Saturday, February 27, 2010

Manson Can Go Free! (part one)

We are going to start a new feature here, which is reprinting older news stories from back in the day for your analysis and discussion. Here is a classic... thanks to the interns who retyped it and to the original authors.

MANSON CAN GO FREE: Distinguished attorney maps out Manson’s defense strategy

Charlie Manson has stated that he intends to sit as his own attorney when he goes to trial for the Tate and La Bianca murders. The following article was written by a noted attorney practicing before Federal Courts and various state bars. He is also a prize winning author on laws relating to corporate and government practices, and of several books on international affairs. The following is his commentary on the Manson affair…which outlines the method by which Charles Manson should conduct the defense in his trial. The author prefers to remain anonymous for obvious reasons.

The forthcoming trial of Charles Manson and his alleged band of “hippies” for the alleged murders of Sharon Tate and her companions will be an interesting demonstration of how the law operates in a system administered by and for the members of the establishment.

As one world famous author has said: “Far too many lawyers have the morals of a whore and the soul of a pimp.” And it was probably with knowledge of this fact that Charles Manson stated in his very first appearance in the Los Angeles court: “As far as I am concerned, I consider myself dead.”

How the law – and the legal profession – operated can be seen by observing the conduct of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office and the two attorneys representing Miss Susan Atkins. From the details slowly emerging from the case, it has become clear that Susan’s “confession” is not the true story of the murders at the Tate home, but that parts of it were concocted by her attorneys with the connivance of a member of the staff of the Los Angeles District Attorney.

The published Atkins “confession” is legally a fake!

Lawrence Schiller, whose background is discussed later in this article, concluded an agreement between Susan’s attorneys and the Assistant District Attorney for the sole and exclusive purpose of exploiting her false confession for the most base purpose: to make a fast back out of the misery and degradation of another human being.

This is how it happened: On Dec. 1 and Dec. 4, 1969, Susan Atkins was released from jail in custody of her two attorneys and the Assistant District Attorney. She was taken to her attorney’s Beverly Hills office on both days and in the presence of an Assistant District Attorney spoke into a tape recorder with a legal stenographer taking notes.

Lawrence Schiller was not in the office on those two days, but on Dec. 13, 1969, the Atkins “confession” broke in the European press. This confession had been sold to the European press by Larry Schiller for a considerable sum of money – thousands of dollars.

Since Schiller could have obtained the “confession” only through Susan’s attorneys, it can definitely be stated that Schiller, the two attorneys, and the assistant district attorney were involved!

It is incredible – by every rule of principle by American law – that two ethical lawyers would permit an assistant district attorney to sit in on their consultations with the client they were supposed to defend – unless all three had an understanding that Susan Atkins was to be used for the purpose of exploiting her alleged “confession” to produce money for themselves, to be split with a public relations man who turns out to be Larry Schiller.

There is no doubt in this attorney’s opinion that no Supreme Court in any state, nor the United States Supreme Court will permit the use of that confession if Manson knows how to use the legal tools he says he knows how to use!

Furthermore, the presence of an assistant district attorney, plus his involvement, directly or indirectly in this nefarious plot to use and exploit Atkins, is gross misconduct and abuse of office! Because the assistant district attorney, in law, in these circumstances, is an agent of the D.A.’s office, and as such, he knew that under the law, his knowledge of the Atkins “confession” would be published, and once published, could and probably will make any guilty verdict reversible in Supreme Court. (This does not in any way implicate District Attorney Younger or other members of his staff, since they could have been totally unaware of what was happening.)

The conclusive evidence that Susan’s attorneys planned the entire “confession” is seen by their statement that up to now they had not received any money from the Schiller activities. But, as seen later, Schiller said he entered into a trust agreement on behalf of Susan. If that be the case, then the two attorneys have no right to that money – especially under those circumstances. Schiller stated that he has given them money; they deny receiving any of the “confession” money. Someone is lying.

Finally, there is no proof that Schiller has even met Susan Atkins, but in any case, how did he arrange a trust agreement with her unless her attorneys were present?

What will the California Bar Ethics Committee do in this case? You can be fairly certain that they will do nothing. The “moral and ethical” leaders of the legal profession will sit on their collective asses and privately applaud this “coup” by two of their colleagues.

Manson instinctively knew that he could not get a fair trial “under the basic principles of American justice.” But if Manson had worn a uniform and had committed murder for his superiors in Vietnam he would have been hailed as a hero. For example, witness the pious outpouring of sympathy for Lt. Calley when he was charged with the multiple murder, the slaughter of thirteen armed men, women and children. In spite of the overwhelming proof that a massacre had occurred, in spite of the fact that the pro-American South Vietnamese Congressional Committee signed a written statement that a massacre of several hundreds of human beings had occurred (N.Y. Times, Jan. 5, 1970), the American press warned that all the publicity that they themselves had released and published in their own newspapers was damaging the case against Lt. Calley because of “undue publicity in violation of the Constitutional guarantee of a free and impartial trial.” And with every publication of the news of the massacre, Lt. Calleys chance for freedom grow geometrically.

But notice also that Sgt. Mitchell, who was subsequently indicted for participating in the same massacre, has not received the same publicity as Lt. Calley. Why? Sgt. Mitchell is a black man. The chances are 100 to 1 that Lt. Calley will go free and Sgt. Mitchell will be found guilty and sentenced to hard labor for life. Yet Sgt. Mitchell was obeying the orders of his superior, Lt. Calley. This is another example of how the double standard of the law operates.

