labianca interior

Jerry and Mary Neeley used to own the best video store on the east side of L.A. That’s where I met them, and since they closed shop two years ago to sell movie collectibles online, we’ve occasionally met for coffee and talk of, among other topics, true crime. We’ve also kept in touch by e-mail, and last week Mary sent the following message:

As you know, the 40th anniversary of Tate/LaBianca is this August 8th & 9th. (Technically, the 9th & 10th because both parties were killed after midnight.)

I wanted to go to the LaBianca house around 1am on the 10th to see if anyone else shows up. Would you be interested? I don’t want to walk up there alone at 1am.

Yes, I wrote back, I was interested. As her message indicates, she lives near the former residence of Rosemary and Leno LaBianca, who, around two in the morning on August 10, 1969, received a surprise visit from a hirsute, diminutive stranger — an erstwhile party guest at the house next door and a convicted pimp with a harem of runaway girls, some of whom were waiting in a white and yellow ’59 Ford parked at the curb. Also in the Ford were a couple of boys who’d been drawn to the diminutive man in part because they, too, were serviced by the harem. They lived together, all of them, on a Western-town movie set on the outskirts of Los Angeles, where, under the influence of massive quantities of drugs, they were convinced that black militants aimed to destroy them, and the diminutive man, who called the shots, proposed to counterattack by perpetrating a series of gruesome murders and planting clues that would implicate the militants.

The diminutive man was Charles Manson, and the LaBiancas were fodder for his far-out blueprints. The previous night, others had been killed, though Manson wasn’t present. Three of his retinue, including two who would participate in the LaBianca murders, invaded a house near Beverly Hills, where the actress Sharon Tate and four guests were shot, hung, stabbed, and bludgeoned. Tate was famously pregnant at the time, and her blood was used to paint the word PIG as a “clue” on the front door.

The Tate residence, at the crest of Cielo Drive, was designed to look like a French farmhouse. I went there a few times, though it couldn’t be seen without scaling the gate or the embankment that concealed it. I could just make out the edge of the garage, and once, from the top of a nearby hill, I got a good look at the roof, where workers were shingling, the reports of their hammers echoing across the canyon. I repeatedly dreamed of being inside the house. In my dreams, I’d often see the headlights of the killers as they drew closer and closer, and I’d rush about in a vain attempt to find and warn Tate and the others. You can’t change history, I suppose those dreams were saying. You can’t save what’s impossible to save.

10050 Cielo Drive

Nor could the house itself be saved. It was torn down at some point in the nineties, and a McMansion was raised in its place. The McMansion, as far as I know, has almost never been occupied, possibly due to superstition or fear of lookie-loos — a legitimate fear, though people continue to visit. Last year a friend from Providence flew out to L.A. for the first time, and I asked if there was anything he particularly wanted see. As a matter of fact, there was: the house on Cielo Drive. I drove him to where it used to be and pointed to the telephone pole climbed by one of the killers to snip the wires before the murders commenced.

I also drove my friend to the LaBianca house, which has been renovated since the terrible events of 1969. The front lawn has largely been paved, and a heavy gate stands between the house and the rest of Waverly Drive. According to Mary, who’s something of a Manson-case expert, a visitor to the house, years after the murders, was shown the blood of the LaBiancas, which, though hidden by new carpeting, forever stained the floorboards.

3301 Waverly

*****

I picked up Mary on Sunday the 9th, just before midnight. Jerry, who suffers from diabetes, wasn’t feeling well, so he couldn’t come with us, but I’d invited two friends who live near Waverly to meet us there later. I circled the LaBianca house and, seeing no other lookie-loos, drove to a 7-Eleven, where Mary got a Coke and I got a coffee. Then, returning to Waverly, we parked as close as possible to the spot where Manson had parked forty years before, and as soon as I cut the engine, we heard a heavy rattling sound and saw a man in silhouette chaining the gate in the LaBianca driveway. Was that something the occupants did every night, or were they especially wary due to the anniversary?

