Originally, I saw no reason to include anything about Charles Manson, or his "Family", in this LAUREL CANYON STORIES website because I saw no connection between Charlie and the Laurel Canyon community whatsoever. However, after more than 6 months of research for this site, I continued to encounter references to Manson, purportedly linking him to both the Sunset  Strip, and Laurel Canyon. Further research indicated that Charlie, was in fact, more closely tied to Los Angeles' other notorious "artist/hippie" enclave, TOPANGA CANYON.
It appears that after his release from prison in March, 1967, 34 yr. old Charlie headed north, hitchhiking to the liberal Berkeley area of California, where he hooked up with 23 yr. old recent college grad, Mary Brunner. When she introduced him to San Francisco's Haight Ashbury district, the ex-con was overwhelmed by the peace & love, free sex, and abundant drugs, which he encountered. The smooth-talking con man fit right in to this new community lifestyle of transients and panhandling. After scoring a beat up old VW van, and the teenaged 'Squeaky' Fromme, the hippie trio hit the road , up & down the Pacific Coast, before landing in the LA area. Naturally, they were drawn to Southern Cal's counter culture, the Sunset Strip, and the two infamous LA Canyons, named LAUREL and TOPANGA.


MANSON                         THE FAMILY                         SPAHN RANCH

If you were one of the few who might have missed the sensationalized daily news reports of the multi- month Tate-LaBianca murder trial, featuring prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi's theorized account of "The Manson Family Murders", the details were all recounted, and once again sensationalized, in the prosecutor / author's best-selling, widely acclaimed, 'true-crime' novel, "Helter Skelter".
Instead of a dry, fact-filled documentary account of an infamous murder trial, Bugliosi's book utilizes the horrific details of the two separate mass murder cases, both grotesque slaughters of innocent victims within the security of their upper-class homes, to illustrate his "Helter Skelter" theory of motive for the two shocking, seemingly unrelated, mass slayings. The book's title is lifted from the now infamous Beatles song of the same name, which Mr. Bugliosi claims "inspired" the 'demonic cult leader' to command his acid-drenched, satanic followers to randomly slaughter innocents to initiate a forthcoming worldwide race war, in order for their messianic leader, CHARLES MANSON,  to rule the world.
Once the public accepts the Manson Family story, and learns about the heavy use of drugs, and wild open sex by an assortment of young, innocent females at the nightly Movie Ranch orgies, under the command of an evil, devil worshipping, ex-convict - How are you going to withdraw that outrageous scenario, and humbly offer instead: a bungled drug transaction between a couple of scraggly hippies, in its place.  
Initially, Bugliosi developed the 'Manson Family Myth' as a means to include ex-con, Charlie Manson in his murder prosecution, even though Manson was not an actual participant in the horrendous acts, Thus, to establish the institutionalized loner as the 'leader' of this gang of social misfits, he created the popular deviate "Manson" character, the possessor of a charisma and sexual magnetism so extraordinary that he ruled a "Family" of fanatically devoted followers willing to kill at his command.
With that accomplished, he had to develop a motive for these seemingly unrelated, horrific murders, which shocked readers worldwide, plus leaving many wealthy LA residents in fear for their lives. The brutality of the horrific murders was graphically detailed throughout the international media, especially in Southern California, where it remained in the headlines for almost a year. The necessity of motive was both required for prosecution, and more importantly, to help explain the senseless, random massacres of wealthy LA citizens in the security of their upper-class homes. Bugliosi quickly responded with his own theory, known as "HELTER SKELTER", the tale of a murderous cult leader, whose LSD fueled rantings about a forthcoming 'Race War', were revealed by the world's most successful, drug-associated band, the Beatles, in their latest album release, the revolutionary double disc set, commonly known as the "White Album"
{Vincent Bugliosi}
Once the prosecutor's theory was established, he ignored any factual accounts which conflicted with his story of a Manson-led cult of mass murderers, roaming the California desert, fully armed, in their dune buggies, ingesting copious drugs, awaiting Armageddon, to eventually return as rulers of the world behind their prophetic messiah, "cult leader", Charles Manson
Thanks to the acceptance of Bugliosi's sometimes outlandish version of the heinous events which led to the brutal slaughters (plus his suppression of the actual facts of the case), twelve middle class Californian jurors, as well as the entire American public, were misled, leaving few people who know the true story behind the infamous "MANSON FAMILY".