It should be remembered that neither Charles Manson nor Lt. Calley made a confession. Calley was at the scene of the alleged crime and gave direct orders to the enlisted GI’s there to commit the alleged murders. Charles Manson was not at the scene of the murders for which he is to be tried.

Both alleged crimes were revealed by persons long after the alleged criminal acts were committed. However, in the Calley case, his activities were concealed by his superior officers in the U.S. Army until an ex-GI, without seeking or receiving any compensation, wrote many letters to the U.S. Defense Department and members of Congress.

After many persons had received his letters – and ignored them – the story came out into the open, and was confirmed by eye witnesses and by official photographers of the U.S. Army in Saigon!

But in the Manson case, there are no photographs showing Manson at the scene of the alleged crimes. The person who implicated Manson was one Susan Atkins – for money in excess of $150,000. Who is Susan, and how did she earn her money?

She claims that she was a member of the Manson “family”, which had semi-religious overtones. Manson, according to Susan, had such formidable hypnotic powers that she, and four other tribal members, committed four or five murders at the Tate residence, and on the following day committed the murders of two other innocent persons. The press, although there is absolutely no proof that Manson was at either of the murder sites, has now connected him to both murders. Susan Atkins has also connected him as the “ringleader” whom she and her companions obeyed under a “hypnotic trance”.

Regularly, at least once a week, the L.A. press keeps hinting that more bodies will be found, which were the work of Manson and his much-publicized “occult powers”. But no more bodies have been found. But the constant reiterations that the police are seeking more bodies influences and molds public opinion. The LAPD now has the opportunity to “solve” every unsolved murder of their books. Thus, the public, and the prospective jurors who will try Manson, will have been brainwashed. And while the Manson affair is trumpeted from every one of the news media, the Lt. Calley trial slowly recedes into obscurity – which is where the American people would like it to stay, according to Gallop Poll of Jan. 1970.

And who is Lawrence Schiller, the man who promoted Susan Atkins for thousands of dollars? He is a man who, according to a national weekly news magazine, “…would do anything for a buck.” A self-styled writer and PR man, Schiller became a public figure by making a fast buck on the controversy surrounding the assassination of President Kennedy.

Since Schiller is now a public figure, his activities can be legally commented upon, and so, with no malice in practice or thought, some of his activities are hereby enumerated:

In Jan. 1967, Capitol Records, a pretty big recording company in these United States, decided that one way of showing an extra profit on their balance sheet would be to bring forth an LP record dealing with the proponents and critics of the Warren Commission. To induce the critics to speak on this record, Schiller, acting as Producer of the record, informed these critics that part of the proceeds of the record would be given to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Society. Based upon that representation, many critics did speak, and waived their fee on behalf of the society.

But no sooner had the record been released than the Secretary of the Memorial Society issued a public statement that they had never been informed of the Schiller proposal. It has been estimated that more than 35,000 copies of the record have been sold, and not one penny of the proceeds have been offered to the Kennedy Memorial Society.

The next caper pulled by the promoter, Schiller, was a Jack Ruby deathbed “confession”. In this grotesque number Schiller decided to go for more then just a buck – he went for TWO bucks. Not only did he collect as the producer of the Ruby “confession” record, but he also collected as the “business agent” for the dying Ruby. But before you could say “pay me”, Schiller was receiving some very nasty words from Ruby’s family.

Schiller also co-authored a book defending the Warren Commission. The book revealed that it was written as fast as Schiller and his co-author could write. The “facts” stated in the book are of highly questionable authenticity, but the establishment press gave the book reviews which helped its sales. Not really good reviews, but it made a fast buck.

With these accomplishments behind him, Schiller really came into his own when he took on Susan Atkins as a “client”. According to Schiller, he obtained a “confession” from his client because he was touched by the fact that Susan was

pregnant, since Susan, by admitting her guilt, would face a long term in prison. With tears in his eyes, filled with compassion for the young mother and her unborn child, he would show Susan how to provide for the child’s college education – not with Schiller’s money, but with the money Susan would receive by confessing to being a member of the “hippie tribe” that murdered Sharon Tate and her companions.

Speaking like a “sob sister” of the old Hearst press, Schiller spoke his feeling on a local Los Angeles TV station. During this interview, Schiller, reclining comfortably, whined out his distress for the unborn Atkins child.

However, when questioned by the television “M.C.” concerning the distribution of funds obtained from the “confession,” Schiller became coy, and then became evasive. The interviewer did not press him too hard. Schiller admitted that the money received would probably run into six figures; he admitted that his share would run between eight and nine percent; he admitted that the money received up to the time of the interview was approximately $50,000 and going up.

He would not discuss the alleged “trust” fund agreement between himself and Susan Atkins. He stated that there was enough money for the unborn child to go through four years of college. But strangely, he would not say who had the trust fund, who was the trustee, and who was the administrator. We only have his word that a trust fund exists.

What he omitted to say is of more importance than what he did say: He did not inform us what would happen to the “trust” if: (1) the baby should not be born? (2) if the baby is born, who receives the interest on the money which accumulates up to the time the child enters college (3) if the baby refuses to go to college or does not have the intelligence or desire to go to college, who receives the money from the trust fund? (4) from the time the child is born until he begins his college studies, how does the child live, and who supports him? (5) who is the administrator of the confession money? Schiller? If so, he has another ace in the hole, because as administrator he could receive money from the trust!

In fact, if the trust fund is, say, $200,000, and the money is invested in non-taxable state or municipal bonds, at nine percent per annum, that would come to about $18,000. Mr. Schiller could have bread on his table for a long time and could indeed send his own children – and grandchildren to college.

