November 20th, 2017

For anyone who wants to talk about the death of the reprehensible Charles Manson…

…here’s a thread for it.

His crimes were exceptionally vile. Just about anyone who was alive at that time—1969—remembers. I read the book Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi when it first came out, and it was horrific to even read what happened.

To me, the phenomenon of the Manson murders is a cautionary tale of its times. Young people adrift, awash in a sea of drugs and experimentation and amorality, meet a psycophathic con (as in “career criminal and convict” and “con man”), and the synergistic effect is the perpetration of evil, ruining many many lives.

27 Responses to “For anyone who wants to talk about the death of the reprehensible Charles Manson…”

  1. PunchCardProcessing Says:

    There are those who, while professing a belief in Hell, pray that it is empty. When it comes to Manson, I find this most difficult to do.

  2. Bilwick Says:

    Do you think Obama’s pal Bernadine Dohrn will be wearing a black armband today?

  3. The Other Chuck Says:

    For those who listened to Tom Sullivan today, he had a minor scoop. An “anonymous” clinical psychiatrist phoned in to discuss Charlie Manson. It was obvious that he was THE person assigned to Manson at Corcoran State Prison. As Neo has mentioned a number of times in relation to serial or mass killers, Manson was a psychopath, but one who was in touch with reality and able to read and reach needy distressed people. It was a fascinating, if brief look into what made Manson tick.

    If anyone is interested in the most recent psychopathic killer, the one who tried to kill school children in Northern California, here is a description from a survivor who was forced to watch his wife die. It is from the Record Searchlight in Redding, CA:

  4. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    In 1969, I was 21 and certainly remember it. I found it so obscene that I had no interest in learning more of it. Plunging a knife into a heavily pregnant woman’s stomach is a level of evil that for me, demands immediate extermination of the abominable.

    As for the “sea of drugs”, etc. Someone can’t sell you something you’re not willing to be talked into.

    Manson and the rest should have gotten a quick trial and a quicker execution.

  5. The Other Chuck Says:

    GB, amen to that. We can thank Jerry Brown and his godawful appointment of Rose Bird to the California Supreme Court for Manson’s stay of the death penalty. It was such an outrage that she remains the only Supreme Court Justice in California history to be removed by vote of the people.

  6. Ann Says:

    This is the one day I feel some sympathy for Roman Polanski.

  7. neo-neocon Says:

    The Other Chuck:

    Virtually all psychopaths are in touch with reality.

    Psychopathy is not a mental illness and there is no dissociation from reality. It is what’s called a character disorder, a very very serious one.

    Not all psychopaths are violent, however.

  8. vanderleun Says:

    “There was one stone face too many, up at the chateau.

    “The Gorgon had surveyed the building again in the night, and had added the one stone face wanting; the stone face for which it had waited through about two hundred years.

    “It lay back on the pillow of Monsieur the Marquis. It was like a fine mask, suddenly startled, made angry, and petrified. Driven home into the heart of the stone figure attached to it, was a knife. Round its hilt was a frill of paper, on which was scrawled:

    “Drive him fast to his tomb. This, from Jacques.”

    A Tale of Two Cities – Book II – Chapter IX. The Gorgon’s Head

  9. BrianE Says:

    What strange times. Manson crashed at Dennis Wilson’s house of the Beach Boys, and they even recorded one of his songs– though changing some of the lyrics and calling it “Never Learn Not to Love”.

