's not mentioned Gardner.

beauders said...

thanks a.c. just curious

Uncle Gilly said...

My intention is not to piss off the Colonel, But I hereby declare my love for Debra Tate ! I am on the track of the March 1977 OUI magazine she posed in can't wait to see it !