Now Schiller has another moneymaking scheme going for himself. During the same TV interview, Schiller inadvertently exposed another method of making a fast buck out of the Manson-Atkins affair. He informed the TV interviewer that he was contemplating a lawsuit against the L.A. Times for “bootlegging” the “confession” of his client, Susan.

However, he assured the listener that he believed that the L.A. Times and he could arrive at an amicable settlement out of court. He did not say that Susan or her unborn child would receive any of the money he might get from the L.A. Times or that any of such monies would be placed in the alleged trust fund.

With all this going on, the chickens came home to roost with the announcement that Susan’s attorneys were not satisfied with Schiller’s benevolent arrangement of their client’s financial affairs. After all, when a couple of hundred thousand dollars are involved, some of it has got to stick to the real, honest attorneys, not just some public relations man.

But enough of the sobbing Mr. Lawrence Schiller, whose tears of compassion for Miss Atkins and her unborn child would water the Sahara Desert. The important fact is that this “confession” was used by the press to pronounce Manson “guilty”. The trial will be used by the media to create an overwhelming popular belief that hippies, long-haired youths in general, are murderers. The question of Manson’s guilt is not important to them at all.

But to Manson it is very important because his very life is in jeopardy. And what this all comes down to is: how does the law really operate for a person in Manson’s circumstances? What happens before, during, and after his brief appearances before the judge and jury?

gn:Unless Manson understands the

establishment’s rules in Los Angeles, he is dead. From his statements in open court, there is no doubt that Manson does comprehend that his chances of receiving a trial under the basic principles of American justice are as fleeting as a snowflake on a hot summer day. Several examples of California justice, as practiced by the local legal establishment, are hereby set forth to illustrate my point:

One interesting example of corruption of legal practices in California can be seen in a case that occurred some four years ago. In that classic miscarriage of justice, a citizen signed a divorce complaint accusing his wife of committing adultery with a judge of Los Angeles County. In fact, the complaining husband included another attorney as being a partner with the judge.

The outcome of this case is most interesting. The cuck-holded husband was declared insane by a judge who was a friend of the third judge. The husband remains, to this day, imprisoned in an asylum. The wife, who never denied committing adultery with the judge and the attorney, has vanished, but the strange thing is that the estate of the framed husband is being administered by the wife and the attorney he named in the husband’s adultery complaint. The attorney was appointed by the judge, also named in the husband’s complaint! This is what might be called having your cake and eating it!

What is not so surprising is that the members of the Ethics Committee of the California Bar found nothing unethical in the conduct of the judge and his co-adulterer.

This is the kind of “justice” Manson will face when he enters the courtroom.

A final example of the kind of justice given to a member of the establishment – as contrasted to the “common-herd” – is the case of a judge who presided over the Palm Springs area. One would suppose that a judge would have a greater moral stature than a mere attorney, like, for example, Cooper, but a judge always has opportunities which are difficult to dismiss.

In Palm Springs, the judge in charge of the estates of the American Indians systematically swindled the Indians out of monies placed there by the U.S. government. The money had been given to the Indians by a treaty, but the judge, seeing all that money in the hands of “savages” decided to have a picnic looting the estates.

How much he stole the Federal Government never decided, but it was in six figures. When he was caught with his hands up to the elbows in the theft, the Federal Government and the district attorney decided he should be warned to “go forth and sin no more.”

But the judge was permitted to retain the money he had embezzled. After all, what could those savages do with it anyway? Buy a home? Have a little food on the table? Send their children to college? The judge, of course, received only a small salary. Only $28,000 a year. And with taxes and everything, he was entitled to have a little.

And in this case, the California Bar Association did nothing!

Thus, the greatest problem Manson will face will be this corruption of justice by the judges and attorneys who are its administrators. Manson was absolutely correct in his statement that he does not trust any attorney, or the law.

But he may have some hope if he follows a proper legal strategy.

If Manson were properly advised, by his newly appointed advisor, he would, at the very commencement of his trial, do the following:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bruce Davis : Follow the Bouncing Ball

Now I don't believe that Bruce committed dozens of other murders like the BUG would like us to.
And I don't believe he was the Zodiac like Nellie wanted to believe.
But I spent the weekend caring for my sick supermodel wife and getting stoned and the more I thought about Bruce, the more I think he has to be the key towards solving the motives.
No? Hey maybe not. Let's follow the bouncing ball.

I believe Bruce DOES kill Doreen Gault. Motive- dunno. --->

Bruce is part of the torture of Hinman. Convicted --->

Bruce is part of the torture and killing of Shea. Convicted --->

Bruce is NOT sent to Tate. But I believe he returns in the wee hours with Charlie to see if Tex did what he was asked. Almost as if they didn't believe he would. --->

Bruce is not sent to LaBianca. And I have a very hard time figuring out what he does do that evening. --->

Bruce marries Nancy Pitman and goes undercover in the sewers--->

I don't believe he kills Hughes because I think that is an accident. --->

But he is undercover for MONTHS- so what IS he doing? --->

Then he turns himself in. For good. Supposedly on Charlie orders. But for whatever reason he does- and that's it for him.

Now that he is up for a parole, a parole he doesn't deserve and probably won't get, I hope Sequiera and others get answers to these questions.

I think Bruce is filled with secrets.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Steve Grogan Murdered Shorty Shea and is Now Adam Gabriel, Band Member of Rhythmtown Jive

Finding that C and D letter from the silly lawyer got the Col pissed off all over again. She seems to think that after being a part of the most notorious murders of the last fifty years, Steve Grogan has some sort of entitlement to privacy upon release. Of course, as a failed lawyer myself I laugh at this woman. I especially love the bit where she says he has stayed out of the public eye. I mean WTF he is part of a band and his videos and pictures were all over their website. If that isn't the public eye what is?