    Cease to Exist
    Words and Music by Charles Manson

    Pretty girl, pretty, pretty girl
    Cease to Exist
    Just come and say you love me
    Give up your world
    C’mon you can see
    I’m your kind, I’m your kind
    You can see
    Walk on, walk on
    I love you pretty girl
    My life is yours and
    You can have my world
    Never had a lesson
    I ever learned
    But I know we all get our turn
    I love you
    Submission is a gift
    Go on, give it to your brother
    Love and understanding is for one another
    I’m your kind, I’m your kind
    I’m your mind
    I’m your brother
    I never had a lesson I ever learned
    But I know we all get our turn
    And I love you
    Never learned not to love you
    I never learned

  10. J.J. Says:

    In June of 1969 my wife and our two children were driving from Denver to Los Angeles. We had stopped at a lonely turnout between Saint George, Utah and Las Vegas. We had a picnic lunch which we laid out and ate rather quickly as we wanted to get back on the road. Just as we finished eating a beat up Volkswagen bus pulled into the area. The driver, a typical hippy looking fellow got out and immediately engaged me in conversation about nothing much. My wife and two kids were around the tail gate of our station wagon putting the lunch things up. I suddenly noticed that two of the passengers from the Volkswagen had quietly gotten out and were slowly ambling around toward the front of our car. Suddenly, I sensed that these people had evil intentions. My fight or flight instinct lit up big time. I told my wife to get our kids in the car immediately. Fortunately, she sensed the same thing I did. Before the strangers could get in front of the car we quickly got in, locked the doors, and started the engine. One of the hippies tried to run in front of us, but I gunned it and swerved around him leaving him stumbling across the gravel. Our car was a Chevy wagon with an eight cylinder engine and I was happy for all that horsepower as we raced down the highway knowing there was no way the Volkswagen bus could catch us.

    Once we were well away from the area, my wife and I compared notes as to what appeared to be happening. It looked like the driver’s intent was to keep us occupied while the other two circled around and got into our car. There were two other people in the VW so that was 5 people who may have had bats or knives or even guns. The pull out was hidden from the highway by a berm so passing cars would not see anything. We could have been overpowered, robbed, and worse. We decided we had done the proper thing by vamoosing.

    When the Manson murders occurred a month later and were eventually traced to a hippie group, we wondered if we had encountered a similar group there in the desert. It was after that when I began carrying a pistol whenever we traveled by auto. Fortunately, we never had another such encounter. Maybe because we were always alert to the possibility.

  11. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    The Other Chuck,

    I was one of those voters. It was early in my journey from liberal/libertarian to conservative/libertarian.


    That was a close one. As you probably know, today there’s a term for you and your wife’s heightened alertness; “situational awareness”…
    Many have to train to develop it, some have it naturally. Those of ill intent give off a ‘vibe’. Dogs often sense it.

  12. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    That’s a very, very chilling story, JJ.

    Your experience is the reason why I have resolved, when I do eventually get around to visiting the US, not to hire a car and do my own driving – as tempting as that would be. Criminologists say that at any one time in the US there are a great many undetected serial killers travelling the highways, their victims buried off the roads, laying undiscovered.

    (Of course, there’s also the whole driving on the right-hand side of the road thing, which, knowing me, I know I would lapse and forget about at some stage). It’s almost gotten me killed a couple of times crossing the road in continental Europe.

    As for Manson, it’s those like him who, as strange as it sounds, assist me somewhat in my daily struggle towards a faith in the judeo-christian God.

    I simply can’t reconcile a God who would cast a soul into hell with the God who who put so much beauty into the everyday world. He didn’t have to do so and it seems to me that a cruel God would not have bothered.

    The only way the two things can be reconciled is to view hell as that place where those who make a conscious choice to deliberately embrace evil effectively cast themselves.

    Hell must be that place where God is not because some people, the truly and unrepentantly evil, self-segregate themselves, no?

    Surely that must be.

    If that is right, then Manson is surely there and will remain there. As Neo says, he was not mentally ill but chose cruelty and rejected all things life and spirit-affirming.

  13. miklos000rosza Says:

    Two kids I went to high school with, Sue Bartel and Ed Bailey, got into the Manson family bus when it was here in Portland, Oregon, and were arrested as part of the “gang” in late 1969.

  14. neo-neocon Says:

    Stephen Ippolito:

    You may recall a discussion of the issue of psychopathy, free will, and choice, here.

