Sunday, April 11, 2010

The First Cop Who Messed The Crime Scene Dies

Danny Galindo dies at 88; LAPD detective in Tate-LaBianca murder cases
He was the first detective to arrive at the scene of the LaBianca slayings and conducted a detailed search, according to the book 'Helter Skelter.'

From a Times Staff Writer

April 8, 2010

Danny Galindo, a retired Los Angeles police detective who helped investigate the notorious Tate-LaBianca murders, died of a heart ailment Tuesday at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, his family said. He was 88.

"He was an important member of the Manson murders investigative team," said Vincent Bugliosi, who was the chief prosecutor in the case. Cult leader Charles Manson and several followers were sentenced to death (later reduced to life terms) in the 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca and five others.

Described by Bugliosi as amiable and hard-working, Galindo was a member of the LAPD's prestigious Robbery-Homicide Division when he was sent to the Tate house in Benedict Canyon, where the first five killings took place on the night of Aug. 8, 1969. As he told Los Angeles magazine last year, he took charge of the evidence being gathered and stayed to guard the house after the other investigators left the gruesome scene.

The next night he was filing reports at Parker Center downtown when he was called to the scene of two more murders, this time in the Los Feliz area. He was the first detective to arrive at the LaBianca residence and conducted a detailed search, according to Bugliosi's book about the murders, "Helter Skelter." Galindo later testified about the results of his search, including finding the word "WAR" carved into the abdomen of Leno LaBianca.

On the night of the LaBianca murders he was asked by a television reporter if the Tate and LaBianca murders were related and regretted his answer. "I told him, 'I think it's more of a copycat case.' I introduced that expression, and I've lived with it forever. It was a hell of a mistake on my part," he said in the Los Angeles magazine piece, "because it wasn't until much later that things would begin to fall into place."

Galindo was born in El Paso on May 4, 1921. He flew a fighter plane for the Army Air Forces during World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart and Flying Cross after he was shot down over Germany.

He joined the LAPD in 1946 and quickly became a detective. He retired from the department in 1977 after three decades in homicide. He later worked as an investigator for the State Bar of California before starting his own investigations firm.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Margie, a son, a daughter and a grandchild.


starship said...

IDK, Col, I think it was probably more those uniformed officers who first arrived....oh yeah and Charlie and Bruce and Clem too earlier...

But I have to admire your tenacity. Dude is dead but you still won't cut him any slack.

ColScott said...

Should I fucking cut Melcher slack when the fucker died knowing a lot more than he owned up to?

starship said...

Naw...but let's review for discussion sake: What do you suspect Melcher knew? Who else knows? Is ther anybody out there who will ever speak up or out again?

Anonymous said...

Bruce Davis knows... and he might be the last one , and last chance to get any real truth- if they dangle his freedom at him- maybe a little more truth will come out- but all of it? I doubt we will ever get all of it. I watched Modo Hollywood the other nite- Bobby- Sebring both in the same movie- Tex and Sebring both in the hair business. I think the entire thing probably started in Laurel Canyon- too many people hanging around the same places- some of them had to have known each other....

Anonymous said...

Talking to B Wilson, Cass Elliot, and Melcher- that would be the best chance at getting to who knew who when, who screwed who ( literally, and figuratively), and who was out to get who... I would bet anything these people had an idea what really was going down, and why. Throw in Folger/Voytek and there drugs- there was a whole world going on there- that the Manson clan might not even have been the most interesting part of- they may have simply become the most infamous part of it.

Matt said...

I agree Col, the first response officrs muffed some evidence and Det. Galindo incorrectly surmised that the Labianca crime scene was unrelated. I've made some professional gaffs, too. But, let's not JUST mention his service to our country just in passing. He was shot down over Germany as a brave pilot and received the Purple Heart and Flying Cross. He served his community well as a long-time detective. He raised a family, paid his taxes, and according to people who knew him was a nice man. A life well lived. My condolences to his family and friends.