Clem has a right to stfu. He has a right to a earn a living and raise a family. Hell, he has a LOT more rights than Donald Shea has at the moment. If he told his bandmates who he was and they accepted him anyway, then fine. If he didn't, that's his concern not ours.

But there is no presumed right to privacy for released murderers. And when he finally dies, Steve will be known as a Manson Family killer. If he is known at all.

So I am sorry Kyndra Miller, she who doesn't have a secretary answering her calls. Threaten me, threaten the missing Bret.

But Grogan is who he is and that's too bad for all of us. Really.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Those Were The Days My Friend

Why am I posting this now? I don't know. Maybe because I just remembered how super pissed off I was almost two years ago when this fucking lawyer sent me this letter acting as if I somehow was responsible for poor Clem Grogan, the man who BEHEADED Shorty Shea.

And somebody better tell me where the hell Bret is. Hey Bret, give me your site I'll make sure it doesn't fucking disappear every two months.

Yes I am in a bad mood thank you for asking.

(click on the letter to make it bigger and more amusing)

Please comment away about murderer Clem Grogan also known as ADAM GABRIEL. Thoughts?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

A Book I am Looking Forward To

I don't have to tell you everything so I never told you that I got to meet Alisa Statman some time ago. I found her to be an absolutely smart and cool and charming lady. A real joy. Someone who would not suffer fools gladly ever. So no wonder Bill Nelson never liked her. The pompous buffoon!

Anyway Statman is very successfully working in the Hollywood BIZ and protecting Patti Tate's children and her legacy. Which is super nice of her when you think about it. I think when I started this blog ages ago I was not nice to her. But I was a child then. Now the Col is a man and can admit when he was wrong.

Through our meeting I got to read a manuscript. I think then it was called THE TATE LEGACY or something. It was powerful, It made me cry. I found myself bowled over by the book.

It is hard to describe the book really. Statman wrote it along with Patti's daughter, Sharon's niece. Yet it draws extensively on the book that Col. Paul Tate wrote and never published. It draws on a manuscript that Ma Tate was writing. It draws on notes from Patti. It draws on writings from everyone that lived the hell of the Cielo slaughter. Except of course Debra. Because as I keep saying (and actually getting bitchy emails about, as if I did it) Debra's family disowned her.

Sure we learn a lot. It is the unspoken voice of the Tate Family, a Family destroyed by Linda Kasabian, Tex Watson, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinckel. We learn of pain and sorrow. We learn details never before revealed. We learn how Tex and Bruce conspired as "ministers" to take over the prison chapel. It's a great fucking book.

The Col tried to get this to agents but without avail. It was like the killers superseded the victims.

But God Bless Statman. Word comes that a major publisher (I'll say if she lets me) has picked it up for the end of this year. I think the new title is Restless Souls.

I am more hopeful that I ever was for the Tom O'Neill book- if it every comes out. But I read this book. The authors need to do the talk show circuit. They need to push this shit out of this book. Fuck Bugliosi and Debra. The Tates went through hell and at last history will be enlightened.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Whitehouse Justifies His Slacking- It was LOVE

“When I was in junior high, I played the trumpet,” Whitehouse says. “I was going to go to West Point. Or to Stanford, and play in the Stanford band.”

He laughs. A tall, graying, thin-faced man who has worn his hair long since his late teens, the 46-year-old Whitehouse seems more Ted Nugent than John Philip Sousa. Yet there he is, in his 1979 yearbook, in the Hillsdale High School band in San Mateo, where former classmates recall him as brainy and shy.

The change came at 16: His father, an engineer, moved the family to Ohio, and the teenaged Whitehouse defiantly shut down. “He was already getting to that angry-young-man phase, but Cleveland was the last straw,” recalls his sister, Virginia Seals, a 44-year-old Santa Cruz landscaper and accounting student.

The day after graduation, Whitehouse says, he rushed from Ohio back to the Bay Area and moved in with old buddies, playing bass in a rock band and ditching classes at community college: “We were headlining shows on Friday and Saturday nights. In some of the worst clubs, but still, headlining.”

And doing a lot of drugs.

“See,” he says, “what happens is: You start partying. It costs money. And then you can’t get it and eventually you say, ‘The heck with this, I’m going to buy a lot so I don’t have to keep going back to some guy.’ And then you end up with a lot in your house, and you realize that other people can kick in your door and take it. Because it’s illegal, you can’t go to the police and complain about it. So eventually you buy guns. And all my guns were legal, and they were all registered and I never took them out of the house, but …”

He was 6 feet tall and so strung out that his weight had dropped to 113 pounds by the time he was 20. “For my 21st birthday,” he says, “my dad gave me money to get a will done.”

About that time, Whitehouse says, he picked up Vincent Bugliosi’s “Helter Skelter,” the Manson case history beloved by defiant adolescents everywhere. “Someone said, ‘Oh, read this. This is scary,’ ” he remembers. And it did disturb him. He was a 6-year-old living 400 miles from Los Angeles when Manson, a deranged ex-con humiliated by his failure as a musician, dispatched his “family” of runaways and lost souls to commit the bloodbaths in 1969 that made him famous.

In Southern California, of course, the case became legend: Brainwashed and acting on Manson’s instructions, his followers slaughtered nine people, including actress Sharon Tate, the pregnant wife of director Roman Polanski, and wrote epithets at the crime scenes in the victims’ blood.