    It’s a complex question, in my opinion, and I certainly don’t have an answer.


    Scary story indeed. Glad you and your family got out of there.

  15. parker Says:

    Sympathy for Polanski? Really? How twisted sister can you get? I assume you have no sisters, daughters, granddaughters, or nieces. Sympathy for the devil, is no sympathy at all.

    Choo cha choo… please allow me to introduce myselfl.

  16. AesopFan Says:

    Stephen Ippolito Says:
    November 20th, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    The only way the two things can be reconciled is to view hell as that place where those who make a conscious choice to deliberately embrace evil effectively cast themselves.

    Hell must be that place where God is not because some people, the truly and unrepentantly evil, self-segregate themselves, no?

    Surely that must be.
    * * *

    This is what I understand Hell to be. Moral agency has consequences, and choosing evil is evidence that one does not choose God.

    More on Manson from PowerLine today.
    (pretty much what you would expect from NewsWeak)
    (how one young girl became ensorcelled by The Family)

  17. neo-neocon Says:


    At the time of the murders, Polanski hadn’t yet raped any 13-year-olds—or anyone, as far as I can tell, although he certainly hadn’t lived what you’d call a sexually temperate life.

    But what happened to him at the hand of the Manson gang is that some of his good friends, his 8-1/2 months’ pregnant wife, and his in utero son were brutally, brutally murdered by a gang of strangers. If you read the accounts of what happened, it would make your blood run cold.

    Whatever Polanski later did could never merit lack of sympathy for an experience like that, IMHO. What happened to him was profoundly horrific. It certainly doesn’t excuse (or even explain) what he later did, but the two events are quite separate and I don’t see why you would fail to have sympathy for the first while vehemently condemning the second.

  18. Oldflyer Says:

    California tax payers can be thankful that we will no longer pay to incarcerate and support this monster. He was a poster child for the death penalty. Of course, we will support many others for the rest of their unnatural lives.

    JJ back in those days you could have probably had the means to defend yourself and your family at hand if worst had come to pass. Sadly, not true today. But, good thinking.

  19. OldTexan Says:

    The thought ran through my mind that it would have been a lot less expensive it Manson had been shot trying to escape, with a bullet costing ten cents rather than all of the expensive of trial and upkeep over the years. I know that’s not right but……

    As for the time of the killings I was overseas in the Army. All the soldiers liked Sharon Tate and we wondered what the hell our USA had come to when a young pregnant mother was cruelly murdered by crazy hippie freaks.

  20. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    Polanski is certainly a strange bird.

    I wouldn’t wish what happened to him in the form of the horrific, crazed slaughter of his defenceless wife, friends and unborn child on my worst enemy. That’s a given.

    But I have never understood how someone who had such a direct, fresh and deeply intimate experience of the awful lived reality of bloody slaughter, (by which I mean the horror of it as an experienced truth – not just as a word or a hypothetical), could have gone on to make his graphically bloody Macbeth (1971) in the way he did.

    My friends, amateur psychologists all, put it down to his needing to “vent” or “exorcise” the pain. But I have never understood that approach.

    It is a complete mystery to me how someone who must have felt in his heart and gut and nerve endings the awful reality of what cruel slaughter means – for those taken and those left behind – would ever want to replicate or portray it, on the screen or in reality, let alone so soon after the experience.

    And then , later, to inflict cruel violation on a defenceless innocent. I can’t fathom him at all.

    As the British are fond of saying: “There’s nowt so queer as folk.”

  21. miklos000rosza Says:

    Well, I’m always a little bit on the other side of things… the Saturday after the Friday night killings of Tate, Folger, Sebring, Frykowski and Parent my 17 year old self walked into a sunny room. I hadn’t eaten in a week, and this may have been why even though it was a warm summer day, I had a jacket on and was cold. I’d been hitchhiking and sleeping outdoors all summer, traveling with this guy who never spoke.