      {Gary Hinman}
In actuality, the grim story of Charles Manson and his hippie clan of misfit followers all began to take shape in July, 1969.
At that time, Manson was just a destitute parolee living a hand-to-mouth existence at Spahn Ranch, an old place that had once served as a movie set for cowboy flicks. He and 15 to 20 other drifters with whom he associated had been allowed to live on the premises by its 80-year-old blind owner, George Spahn, in exchange for helping out with chores, baling hay, caring for the horse rentals, and more importantly, sexual favors freely provided by some of the clan's young women.
Because Manson did not require sexual fidelity from the female runaways living with him, young rootless men. and teenaged boys, often joined up with the scraggly bunch for periods of time. Among this ever-changing transient group of males were those who would share in the group's eventual notoriety,
Charles "Tex" Watson, Robert "Bobby" Beausoleil, Bruce Davis, and Steve Grogan, to name just a few.
The group habitually ate food that its females scavenged from supermarket dumpsters, and derived their income from a combination of panhandling, petty thievery, stolen credit cards, auto theft, maybe some incidents of low-level prostitution, and drug dealing. Although all these methods would result in some form of police action, it was the inept drug dealing  which would initiate the actions resulting in the notorious
Tate-LaBianca Murders.
Let's get back to the story of the failed attempts at dealing drugs which culminated with the deaths of seven innocent, unrelated victims, and one related Topanga drug dealer, Gary Hinman.

{975 Old Topanga Canyon Rd.}       

First, let me interject my personal, though distant, connection to the story of the first haphazard murder of Gary Hinman, which would soon kick off the gruesome "Manson Family Murders".
Though I was always aware that the Gary Hinman murder was somehow related to the Manson Family Murders, and it occurred in Hinman's home on Old Topanga, I never knew many details of the case.
Once again, my LAUREL CANYON STORIES research unearthed some surprising facts.
I not only learned the Hinman Murder House was located at 964 Old Topanga Rd. {left}, directly across the street from 975 Old Topanga {above}, the house where I lived for two years before moving to Hawaii,
I then learned its connection to the Tate-LaBianca Murders when I discovered the actual details of the bizarre drug-related murder case. I concluded that due to the initial inability of police (LA County Sheriffs-Hinman, LAPD-Tate/LaBianca) to link the murder cases, plus D.A. Vincent Bugliosi's elaborate motive theory, "Helter Skelter",  it was agreed to keep the Hinman Murder case separate from the Tate-LaBianca murder cases. This was decided, despite the fact that linking the cases by motive, was the intention of the perpetrators, who committed the Tate-LaBianca mass murders. Details linking the cases were suppressed, no doubt to avoid police embarrassment, and more so, due to conflicts with Bugliosi's established theory of the deranged cult leader, Charles Manson, ordering his minions to commit the gruesome assassinations to initiate his prophesized Racial War, etc.
The public was already enthralled, plus shocked, by "Helter Skelter", and which motive sells more newspapers? Not to mention Bugliosi's career, his crime novel, the movie ....

   Before continuing with the "True Story of the Manson Family" I'd like to clarify a few points. The following version, which conflicts with the "Accepted" version concocted by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi, was culled from numerous accounts found in recent books written by the convicted, and other, family members, along with related individuals, countless magazine articles and interviews, plus selected thoroughly researched & documented websites.
It is not my intention to discredit Mr. Bugliosi, the police, or the US Courts. There is no suggestion of intentional instances of misjudgment, or legal errors, concerning the cases.
It is intended solely as a revision of the motives of the adjusted individuals associated with the so called "MANSON FAMILY MURDERS".