But by the mid-’80s, it was just a bad memory. The 15th anniversary of the crimes came and went and the TV movie of “Helter Skelter” was in reruns. One day while reading a magazine, Whitehouse says, he noticed a Q&A in which Manson was ranting that “Sadie lied” about something. Intrigued, he went looking for the autobiography of the Manson girl who had been given that alias.

The book was not what he expected. At the trials, Atkins had been “the scariest Manson girl,” as one prosecutor put it, bragging to her cellmates that she had not only stabbed Tate but, they claimed, tasted the actress’s blood. Then she switched sides to become the first family member to testify against Manson. Under oath, she claimed she never stabbed anyone—she had only written the word “pig” in blood with a towel at one of the crime scenes and held Tate while another family member, Charles “Tex” Watson, murdered her.

Then Atkins reversed herself again, the result of threats by Manson against her and her then-year-old baby, she explained later. (The child, fathered by a drifter during a trip to Phoenix with another family member, was taken by the state and given up for adoption after her conviction.)

At her 1971 sentencing, Atkins claimed she did stab Tate, sneering at her pleas for mercy. By that time, however, her story was contradicted by so much other testimony that it wasn’t clear whether Atkins really knew what part she played in the murders. In any case, the disgusted public no longer much cared whether she was a cold-blooded killer or a hapless accessory. Atkins was sentenced to death.

A year after she was sent to death row, the California Supreme Court briefly rendered the death penalty invalid. All death sentences automatically were commuted to life imprisonment. Under the law at the time of the murders, that technically meant seven years to life because sentences of life without parole didn’t exist in California. So Atkins not only escaped death; she won a shot at release.

According to her memoir, “Child of Satan, Child of God,” this set the stage in 1974 for a life-altering spiritual rebirth. The claim raised the usual jailhouse-memoir doubts. Inmates who want parole stand to gain from sympathetic portrayals. And Atkins’ co-author, Bob Slosser, was an evangelist who went on, after the book’s release, to launch the news department of Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network.

Whitehouse had his own epiphanies.

“I was eating dinner one day in the living room with a gun on my lap,” he recalls. “And I realized that people don’t just wake up one morning and decide to run amok. People … make a bad choice, and something goes wrong, and then they make another bad choice, and eventually they end up in a situation where there are no longer any right answers.”

Contacting a Manson girl was extreme, he concedes, but “at that age, everything seems dramatic.” And Atkins had written that she wanted to minister to young people who felt lost. Whitehouse was scarcely speaking to his family and had no friends outside his lifestyle. “I told her that I was living with a bunch of people and … I wanted to get my life cleaned up, that I was 22 years old and the oldest person in the entire place, and that it was hard holding it all together. And she encouraged me to get out of there.”

For the next year, he says, they wrote monthly. “When you’re drowning, you don’t pay attention to who’s throwing you a life preserver.”

He moved to North Hollywood to start a new band, playing speed-metal clubs in the San Fernando Valley. (“We actually opened once for Megadeth,” he says.) Now a little more than an hour from the women’s prison in Frontera, he visited Atkins. The more he saw, he says, the more he liked. Even surrounded by guards, she had a reassuring serenity that was—dare he think it?—attractive. (“Susan had a way of letting you know God made you absolutely perfect, just the way you are,” says his sister.)

And unlike others in his life, Atkins didn’t judge or lecture. “Instead of saying, ‘You ought to … ,’ she’d just let me talk and wait for me to say something that made sense,” Whitehouse says. “And then she’d say, ‘I think you’re right.’ Or, ‘I think what you said before; I think that was right.’ Which made me feel like she wasn’t telling me stuff, but that I was coming up with it myself.”

In early 1987, his band was caught up in a drug sweep. Though he wasn’t charged, he says, he spent two days in jail. Sobered, he accepted an invitation from his grandmother in San Juan Capistrano: If he returned to school, he could live in the guest room of her trailer.

“I enrolled at Golden West [College], and, after a semester there, I surprised myself and got a 3.75 average,” he says. He decided three things:

He was smart.

He wanted to go to college.

And he was in love with Susan Atkins.

“I had to ask her four times to marry me,” he says. “The first time I asked she said, ‘What?’ And the second time, she said, ‘Have you lost your mind?’ The third time she said, ‘What will your parents think?’ And the fourth time she said, ‘Yes.’ ”
They were married Dec. 7, 1987, in the prison administration building. The groom wore a dark-blue suit; the bride wore white. “Susan waited until a certain pastor she liked came in,” recalled Whitehouse. “He kept calling me John.”

Besides the obvious obstacles, she now was pushing 40 and he was just 24. Whitehouse says he didn’t tell his parents until three months before the wedding.

“They were hugely concerned,” says his sister. “Dad’s first reaction was: Nobody can change that much—you can’t do something that horrible and then change into a wonderful person.” Her own feelings were mixed: Her father had a point, but her brother was like a new man.

“I think my dad said something like, ‘I don’t want to hear about it,’ ” Whitehouse says. But his mother’s sister met Atkins and interceded. Whitehouse’s father died in 2000; his mother, now in her 70s, declined to comment for this story. Though it didn’t happen in time for the prison to clear them to attend the wedding, Whitehouse and his sister say both parents grew to love their daughter-in-law.

Whitehouse said his feelings for Atkins had crept up on him gradually as he realized how sorry she was about the murders, and how little the world knew about the penance she did. Transcripts from parole hearings show long lists of commendations for Atkins’ work in volunteer and rehabilitative programs—charities, 12-step programs, fitness programs, advisory councils. In at least one case, she had helped save a life as a volunteer in a psychiatric treatment unit.