No matter; we sat in the car and talked, waiting for possible others. We were both struck by how quiet it was, and I was concerned about cops, since my car registration has lapsed, so we kept our voices low. Every so often a car would appear, but none slowed as they passed the house, where the occupants had retired, or so I assumed. All the windows were dark, but at this moment forty years before, some of the windows would’ve been lit, since the LaBiancas had just returned home and Leno was reading the paper in the living room when Manson walked inside, possibly accompanied by his chief assassin, Tex Watson. (Accounts differ as to when Watson entered the house. Some say he helped Manson tie the LaBiancas, while others say Manson tied them alone and returned to the ’59 Ford, where Watson and the others were waiting to learn which of them would be selected to kill.) And what story was Leno reading in the paper? Conceivably the one about the Tate murders. Leno and his wife had bought the paper at a newsstand on their way home, and they had an exchange with the newsstand owner in which Mrs. LaBianca in particular expressed horror at the headline story. Now, an hour later, she and her husband were about to meet those responsible.

The friends I’d been expecting texted to say they weren’t coming, and I noticed a small, dancing light maybe fifty yards away. I’d brought along binoculars, which Mary trained on the light. It was just a guy smoking, she said. We continued to talk, and she told me a story I’d never heard: when Manson strolled inside the LaBianca living room (the door was unlocked), he saw a dog beside Leno on the couch and said, “Who you got with you? Sophia Loren?”

“I believe it,” Mary said. “It sounds like something Manson would say.”

It does for a fact. Manson had a sense of humor, unlike Hitler, whose ideology formed part of the basis of Manson’s.

*****

Living in L.A., I’ve met several people who encountered Manson’s victims and followers and others associated with the case.

My friend Harry, for instance, had a brush with Sharon Tate when he was a teenager and dining in London with film director Nicholas Ray and Ray’s son Tim, whom Harry had befriended at school. Ray, meantime, was friendly with Roman Polanski, who stopped by their table to say hello, and with him was Sharon Tate, whom he would later marry but was then his girlfriend, as well as his co-star in The Fearless Vampire Killers, which he was also directing. At one point he and Ray broke off, leaving Tate alone with the boys, and though she sweetly did her best to engage them, her beauty rendered them mute.

Sharon Tate

The day before the massacre on Cielo Drive, my friend Burke’s stepfather, Joel, had his hair cut by Tate’s former boyfriend, Jay Sebring, who was killed while trying to protect her. (Sebring was a noted men’s hair stylist, responsible for Jim Morrison’s lion mane; and indeed, on the day Joel had his hair cut at Sebring’s salon, a celebrity was on hand: Jim Backus, who played Thurston Howell III on Gilligan’s Island.)

Francis Schwartz, a wonderful man who practiced law well into his eighties, often observed Manson’s girls outside the downtown courthouse, where they daily held vigil during Manson’s trial, shaving their heads and carving Xs on their brows to court attention.

My friend Michael once had lunch with Vincent Bugliosi, Manson’s prosecutor and the co-author of Helter Skelter, the most celebrated account of the case. Bugliosi was shocked when Michael told him he’d read Helter Skelter by way of lifting his mood, but he chuckled at Michael’s explanation: he’d just been through a painful breakup and wanted to read about people who’d suffered worse.

And there are others, including Eve Babitz, a terrific writer whose books, save one, are inexplicably out of print. On separate occasions, Mary and I both spoke to Babitz, who attended grammar school with Catherine Share, the Manson girl known as Gypsy, and later became acquainted with Bobby Beausoleil, also known as Cupid, whose arrest for the murder of musician Gary Hinman sparked the Tate-LaBianca horrors.

“He was really beautiful,” Babitz said of Beausoleil, “but he was such a downer. We used to call him Bummer Bob.”

Beausoleil, incidentally, was briefly in the band Love, and he and Gypsy appeared in a Western-themed nudie flick that ends with a man being fatally knifed by Beausoleil.

Gary Hinman was fatally knifed by Beausoleil, after having his ear nearly cut off by Manson.

Love, indeed.