A background to the murder of Gary Hinman in the secluded hills of Old Topanga, California.

The transformation of the cohabitating group of 'live-for-the-moment' hippies into what Vincent Bugliosi labeled "a tightly organized, almost paramilitary group", and his exaggerated version of Manson's role as the demonic "cult leader" manifested in the month prior to the infamous mass murders which occurred in Los Angeles on the evenings of Aug. 9 & 10, 1969. Perhaps the dynamics of the "Family" were in motion earlier when the visitors to Spahn Ranch and new group members began to be less innocent and trustworthy than the original group of teenaged female runaways who joined Charlie, Mary, & 'Squeaky' in their California travels. By the time of their residence at Spahn Ranch, the family included a couple of the more unsavory members, Charles "Tex" Watson, a tall, handsome, but unpredictable, drug dealing dropout from Copeville, Texas,  and the troubled, 'less-than-stable', social misfit, Susan "Sadie Glutz" Atkins. Atkins had joined the constantly changing lineup of transients late in 1967, and remained with Manson, Brunner, and Fromme, unlike the others who would come and go over the two and half year span of "the family's' existence (up to the murders). Watson, on the other hand, hooked up with the loosely knit group in 1968, around the time they were hanging out at Dennis Wilson's Sunset estate. It was around this time that Wilson visited Spahn Ranch to sit in on drums, and jam with Manson & other 'Family' musicians. During their 'jam', 'Family member, Steve Grogan, took Wilson's Ferrari for a spin, totaling the uninsured $21,000 exotic sports car, which was never seen again. The Beach Boys generous drummer also paid for Atkins to get her teeth fixed by his dentist, as well as her treatment by his personal physician for venereal disease.


It was Charles 'Tex' Watkins who was responsible for the first mishap which was the catalyst for the group's eminent decline. In July,69, Tex persuaded Bernard "Lottsapapa" Crowe, a black drug dealer, to advance him the money ($2,500) for a large marijuana buy. As per Watson's lack of ethics, he pocketed the wad of cash and never produced the pot. Crowe, in turn, abducted Watson's recent girlfriend, 'Luella', to hold until he received either the pot or his cash. When she called Spahn Ranch to talk to "Tex", who she knew as 'Charles", she ask for "Charles", Whoever answered the phone called for the only "Charles" she knew, and then,  Manson answered the phone.
*It's important to note that until this point Charlie was uninvolved, even unaware, of the Watson 'rip off' of Bernard Crowe. Because this fact conflicts with Bugliosi's claim that Manson was in control of all 'family' (or cult) matters, this would be suppressed from the "official" version.*

Because Watkins was not at the ranch, the enraged drug dealer told Manson that he had abducted Tex's girlfriend (not a resident @Spahn Ranch), and would hold her hostage until Watson returned with his money or delivered the pot.
Whether solely to assist in the dilemma, in an effort to free the innocent girl (Manson's version), thereby also aiding cohort Watson, OR... - more than likely, Manson saw the opportunity to assert his leadership, thereby impressing Watson, plus the other Family members, securing his position as the group's elder spokesman. By that point in time, the much bigger (younger and better looking) 'Tex' Watson was recognized as Charlie's 'second in command' within the 'Family', and even considered a rival by some members.
Together with the much bigger T.J. Walleman, a Spahn resident who owned a gun, Charlie set out to Bernard Crowe's apartment to remedy the screwed-up situation. Upon arrival, Manson took Walleman's gun and stuck it in the back of his pants. When Charlie's offer to accept financial responsibility was rebuffed, he resorted to begging and pleading for the girl's release. Crowe laughed at the little man's (5'2") pathetic efforts, upon which Manson pulled the revolver and threatened the large black man instead. This enraged Crowe who rushed Charlie and attempted to strangle the much smaller Manson. After two misfires, the third shot dropped the huge drug merchant in a heap on the apartment floor. Sensing that he had killed the man, Charlie & Walleman fled the premises and returned to Spahn Ranch.
As if matters could get any worse, the following day, Walleman told Manson that he had heard on TV that a high-ranking Black Panther had been found shot and killed. Manson's fear of retaliation by the Black Panthers completely changed the dynamic at Spahn Ranch.
Thus, the group of drugged out panhandlers and petty thieves now had something to fear greater than police harassment and misdemeanor arrest. Charlie's desire to relocate to the desert at Barker Ranch, where half of the group had resettled, now looked more attractive to the others, as it seemed a necessary means of escape from both the police, and more seriously, The Black Panthers. The formerly carefree gang of misfits now set up a 24 hour schedule of rotating lookouts at the ranch and Charlie began preaching of the forthcoming war between blacks and whites, - signaling the beginning of "Helter Skelter".