“She had become a model inmate,” says Florence Richer, a longtime inmate advocate at the California Institution for Women who was Atkins’ counselor and friend for 31 years.

By law, after Atkins had served the minimum seven years of her sentence, the state had to parole her unless there was evidence she was still a danger to society. When her death sentence was commuted, Whitehouse says, even first-degree murderers were getting out in less than a decade. Bugliosi, the lead prosecutor in the Manson case, predicted in “Helter Skelter” that she would serve only 15 or 20 years of her sentence. But in the court of public opinion, the Manson inmates were in a class by themselves.

Richer believes Atkins understood this, and had come to terms with it. But Whitehouse was outraged: Parole hearings were supposed to be neutral, and it seemed no matter how much remorse Atkins expressed or how many commendations and positive psychiatric evaluations she garnered, parole officials routinely concluded she was too dangerous to release.

They suspected her turnaround was an act, or that the eager-to-please Manson follower had simply become an eager-to-please student of correctional culture. “I’ve seen offenders who look like they’re doing great but they really haven’t changed much,” says John Dovey, a former warden at the Frontera prison.

“This was not a garden-variety murder,” says Stephen Kay, the veteran Los Angeles prosecutor who handled most of Atkins’ parole hearings. “I never got the sense that she was rehabilitated to the point that she would not be a danger.”

The victims’ distraught families, meanwhile, reminded the parole board that even in her most self-serving accounts, Atkins had admitted to restraining a pleading, pregnant woman who was being eviscerated. “Why should she get mercy?” they asked.

As attitudes on criminal justice hardened in the ensuing decades, it seemed clear that Atkins would spend the rest of her life in prison. “And he’s willing to wait for you forever?” a commissioner on the Board of Prison Terms scoffed at a 1989 hearing after learning she had wed.

And yet, Whitehouse says, after every rejection, Atkins threw herself back into education, community work, therapy, religion—every possible avenue of rehabilitation. It moved him. Whoever she had been, the woman he knew now seemed extraordinary. “Marriage is a public sign of commitment that you really do believe in someone. I believed in her and I wanted her to be a part of my life, whatever that meant.”

They spent every possible moment together, as newlyweds will, even in prison. There were conjugal visits every couple of months. There was canoodling in the visiting room. Parole hearing transcripts show that five months after their wedding, she was cited for violating no-contact regulations. She had rested her head on his shoulder, kissed him, and brushed the hair from his forehead. They’d take walks around the prison yard and study the Bible.

He enrolled at Saddleback College, taking science courses. Whitehouse’s sister recalls: “Susan was pretty much: ‘If you’re going to be married to me, you’re going to get back on track—I’m not going to be blamed for wasting your life.’ ”

In his off hours, Whitehouse studied. And studied. By 1991, he had won a scholarship and transferred to UC Irvine; by 1993, he had two bachelor’s degrees, graduating magna cum laude in chemistry and summa cum laude in biological sciences.

He had planned to go into molecular engineering. But the next year, after yet another fruitless parole hearing, he applied on impulse to law school. When acceptance letters arrived from universities such as Harvard and UC Berkeley, he says, “everyone from Susan’s brother to my dad pitched in” to pay the tuition. He enrolled at Harvard in September 1994, according to the university registrar’s office, and graduated cum laude with his law degree in May 1997.

While he was gone, the tough-on-crime drumbeat got louder. California passed its three-strikes law. Prison visiting hours were shortened. A 1995 law had eliminated conjugal visits entirely for lifers such as Atkins. At Harvard, Whitehouse focused on the ex post facto clause of the U.S. Constitution, which, among other things, prohibits laws that retro-actively increase punishments for offenses. As he saw it, he was there for one purpose—to end his wife’s imprisonment.

At school, he says, he told people he was married and didn’t elaborate. When classmates saw pictures of Atkins in his room, Whitehouse says, they never recognized her—they only remarked on her good looks.

“Once the guy next door said, ‘That’s your wife?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ ‘You left her in California?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘You’re an idiot.’ ”

Law professor Martha Field, who advised Whitehouse on his third-year paper, says he never talked to her about his personal life, only about his work. (“The paper was a good one,” she recalls.) Former classmates noticed his long hair and that he was older, but otherwise simply found him to be smart, polite—and happily married.

“Even my [young] girlfriend at the time thought it was endearing, how he would talk about spending every break in California, ‘chasing my wife’s a** around,’ ” recalled David R. Lawson, Whitehouse’s moot court partner in those days, in an e-mail. However, he says, Whitehouse said little about his home life: “We wondered a bit, but had no idea whatsoever about the details.”

Now a commercial litigator in Northern California, Lawson remembers his classmate as fiercely intelligent and “fearless” in the courtroom, and wrote that he was astonished when, shortly after graduation, Whitehouse shared his secret: “I was not at all shocked to find out his wife was in jail, (I almost saw that coming somehow),” Lawson wrote, “but would not have guessed the details no matter how much time you gave me. … It was odd because Jim is such a great guy and it is entirely incongruous.”

Whitehouse was admitted to the bar six months after his graduation. The opportunities were obvious—tech companies, public service, corporate law. “A Harvard Law School diploma is very ritzy,” he concedes. But he had a mission. Besides, he jokes, a ritzy firm probably wouldn’t have let him keep his long hair.