*****

By 1:45, it was starting to look like Mary and I were the only people curious enough to turn up at the LaBianca house. And maybe that was a good thing — I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about somebody else doing what I was doing. It was morbid, but I’m not morbid typically, as Mary isn’t either, so I cut us both slack. Besides, it was a bit like being in a movie about a stakeout at a haunted house — and if ever there were a house that deserved to be haunted, it’s the one on Waverly Drive.

Headlights appeared at the far end of the street. They slowly got closer, and the car came into view. It was an eighties-model white Cadillac, and I glanced through the rolled-up windows as it moved past my car and saw four people — possibly teenagers — staring at the LaBianca house. There was a girl in the backseat who seemed to be keeping her head down, as if afraid of being seen. Then the Cadillac backed up and, halfway down the street, it began to move forward again, so obviously the people inside it must be looking for the house number, which had been changed years before to confuse the curious. Yet, seeing the headlights slowly advance, I flashed back to my dreams of Cielo Drive: the killers getting closer and impossible to stop. I wasn’t scared, but I was spooked.

The Cadillac moved past us again, and I glanced at the girl in the back. She was wearing a hooded sweatshirt, with the hood now covering her head, though she continued to duck. The Cadillac idled for a moment by the LaBianca gate before it moved down the hill and disappeared. I listened and heard a door slam shut — or at least I thought I did. I asked Mary if she’d heard anything. We both listened to the deathly silence, and in my rear-view mirror I saw a silhouette walk up the hill and toward the house.

“Someone’s coming!” I said.

“Shhhhhhh!” Mary said.

It was two people, actually. I couldn’t determine if they were male or female or one of each, but I could make out two shapes by the gate. Then, for a split second, the house and the street close to it were filled with flashing light — the strobe of a camera — and a girl standing in front of the gate was illuminated. She wasn’t the one in the sweatshirt — or maybe she was, but she’d left it in the Cadillac — and the person with the camera was a guy. I decided it would be fun if I got out of the car, to possibly scare them or exchange a few words, and I did indeed get out, but they didn’t seem to notice or care. They walked away in their own good time, two moving shapes in the darkness, and disappeared down the hill. I never heard them speak — not even a whisper along the lines of: “Got the shot? Here, let’s take another.” Maybe they, too, were concerned about cops. Or maybe they thought I was a cop. But they managed to snap a picture of what had once been 3301 Waverly Drive at almost the precise minute when, forty years before, the unspeakable was occurring inside; and just before I drove her home, Mary took a picture of her own.

*****

There’s something uniquely L.A. about Manson: an aspiring rock star who lived on a movie set and, like a filmmaker, directed those eager to be molded. I think that partly accounts for my interest in him: he embodies something about the city I’ve come to call home.

But there’s more to it than that. In my novel, Banned for Life, the narrator speaks of visiting the Tate house and, expressing sorrow that it was later destroyed, he adds: “In my view, considering the turning point it symbolized, it should have been preserved as a cultural landmark.”

The narrator isn’t me — not entirely — but I agree with him about the Tate house; and the “turning point” he mentions is the close of the sixties. My friend George once said that “the men who play golf” were deeply shaken by the sixties, and took steps to make sure they weren’t repeated. He was vague about those steps, but I’m inclined to believe him, in part because it’s obvious, to me at least, that Manson was used to frighten people already unsympathetic to youth culture. Some called him the most dangerous man alive. Really? Richard Nixon’s body count exceeded Manson’s by untold thousands. Nixon and his ilk were the true bogeymen, but Manson looked the part as they didn’t — not to Joe Grabasandwich.

Nixon and Manson

Meantime, there’s only one other true-crime case that intrigues me as much as the Manson case: the JFK assassination. For a long time, I saw no connection. I was interested in the JFK case largely because of the enigma of Lee Harvey Oswald: did he do it or didn’t he? I was inclined to think he did — alone, in fact. Then I had an exchange with my friend Demetri, who said, “Well, if Oswald did it, you could say he started the sixties, just as Manson ended them.”

