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Saturday, August 08, 2009

40 YEARS AGO...HELTER SKELTER OF CHARLIE MANSON...

Forty years ago this day, Charles Manson sent his now infamous crew, out to slay white folks...and arrange that it looked like it was done by blacks, in order to start a race war. I remember as this mass murder was revealed, the weeks that went by, wondering "who could have done such an act?" Then the murders of a couple the following night - set fear into many across the country.


The "Manson Family" consisted of:
Patricia Krenwinkle - (father was an insurance exec) and she sang in the church choir, received good grades in school and wanted to attend a Jesuit college in Alabama.
Leslie Van Houten - who was a Homecoming princess at one time and also received good grades and raised in a middle income home.
Susan Atkins - raised in a middle-class home until the age of 14. Her parents were both alcoholics and the family disintegrated at that time.
Linda Kasabian - raised in Maine, received good grades, family relations deteriorated after her mother divorced and remarried.
Tex Watson - a football, basketball and track star in high school (Texas) and also was a good student.
Steve Grogan - again, a middle class upbringing and good student.


Sharon Tate was pregnant the night of this grizzly homicide, and she as well as the group gathered at her home, were all viciously and fatally attacked. Her claim to fame at that time, was the film Valley of the Dolls, as the character Jennifer North, and she was married to director Roman Polanski.



The murders of these five individuals consisted of 169 stab wounds and 7 gunshot wounds. All young lives, snuffed out by one psychotic gang of malcontents. Charles Manson never wielded a knife or pulled a trigger in these deaths, and the deaths the following night of Leno & Rosemary LaBianca. But all the directions and so-called "logic" for these murders were ordered by Manson. there are details out the wazoo, as to how Manson "cased" the Polanski property and knew that Tate lived there, but as for house guests - apparently that was a bonus for their way of thinking.

There is more than enough info on the web about these people and the events of that time, but I remember the fear that spread across the country, the reports of gun sales increasing and guard dog purchases. This fear lasted for two months until Manson and his followers were arrested on October 12, 1969.

The trial was one of the longest at that time - lasting nine months. Manson at one time, grabbed a pencil from the defense table, jumped over the table and was threatening to stab the judge. From that day on, Judge Older came to court "packing" his own loaded gun. There was no live coverage of the trial and we relied on daily updates on the evening news.

Linda Kasabian was granted immunity from the prosecution, and now lives somewhere in New Hampshire, I believe.

Needless to say, I have done considerable research on these folks and the trial over the years - and at the time and even now - I was for the death penalty. I truly believe that ALL the individuals behind bars - will die behind bars. There is hardly any sympathy in this country for this band of thugs and murderers.

Just a tidbit of trivia I guess, Charles Manson was raised right here (across the river) in McMechen, WV as a youth, from 1939-1942. He was taken in by an aunt and uncle, as his mother was in prison (off and on her entire life), but he spent most of his time in juvenile facilities around the state of WV. Another lovely bit of news - there are two sons of Charles Manson out there. I have never been able to find out much about them, and would imagine they have changed their names - for the sake of safety. Both were named Charles also. Talk about perpetuating one's identity.

There are still so many unanswered questions, as to if and how many bodies may be buried at Barker or Spahn ranches? Tex Watson had always claimed that he knew there were more murders committed. Scary, huh???

R.I.P Sharon Tate and all other victims. Twenty-six years of age was so young to have her life and her baby's life ended.

Later...................

12 comments:

Nan said...

So which one just went up for a parole hearing? Atkins? I remember hearing a bit on the news about one of the women trying for a parole on humanitarian grounds because she's dying from cancer.

themom said...

Yes, Susan Atkins was denied parole on those grounds. She has a brain tumor and is totally paralyzed. At some point in time, she married while in prison, also.

jadedj said...

This is one of those cases in which I can find no sympathy for the perpetrators due to age, or difficult childhood. The fact is, some people are just born mean, and it doesn't take too much to bring it out in them. Manson is just fucking evil...pure and simple. Unfortunately, the girls became a third entity under his influence. Too bad, yes...but they still participated in murder of other human beings, and I for one can't reconcile that with their youth.

Millions of us do crazy things when we're young, but murder isn't acceptable and youth is not an acceptable reason for it.

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

tex is out right?..the rest are in..how did he get out...? and i hope the rest never get out..ever.

kenju said...

I remember all of that; it was horrifying and fascinating all at the same time.

themom said...

yellowdog: No, Tex is still in prison. Denied parole 13 times so far. He is in Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California. I don't believe he will ever be paroled either.

Evil Twin's Wife said...

This case has always fascinated me as well. I was born in 1968, so have had to read up on it to get the details. It's just so bizarre, like a train wreck, I just have to look, you know? Very sad, too.

John said...

I was only 7 years old when all this happened and I can still remember the entire top half of a newspaper about the murders.

And I've seen these women and Tex on the news and documentaries and see them begging for mercy on tv at their parole hearings. No mercy for these killers! I hope they all rot in jail. One of those women has a parole hearing next year. I don't think her crocodile tears will persuade the parole board though.

That is certainly some interesting local info on Manson. I knew he had been in all kinds of trouble growing up, but didn't realize he was from West Virginia. He and his followers are pure evil personifed.

slyght said...

what is manson really in for though, since he didn't kill anyone? i'm not agreeing with what he did at all, but if he just convinced people to do bad things, what is he away for, and shouldn't bush be put away for the same thing?

btw, i think jamie looks like that picture of manson.

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

On a lighter note, it's also the anniversary of Nixon's resignation took effect, 5 years later...

Woody (Tokin Librul/Rogue Scholar/ Helluvafella!) said...

PS:
Re: Nixon

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