Charles Manson gang linked to death of man found with wrists slashed in supposed suicide in 1960s London
- Suspicions that Joel Pugh’s death in west London could have been ordered by evil mass killer Manson
- U.S. detectives stumble on a treasure trove of new clues that could solve 43-year-old mystery
- Los Angeles police handed cassettes of conversations between one of Manson’s most fervent followers and his lawyer
New evidence being investigated by police in Los Angeles may link the apparent suicide of a man in London to the notorious Charles Manson murder family.
There has been a lingering suspicion that 29-year-old Joel Pugh’s death in West London’s Talgarth Hotel in December 1969 could have been a hit ordered by one of history’s most evil mass killers.
Now detectives believe they have stumbled on a treasure trove of new clues that could shed more light on the 43-year-old mystery.
New link: Sandra Good with Joel Pugh (pictured in 1969) who was found dead at the Talgarth Hotel in West London amid suspicions he was murdered at the order of cult leader Charles Manson - Sandra was a member of Manson's 'Family'
A US Bankruptcy Court in Texas this week granted a request by Los Angeles Police to review eight cassette tapes containing hours of conversation between Charles ‘Tex’ Watson – one of Manson’s most fervent followers – and his lawyer.
The recordings represent the first new clues in the case in decades and experts believe they could yield evidence supporting Manson’s boasts that his sick family killing spree claimed more than the nine known victims.
‘Manson told one of his cellmates his followers committed as many as 35 murders,’ said Stephen Kay, who prosecuted the cult leader.
Mr Pugh’s death was ruled as a suicide by the British authorities, who said the young American boyfriend of Manson devotee Sandra Good had been depressed.
Crazed: Charles Manson (left) last year ahead of a parole hearing in California and in 1970 (right) taken shortly after he was convicted of conspiring to murder seven people
But Mr Kay is convinced he was murdered by a Manson follower. The victim was found naked except for a sheet with his throat slit and his wrist slashed.
‘Manson despised him – and people who Manson hated ended up dead,’ added Mr Kay.
Nobody knows yet what’s on the tapes, but discovering their existence was enough for Los Angeles detectives to re-open the case.
Officers believe Watson ‘may have discussed additional unsolved murders committed by followers of Charles Manson,’ according to a letter sent to the US Justice Department by Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck.
‘Do we expect to find something in the recordings? We just don't know,' said LAPD Commander Andrew Smith. ‘But we're going to check just like any good investigator would.’
Tragic victim: Pregnant actress Sharon Tate who died August, 1969, was murdered by Charles Manson and his cult followers
Police also suspect more bodies of Manson family victims may have been buried under their one-time hideout at the Barker Ranch in Death Valley, one of the world’s hottest places.
The serial killer and five members of his so-called ‘Family’ are serving life terms for the 1969 murders of nine people, including the pregnant Sharon Tate, wife of film director Roman Polanski.
Now 74, Manson is imprisoned in a California where he has had a swastika carved crudely into his forehead.
Retired Los Angeles police sergeant Paul Whiteley, who investigated the Manson-ordered slaying of musician Gary Hinman in 1969, says: ‘I’m almost certain Joel Pugh was murdered in England by a Manson Family member called Bruce Davis.
‘We know he was in London at the same time and we heard from an informant that The Family had struck in Britain, but we were never able to get Scotland Yard interested in the case. I spoke to them and they just wouldn’t listen.
‘We were, frankly, amazed the police in England had decided it was a suicide and refused even to consider foul play.'