* NOTE: Crowe survived and was not a Black Panther, - which Manson finally learned at his trial


If that "bungled drug deal"  initiated the group's transformation from 'happy-go-lucky' drugged out hippies, the following 'drug deal gone wrong' would certainly cinch it.
During this period, thanks to the abundant drugs, and free sex available at the ranch, a group of 'bikers', members of the Straight Satans Motorcycle club, had become regular visitors, many hanging out for days at end. At the time of the following bungled drug deal, one of the bikers, Danny DeCarlo, was considered a member of the so-called "Manson Family" and even claimed "Sadie" (Susan Atkins) as his 'old lady'. Manson looked to the unsavory bunch of outlaw bikers as a solution to his fear of Black Panther retaliation. Charlie thought their presence offered a sense of security, and queried as to their willingness to act as bodyguards for the "Family". Unbeknownst to the little ex-con, the bikers considered Manson 'a joke', as well as his ridiculous offer. However, they used it as a means to benefit from his unfortunate situation. They told Charlie they were interested in 'scoring' some psychedelics, and if Charlie could arrange a large buy ($1,000), they would be more amenable to his proposition.
For this, Charlie turned to his old friend, and sometime "Family" member...

BOBBY BEAUSOLEIL - one of the many "on & off"  members of Charlie's clan, who remained close throughout. Beausoleil was a somewhat successful musician and part-time actor, and well known in both Laurel Canyon and Topanga as well.
Born in the California beach town of Santa Barbara in 1947, the youth eschewed surfing for music, and, by the age of 16, had established himself along Hollywood's Sunset Strip, as well as in the famed hills of Laurel Canyon.
The handsome kid was a popular ladies man who, thanks to his cherubic good looks, was nicknamed "Cupid"  by his many admiring women. He joined Arthur Lee as second guitarist in Lee's 'pre-LOVE' band, the GRASS ROOTS. Because his young age prevented the band from appearing in the majority of Hollywood clubs, he was reluctantly fired by Lee.
It was during that time, that Bobby appeared in the cult classic documentary on the 60s Hollywood Scene, MONDO HOLLYWOOD.
Bobby would give Haight Ashbury a try just prior to reaching 18, forming an instrumental ensemble, The Orkustra which played throughout the San Francisco area.
While performing with his band at the opening of a particularly bacchanalian counter-culture festival called The Invisible Circus, he met underground filmmaker Kenneth Anger, who asked the young musician if he would be willing to star in his current project, an epic underground film with the foreboding title of Lucifer Rising, Bobby agreed on the condition he also do the film's soundtrack.  {right}
In order to do the underground film's sinister soundtrack, Bobby assembled an eclectic ensemble of musicians, dubbed   The Magick Powerhouse of OZ, {below left}
a band whose sound combined experimental free jazz, bluesy rock, and abundant amplifier feedback.
Bobby returned to Southern California in the Fall of 1967, picking up studio gigs for income. After settling in Topanga, he took part in an experimental short entitled Invocation of My Demon Brother, and played in a "nudie Western" called The Ramrodder, filmed on location in Topanga Canyon, on the little road named, "Happy Trail". Bobby had played guitar for Charlie's short-lived band, the Milky Way and, like  so many of the era's musicians/actors, Bobby would occasionally deal some drugs to supplement his meager income.
When Charlie called Bobby, Beausoleil agreed to contact his old Topanga acquaintance, fellow musician, Gary Hinman, to arrange for the illicit transaction.
left-Gary Hinman}
Hinman, who had a background in chemistry from his studies at UCLA, where he was working on his PhD. in Sociology, also occasionally turned to drug dealing to help pay the high rent for his large old communal home in Old Topanga Canyon.
{right-Hinman house '69}
It has been alleged (and debated), that Gary had remained close friends with a young couple, also former chemistry students from UCLA, who often stayed in the lower level of his house (former basement), and they, in turn, would manufacture the psychedelic drugs, in this case, synthetic mescaline.  
It's important to note that Gary Hinman knew Bobby Beausoleil, Charlie Manson, Mary Brunner, and Susan Atkins, for more than a year, back from their days in Topanga, and he considered them all to be his friends. In addition, his house was always open to others, including Mary & Sadie, who had crashed there in the past. In fact, Bobby had lived in Gary's basement for a while, prior to this time,
Because the girls were both infatuated with Bobby, and also friends with Hinman, they asked to tag along with Beausoleil to see Gary in Topanga, supposedly unaware of the reason for their, what would ultimately end as fatal, visit to their old friend. 
Hinman made his living teaching music
(piano, trombone, drums, guitar, & bagpipes), so it was common to find houseguests present, at all hours.
Hinman was a practitioner of Nichiran Shoshu Buddhism, commonly known for chanting -
Myo Renge Kyo", and had plans to fly to Japan for an international pilgrimage, later in the Summer. Instead, he would die on July 27, clutching his prayer beads and chanting, while Beausoleil, Brunner, and Atkins, took turns smothering him to death with a pillow.