Instead, he says, he prepared for his wife’s next parole hearing. By then, Atkins was a 49-year-old matron with paralegal training and an associate’s degree. Prison psychiatrists found she had matured into “a far different person,” albeit with a troubling tendency to “minimize” her role in the slayings. She was involved in everything from sheriff’s department fundraisers to the prison’s Black History Month celebration. She made numerous public and private apologies.

Whitehouse’s plan was to remind the board—which is made up of political appointees—that its sole job under the law was to develop an impartial risk assessment with no predetermined conclusion. If Atkins still didn’t get a fair hearing, Whitehouse would sue. But it was an election year. Then-Gov. Gray Davis already vowed no murderer would be freed during his administration. In December 2000, after a three-hour hearing, the board again found Atkins unsuitable for release.

Whitehouse enlisted Eric Lampel, an experienced Orange County trial attorney. They filed a writ of habeas corpus in Superior Court alleging 42 instances in which the parole board had deliberately ignored the law and parole rules to keep Atkins behind bars. In 2003, they filed a second, parallel suit in federal court, alleging that the board members were part of a concerted effort to keep Atkins in prison regardless of the evidence, and that they should be held personally liable for inflicting what amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.

They went to the media. They mustered supporters. But the lower courts held that the crimes alone were sufficient grounds for denial. Their appeals were rejected, and in 2005—saying her crimes had been too heinous and calling a prison psychologist’s recommendation that she be released “inconclusive”—the board again denied her parole.

Each parole hearing sparked vigorous public debate about Atkins’ evolution. Behind the scenes, however, the real story to those who knew Whitehouse was the metamorphosis of her most devoted advocate. He was now helping several inmates besides Atkins. He was lobbying reporters. He was arguing before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

On the personal front, he had renovated his grandmother’s trailer, putting in hardwood floors and decorating it with Atkins’ art and his Ivy League diploma. He was healthy. He was close to his family. His marriage may have been hard to fathom—“Harvard law grad and brutal murderess? It just didn’t mesh,” puzzles Kay, the prosecutor—but it was, by all accounts, successful and deeply loving.

“Usually the person in prison is the one who is rehabilitated. But James was the one who became a new person,” says Richer, the inmate advocate and Atkins’ friend.

Atkins developed brain cancer in 2008 and had to be moved to the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla to be treated. Whitehouse made the seven-hour drive to see her as often as he was permitted, though by then, visiting hours had been cut to just twice a week. Doctors initially gave her only a few months to live, but she survived long enough to celebrate her 21st wedding anniversary with Whitehouse. On Sept. 24, 2009, at 11:46 p.m., Atkins died after 18 months in a skilled nursing facility. She was 61, partially paralyzed, and had had difficulty speaking since March 2008. One leg had been amputated. Nonetheless, she was still deemed a danger: In her final months, officials denied her last bid for parole and a request for compassionate release.

Whitehouse was in his hotel room across the street when nurses called with the news of her death; he rushed back to her bedside just to be near her body. “I straightened her bedding. Straightened the sheets.” His voice cracked. “Crossed her hands.”

He waited with her until morning, then got into his 8-year-old BMW and started driving. He said he’d gone 100 miles before he realized he didn’t have a destination. He stayed with his brother-in-law’s family for a few days, then returned to San Juan Capistrano.

“I didn’t have any plans for the future that didn’t include Susan,” he says, stepping into a living room filled with memories of his wife—a room she had never seen. One wall is lined with her paintings, another with framed photographs of her. Legal files from her final parole hearing are piled in his kitchen; a half-dozen of her Bibles are stacked on his bookcase. On his desk, two roses top a brown plastic box holding her ashes. The space is pleasant but cell-like—his sofa is a narrow cot, his possessions are neatly arrayed.

Whitehouse is alternately tearful and forward-looking: “This is the first time in 24 years that I haven’t had to have anything to do with the California Department of Corrections,” he jokes. “And it’s a relief.”

He isn’t sure what he’ll do next—maybe practice, maybe do legal research for other attorneys. “Maybe I need another big nasty thing to fight for,” he says.

But he’s grateful: “Knowing Susan got me away from where I was before. It gave me goals. Something to believe in.”

He opens the door and walks out into the sunlight.

“Someone who believed in me.”

Shawn Hubler is an Orange Coast contributing writer.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Back...From The Future!

Hi folks, ColScott here. I've been away for the past three years on a hunt for Bret, who after exposing the convicted Killer Clem Grogan as Adam Gabriel, a SanFran band man, has disappeared. While I was away I mingled with important people like President Biff and software trillionaire George McFly. And we saved the Clock Tower. But during my journeys I did keep up with the Apple Ipad 4.0 and read a lot of newspapers. Let me update you on the whole Bruce Davis Parole Thing.

January 2010- Two idiot parole board members vote to consider Davis for parole.

April 2010- The full parole board votes no, one year denial.

June 2010- Davis' high school attorneys file a write of habeas corpus against the State of California. The motion is granted. Davis looks to be free.

July 2010- Governor Arnold uses executive privilege to deny parole to this "haynass killer"

August 2010- Davis' lawyers petition the Supreme Court demanding freedom for their client.

September 2010- Shorty Shea's cousin, twice removed, appears at a court hearing with Debra Tate, asking that Davis be denied release, and asking if the court likes Debra's new haircut.

December 2010- Supreme Court of the State of California decides it is Christmas time and it will free Barabbas. I mean Davis. He is given 6 months processing time.