So there was a connection. It explained a great deal.

But not everything. I think, finally, it goes back to Sharon Tate. But for her, I probably would never have thought much about Manson. She’s the reason I dreamed about the house on Cielo Drive. As a child, I thought Tate was the most beautiful woman who ever lived. And that leads to another quote from my friend George. We were talking about Greek mythology one night, and he said, “You know, I don’t think a lot of those stories are relevant anymore. I mean, killing your father and fucking your mother and plucking out your eyes — that’s a perfect myth for two thousand years ago. But a beautiful blonde movie star being murdered at her mansion in the Hollywood Hills — now, there’s a myth for our time.”

And so in that way she stands, along with the house that used to be 3301 Waverly Drive.

 

A reedited version of this piece appears in the nonfiction collection Subversia.

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

D. R. HANEY is the author of a novel, Banned for Life, and a nonfiction collection, Subversia, the inaugural publication of TNB Books. Known to friends as Duke, he lives in Los Angeles.

34 responses to “3301 Waverly Drive”

  1. Zara Potts says:

    I’ve just re-read this and what a fine piece of writing it is. Just like all of your pieces.
    It makes it all the more real to me now that I’ve actually driven past the house. So, thank you for showing me, Duke.

    • D.R. Haney says:

      We went so many places (though only briefly) when you were in L.A. that I’d forgotten that the LaBianca house was among them. But, yeah, now that you’ve driven by it, I can see where the piece might seem a little different than it did initially. And, of course, I’m pleased beyond words that you speak about the writing as you did. I did work hard on it — more than usual, I mean. There was a lot I wanted to include, but much ended up being omitted. Months of labor would’ve been necessary to do the subject full justice, and I wanted to time the piece as much as possible to the anniversary.

      • Zara Potts says:

        It’s a great piece and perfectly illustrated. Also, I’m not sure if I ever told you what great tour guides you and Lenore were while we were in LA. I’m sure Simon would agree with me.
        Now, I’m off to re-read your other pieces. It’s just like Christmas all over again!

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Oh, you guys were full of compliments. But thanks for saying so again. And Christmas? Surely it’s something far more morbid.

          Then again, Christmas is always, for me, a depressing time of year.

        • Zara Potts says:

          Well, maybe Christmas isn’t the ideal word for this particular post.. but it is a treat going back and re-reading all your pieces. It’s like unwrapping presents and there’s nothing depressing about that at all.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Oh, gosh.

          No more sulking — for the moment!

  2. D.R. Haney says:

    Below is the original comment thread:

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 08:08:11
    Great post man. I don’t know much about Manson, other than he was loosely involved with the Beach Boys and failed in his own right.
    It’s a fascinating tale.
    I also never knew that there were two sets of murders.
    I do however know that the getaway driver Linda (?) Kasabian lends her name to an English band: Kasabian. They aren’t all that band.
    I also never knew Sharon Tate looked like that.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 08:28:57
    You’re really learning with HTML. I made a code mistake in another comment earlier this morning.
    Anyway, yeah, Sharon Tate was a stunner. Polanski had great taste, and in fact Tate resembles many of the female leads in his movies, and over time his present wife has strangely come to resemble Tate.
    I’m familiar with Kasabian, and always figured they’d taken their name from Linda, though I never read confirmation.
    Also, I wasn’t sure how much people did or didn’t know about the crimes, so I was trying to offer a summary that hopefully wouldn’t bore the enlightened.
    Oh, and Manson and the Beach Boys. They stole a song from him. His version was called “Cease to Exist,” but they changed the name and used it as a B-side. I forget what they called the song. But, yeah, Manson was in tight with them for a while, due to his harem, which he shared with Dennis Wilson, who was apparently a sex fiend.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 08:39:57
    Wasn’t Dennis Wilson the only one who could surf? And aren’t most surfers sex fiends?
    They stole everything but the words for Surfin’ USA from Chuck Berry.
    And of course Chuck Berry is a renowned sex fiend/pervert.
    Kasabian were called Saracuse but changed their name after their bassist started reading up on the Manson murders. They’re one of the few ‘modern’ bands I got into.
    I’m not really learning with HTML code. Last time my entire message screwed up because of it, so this time I just italicised the last word of the comment…
    This has kind of made me want to read more about the Manson murders. I used to love murder mystery novels and am kind of fascinated by murder and freaky shit.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 08:58:16
    “Surfin’ USA” does sound indeed sound like a Chuck Berry song. I’d never thought of that before.
    Are all surfers sex fiends? I’ve only known one well, and I wouldn’t say that was true of him. I mean, he wasn’t a womanizer or anything.
    I think you may be right about Dennis being the only Beach Boy who surfed. He was certainly the most athletic of the bunch. But I’m not very knowledgeable about the Beach Boys. I only like a handful of their songs (though I love “God Only Knows”). Medieval choirs aren’t my thing.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 09:17:30
    It doesn’t just sound like it, it IS a Chuck Berry song!
    Sweet Little Sixteen. Same song, different words.
    Surfers look like sex fiends. Although I get this impression from Point Break, which may be an innacurate portrayal of surfers.
    God Only Knows is amazing. I like a fair few of their songs. Sometimes.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-13 10:22:42
    That seems like a fair assessment of surfers, James, at least the ones I know. Though, most of them have calmed down quite a bit in their old age. But it used to be sun, surf and as many chicks as they could get.