In lieu of the author writing the entire story of the Hinman Murder which led to the infamous
Tate-La Bianca Murders, I offer the following...

Rather than go into the details, I'm enclosing a direct copy of the transcript from Bobby's last Parole hearing, which gives an accurate description of the events surrounding the botched drug transaction which led to Hinman's death.

{police sketch of Hinman's wounds}

Gary Allen Hinman -
DOB: Dec.24,1934
964 Old Topanga Canyon Rd. -
DOD: July 27,1969

Despite a number of misspellings, wrong, or missing words, and grammatical errors, the transcript {below} stands as the official statement of the convicted murder defendant. Robert 'Bobby' Beausoleil.

* NOTE: One important omission from the enclosed 'Statement of Facts' concerns the "knife" which Charles Manson was carrying, and used to slash Gary Hinman. In fact, it was the official sword of the Straight Satans Motorcycle Club, which Charlie admired, and he brought it along for 'dramatic effect'. The Satans recovered the sword, breaking it into pieces when they recognized it played a role in the death of Gary Hinman. Nonetheless, police would later confiscate the pieces as evidence.*

Statement of Facts' - on the night of Friday, July 25, 1969, approximately 45 hours prior to the fatal stabbing of the victim, Gary Hinman, Robert Beausoleil went to Hinman's residence to buy drugs. Hinman was, at that time, dealing Mesculine that he made himself. Beausoleil was buying drugs on behalf of members of the Straight Satan's Motorcycle club who had supplied money for the purchase in the amount of $1,000. Danny DeCarlo, who would later testify as a witness to Beausoleil, was a member of the Straight Satan's club and an active participant in the drug transaction. Beausoleil delivered the mesaculine he had purchased from Gary to the Straight Satan's at Spahn Ranch where Danny DeCarlo resided with his girlfriend, Susan Atkins, who would become co-defendant in Beausoleil's case.

DeCarlo and other members of the Straight Satans then took the drugs to Venice Beach for a party involving several motorcycle clubs that was to take place the next day. On Saturday, July 26th, DeCarlo and other members of the Straight Satans, accompanied by members of the Satan's Sley and Hell's Angels motorcycle clubs, returned to Spahn Ranch and confronted Beausoleil. They accused Beausoleil of conspiring with Hinman to burn him for the money for selling them bad drugs. The bikers roughed up Beausoleil and threatened him with a knife. Beausoleil told the bikers that he did know the drugs were bad and promised to get their money back from Hinman.