    Someone offered me a sandwich, but when you haven’t eaten for several days… I only managed to swallow a tiny amount. There was a newspaper lying there on the glass coffee table. I read the headlines — the first news I’d seen in weeks — and said, “So it’s started.”

    “Yeah,” someone said. “Next will be Frank Sinatra and Bob Hope.”

    Such was the mood. The smell of sandalwood incense lingering in the air, mixed with marijuana and musk.

    It was a long time after the “Summer of Love.”

  22. miklos000rosza Says:

    A good novel about 1969 = SWAY, by Zachary Lazar.

    Maybe the best song to evoke that time = “Death Valley 69” by Sonic Youth.

  23. neo-neocon Says:

    Stephen Ippolito:

    Polanski’s films were very very dark and often violent right from the beginning, long before the Tate murders. However, his actual life was also very dark almost right from the beginning.

    Part of the reason for the violence in his films might have been his personality, irrespective of what had happened to him. Part of it was probably what he had experienced. To turn darkness into art can be a way to transform the experience. But who knows why one person has one reaction to violent trauma, and another person has another?

    Polanski said this about “Macbeth”:

    In his autobiography, Polanski wrote that he wanted to be true to the violent nature of the work, and that he had been aware that his first project following Tate’s murder would be subject to scrutiny and probable criticism regardless of the subject matter; if he had made a comedy he would have been perceived as callous.

  24. Stephen Ippolito Says:

    Thank you, Neo.

    That was very informative. I’m obliged.

  25. J.J. Says:

    A bit late, but here goes: Stephen Ippolito, I hope my story hasn’t turned you off to visiting the U.S.

    Two things to consider.
    1. This was a very isolated experience. A one off in my life history. I’ve been in nearly every state and have felt safe and welcome.
    2. The 1965 – 1975 era in the U.S was turbulent. There was a lot of violence – much more than we have today. At least thus far. I was in many cities during those years where there were riots, fires, and unrest. I stayed in hotels where there were policemen with sub machine guns and German Shepherds patrolling the lobby. Yet I never felt as threatened as on that one occasion in the Nevada desert.

    So, please come visit. We are generally a friendly, welcoming lot. But don’t drive. That could be a dangerous thing to do, as we drive on the wrong side of the road. 🙂 Take airplanes, buses, bicycles, and walk. You’ll see more that way.

  26. Ymar Sakar Says:

    Hell is a little bit different than the common perception.

    3Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. 4For certain individuals whose condemnation was written aboutb long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

    5Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lordc at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe. 6And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day. 7In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

    8In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings. 9But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”d 10Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct—as irrational animals do—will destroy them.

    11Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.

    12These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. 13They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.

    14Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”e 16These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

    A Call to Persevere

    17But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.-Jude

    Jude’s a very short summation letter, with many elements from Jerusalem’s ring vis a vis Peter. Paul basically writes about the same thing, but in a way that the ancient Greeks would have understood, like Plato, but not modern USA/Western culture.

    For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell,a putting them in chains of darknessb to be held for judgment; 5if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others; 6if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless 8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment. 10This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the fleshc and despise authority.-Peter

    Those humans who choose to side with the elohim that are consigned to hell, or in other words the slaves of the angels of those who rebel against the Divine Counsel, become the angels or elohim or gods of Lucifer.

    That means you’ll be facing Manson at the end, when everyone is resurrected and every faction is given one last chance. For those that believe in one life, on this Earth, Manson dying, whatever that means, is a convenient work. For those that believe in eternal life, people “dying” doesn’t mean the same thing.

    Look forward to the days when Manson arises as a god of Lucifer. Perhaps by then, humanity will have obtained divine weapons fit to kill the gods. Perhaps not.

  27. Ymar Sakar Says:

    As for Polanski, he was already in a Hollywood harem, and admitted it in public, even before his wife met Manson.

    Just keep that context in mind. Roman Polanski was a broken vessel, and ripe for the shackles of evil gods, even before Manson’s issues.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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