July 2011- Davis, his wife, his child and a disguised Nancy Pitman all meet in the hallway of the Federal courthouse, with Davis a free man...for 35 seconds. He is greeted by Federal Marshals who have a federal hold on him for crimes committed when he was a fugitive. Like something out of a Woody Allen film, he is also greeted by State Police, who have plowed through the case files and found skin scrapings saved that were under the fingers of Doreen Gaul, murdered Scientology student. Skin Scrapings that match Davis' DNA. He is also approached by agents from Scientology who want to collect $333,333 in past due (with interest) auditing charges for Davis.

August 2011- Davis begins serving what will be an eventual 12 months with good behavior on the Federal beef.

October 2011- Trial begins in the murder of Doreen Gaul. BUGliosi, on oxygen, petitions to be co-counsel stating "This case is my life- along with Latin Music".

December 2011- Bugliosi is removed from the case when he screams at defendant for allegedly breaking his new Rolex by staring at it, when he actually slammed it against the oxygen tank, cracking the glass.

December 2011- Bobby Beausoleil begins the parade of the old fucks, testifying that he needs better reading glasses. He is followed by Leslie Van Houten, who wonders what she has to do to get out, and Katie, who talks about dogs.

December 2011- Davis is found guilty after a record 4 minutes and sentenced to death.

Thankfully my flux capacitor returned with me, in usable condition. Life's good!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Such A Strange Letter

Further to yesterday we got a reply from the strange fellow trying to rewrite history-

Yes I was talking about Gary. His cousin is adamant about this. He says Rumours about him being murdered as a drug debt are totally false and just used as ploy by the murderers and their attorneys to mitigate the extermination of a fine human being. He says Gary may have used Marijuana casually but
thats it. If you don't believe me why don't you ask Bruce Davis or Bobby I have written to both of them
and they have told me that Gary wasn't a drug dealer and that's not why he was murdered. Even though
they are murderers at least they have shown compassion for the victims and remorse. Something people
off the internet no nothing about. You seem so one sided and made Bobby seem like this also. Bobby
actually does care about the victims as so does Bruce I believe. Not that I want them released from prison
but I see they are at least trying to make amends for what they have done and that is good. As for Jay Sebring and Frykowski I don't know them or anyone in their family but I have my doubts that they were
dealers. But you say you know Jay's nephew so why don't you ask him? See not all the victims relatives
are like Debra Tate on a witch hunt. Yes I do enjoy your blog at times. But constantly bashing Gary is
wrong. Also he wasn't gay either and didn't have a thing for little boys as you say. I know you say don't read my blog if you don't like it. You really don't know much about Gary or the type of person he was but he was a wonderful person who just wanted to help people. But some of the victims families do read your blog think about that the next time.

And now with patented ColComments!-

Yes I was talking about Gary. His cousin is adamant about this. He says Rumours about him being murdered as a drug debt are totally false Except he was a drug dealer- this is in the police reports and almost every description of the guy- I can't just whitewash history because it would make you happy and just used as ploy by the murderers and their attorneys to mitigate the extermination of a fine human being. I don't think so- read the transcript- the DA never even questions it. I don't think Gary WAS a fine human being, I think he had his hands in all kinds of shit- but none of which he needed killing for He says Gary may have used Marijuana casually but
thats it. If we staked our research on the lies of distant cousins where would we be?If you don't believe me why don't you ask Bruce Davis or Bobby I have written to both of them
and they have told me that Gary wasn't a drug dealer and that's not why he was murdered.Well I have spoken to Booby regularly since 2003. There are two points in your posting. He maybe wasn't murdered because of it but he was a drug dealer. Bobby has always told me that. Writing to Bruce who still lies about other murders is kind of futile. Even though
they are murderers at least they have shown compassion for the victims and remorse. Bruce has done no such thing. You cannot show remorse while still lying about other murders. I do think Bobby is truly sorry. Something people
off the internet no nothing about. You seem so one sided and made Bobby seem like this also. Bobby
actually does care about the victims as so does Bruce I believe. Bruce just wants to get out. Therefore I conclude your beliefs are idiotic.
Not that I want them released from prison Why not- if they have atoned they DESERVE to be out under the law. Don't you believe in the law?
but I see they are at least trying to make amends for what they have done and that is good. Amends? Like fucking what? Saying boo hoo release me? As for Jay Sebring and Frykowski I don't know them or anyone in their family but I have my doubts that they were
dealers. Again, you can doubt birds fly, kiddo, but they do and they were. But you say you know Jay's nephew so why don't you ask him? I say I met his nephew almost 20 years ago. His nephew was like 2 when Jay was murdered. You really think he knows shit? See not all the victims relatives
are like Debra Tate on a witch hunt. Witch Hunt? She's crazy as a bed bug but a witch hunt implies she is going after innocent people. She isn't. Yes I do enjoy your blog at times. But constantly bashing Gary is
wrong. I have never bashed Gary. The FACTS don't equate to bashing. He did NOTHING to deserve murdering.
Also he wasn't gay either and didn't have a thing for little boys as you say. Both of these are confirmed by the trial testimony, the police report and those that new him. He used his piano teaching as a way to meet young boys. Again, NO reason to be killed. Not even a big deal. But the truth.

I know you say don't read my blog if you don't like it. No you really NEED to read it and open your eyes.

You really don't know much about Gary or the type of person he was but he was a wonderful person who just wanted to help people. Now come on, St. Gary? You cannot point to one thing he did to help people, unless letting a friend crash at your place now and then is help.

But some of the victims families do read your blog think about that the next time. Oh I know. Patti's children read regularly. Friends of Debra Tate (disowned by her own family and cut out of their will) read it and she probably does too. I wouldn't doubt that many of them read it regularly. Which is why we must stick to the truth, not to your anonymous ramblings.