DeCarlo and co-defendant, Bruce Davis, told Beausoleil that they would drive him to Hinman's residence to make sure that he did. Two young women, co-defendants Atkins and Mary Brunner, who were initially unaware of the difficulites between Beausoleil and the bikers and Hinman, came along "for the ride." Upon arrival at the Hinman residence, Brunner and Atkins went ahead into the house to visit Hinman with whom they had more then casual relationships. Davis then gave Beausoleil a 9mm pistol. Davis and DeCarlo instructed Beausoleil to keep the gun concealed, but to produce it if Hinman failed to cooperate and return the money. They told Beausoleil to phone them at the Ranch when they obtained the money and they would return to pick him up. Davis and DeCarlo then left with the car. In addition, Beausoleil was carrying a knife in a sheath on his belt.

Beausoleil confronted Hinman about the allegedly bad drugs and commanded the return of the $1000.00 he had given him the day before. Hinman claimed that the mesculane was not bad, and in any case that he had already spent the money. Beausoleil became agitated and pulled the gun out and threatened Hinman with it. He struck Hinman with the gun two or three times. Hinman produced his checkbook to prove that he had already spent the money. Convinced that Hinman was telling the truth, Beausoleil handed the gun to Atkins and told her to keep in trained on Hinman and not to let him move, that he was going to go into the other room in search of something of value that he could give to the Straight Satans in lieu of the money.

While Beausoleil was out of the room, Hinman lunged at Atkins and took the gun away. Atkins cried out and Beausoleil ran back into the room. He grabbed Hinman's arm and began to fight with Hinman to gain possession of the gun. While the two men were wrestling over the gun, one of the two female co-defendants telephoned Spahn Ranch and apparently and unidentified person that there was trouble, that Hinman had taken the gun and that he and Beausoleil were fighting over it. During the struggle the gun discharged. The bullet pierced the kitchen sink without injuring anyone, but the sudden shock of the gun's loud concussion enabled Beausoleil to regain possession of the gun. Hinman offered to resolve the conflict by signing over the two titles for the two old automobiles that he owned, one of which was a dented volkswagon van that Hinman had recently purchased for $800.00. Beausoleil accepted.

When the transfer of the titles was complete Beausoleil and the two females were preparing to leave when co-defendants Davis and Charles Manson appeared at the front door. Hinman, who was no longer being held at gunpoint opened the front door for the two men who he considered to be his friends. Manson immediately slashed Hinman across the check with a long sword­like knife taking Hinman's ear and cutting his cheek. Beausoleil asked Manson why hedid that and Manson replied that he was showing Beausoleil, "how to be a man." Davis demanded Hinman give him the gun and Hinman indicated to Davis that Beausoleil had the gun. Beausoleil returned the gun to Davis and Davis expressed annoyance that the gun had been jammed. Manson angrily told Beausoleil that he had made a mess of things and that he needed to get it cleaned up. He told the two females, who were members of his commune, to help Beausoleil take care of Hinman. Manson and Davis then left.

Beausoleil spent the rest of the night, and most of the next day, with Hinman, attending to his injury and talking to him in an attempt to convince Hinman that
"There seems to be a typographical error here"

"In an attempt to convince Hinman that the wound was not very serious and would heal without the need of going to see his doctor. Beausoleil feared Hinman would inform on him if he went to the hospital for medical treatment. Hinman became increasingly adamant about wanting to get professional treatment for the injury.

Beausoleil phoned Spahn Ranch for advice on what to do. Manson came to the phone and told Beausoleil that he was on his own and hung up. Hinman made additional demands to be allowed to go to the hospital. In a state of panic and desperation Beausoleil made the decision to kill Hinman to prevent him from telling what he knew of Beausoleil's involvement of the drug deal and the assault. Beausoleil stabbed Hinman once in the chest and when Hinman did not immediately fall he stabbed him a second time.

In court testimony the coroner said that the second stab wound was almost instantly fatal. Beausoleil has stated that neither of the two female co-defendants had any

foreknowledge of the fatal assault and were out of the room when it occurred. The females had seemed shocked. Beausoleil asked them to help him remove evidence of their presence and to take measures that might help him evade detection by the authorities. Hinman was known to associate frequently with radical militant (indiscernible) on the USLA campus and Beausoleil decided to try to make it look

as though Hinman had been killed by some of these other associates by burning some of Hinman's Marxist newspapers on the floor, and by drawing 'political pig' on the wall in the victim's blood. The three left Hinman's residence at nightfall on Sunday, July 27th.

DeCarlo and members of the Straight Satans accepted the old VW van as re­payment for the allegedly bad drugs and took it to Venice Beach. It was subsequently found in Santa Monica. Beausoleil was arrested in San Louis Obispo on August 6th. He had been driving Hinman's other vehicle at the time and it had broken down on the freeway. The knife used in the slaying of Hinman was in the vehicle."


It was several days after the murder of Hinman before his body was discovered. As a music teacher, Gary taught a diverse selection of instruments. Perhaps the most unusual was the bagpipes. Ironically, Hinman's body was discovered by a group of bagpipers who visited his Old Topanga home when he failed to show for a parade which featured the group of 'pipers'.
After the murder, the girls (all quite fond of Bobby), were fully aware of their own (as well as Charlie's) involvement in the Hinman Murder, seized upon the idea of committing other random unrelated murders, and using the same M.O. ('victim's blood on the wall, hate messages', etc.), to distract police and misdirect their investigation to political fanatics, and/or racist terrorists, instead of the actual 'botched drug deal', as the motive. Such radical ideas became common conversation at Spahn Ranch in the days following the murder of Gary Hinman. Anxious tension, and fanatical thoughts, replaced the usual stoned, oft juvenile, mood at the 'Family's nightly campfire sessions.  
Charlie knew that if police figured out any details of the bizarre Hinman murder, that at least six of their people (himself, Bobby, Mary, Atkins, DeCarlo, Davis), would definitely be charged for Murder 1, which would start a 'domino' effect among: the 'Bikers', the 'Family', and who knows how many other related individuals. But, even at this point, Manson still considered moving to the desert might distance everyone from the Hinman murder (plus [he thought] Bernard Crowe). Thus, he refrained from the girl's radical ideas, and continued to preach 'Helter Skelter' to support the entire group's relocation to Death Valley at the Myers & Barker Ranches. Manson was still in fear of a Black Panther retribution for the Bernard "Lottsapapa" Crowe incident (murder?), and his failure to secure drugs for the 'Straight Satans', not only caused him to lose any chance for the Bikers to provide security for the 'Family', it also put their entire motorcycle club in legal jeopardy, due to club member Danny DeCarlo's involvement in a murder case. The Hinman drug fiasco also caused the Straight Satans embarrassment with their 'brother' gangs, The Hell's Angels, and the Satan's Slaves. Charlie was now desperate, and knew if he was arrested for any felony, he'd spend the rest of his life behind bars. In addition, police pressure was escalating at Spahn Ranch due to the local officials' awareness of the 'Family's' open use of drugs, misdemeanor criminal activity, presence of 'outlaw biker gangs', underage drinking, sex with minors, auto theft, and a number of additional legal infractions.
  "The Heat Was On!"

When police arrested Beausoleil, asleep in Hinman's Fiat wagon, broken down on the freeway in San Louis Obispo (August 6th), the knife used to slay Gary Hinman was found in the vehicle.
Manson knew that Bobby would "hold his mud" (prison slang), but, for how long?
Suddenly, the girls' idea of committing "copycat" murders seemed to be the only alternative.
Why Not? What did he have to lose?


* QUESTION:  Do you think that Gary Hinman, and the seven victims of the Tate-LaBianca Murders would still be alive, if Charles Manson hadn't returned to Old Topanga with the Straight Satans' sword?