    Comment by Greg Olear
    2009-08-13 11:06:40
    Chuck Berry is given songwriting credit. It was deliberate.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 11:23:28
    Wasn’t it (credit) only given after Berry sued them?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 11:43:50
    I’m getting no pings at all today, which is why I’m answering out of order. I have to keep jumping around to see where people have posted.
    I’m going to await the outcome of this Berry dialogue before commenting further, lest I risk my rep as a pop-music expert (which I quite definitely am not).
    As to surfers: hey, if I were all toned and muscular and shit, I’d take full advantage of it.
    A funny story: my friend who’s a surfer was visiting one day, and I ran inside and grabbed my new guitar to show it to him, and a car came down the street and the middle-aged driver leaned out of his window and said, “Surfers suck; musicians rule.”
    I felt kind of bad for my friend. But it wasn’t like he was carrying a surfboard or anything. The guy sized him up just by looking at him for 0.2 seconds.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 12:47:39
    I wish I could swim. I intend to learn, but in my vanity I won’t do so in public.
    I think I can sort of swim, if I needed to. It’s like riding a bike, I can but I don’t like too. My family don’t drive, so walking is what I’m used to.
    If only someone else was carrying a pen and paper for someone to shout ‘but writers are more awesome!’

    Comment by Greg Olear
    2009-08-13 13:09:28
    Jim: I don’t know. The story I heard was, Wilson started playing the song but sang the alternative lyrics, like it was intentional.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 13:13:15
    That makes sense— there is no way it can be accidental. At the same time I can’t picture the Beach Boy’s sitting around and saying ”Hey, lets see if we can re-release Sweet Little Sixteen without Berry noticing.”

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 13:11:34
    I haven’t been swimming in a long time, due in fact to the vanity factor, but there’s nothing like it. I love being in the water.
    And your comment about writers reminds me of footage I’ve seen of F. Scott Fitzgerald in the act of composition. Good lord! To watch Picasso or Jackson Pollock paint is cinematic, but no writer is visually compelling as he or she scribbles or types — not for more than a few seconds.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 13:19:51
    I love being in water. My showers are usually a good 20 minutes long if I can get away with it.
    The day before I started university I was in a hotel with a huge bath. Good times— also the first time I saw Point Break.
    And yes, watching writers seems dull. Writing itself though, that feels cool.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 13:31:34
    Well, sometimes, Jim. Sometimes…
    I’m notorious, by the way, for taking baths. Friends think it’s weird, and I think they’re weird for thinking it’s weird. Jonathan Evison takes a lot of baths, and I do whatever Jonathan Evison does.
    On that note, I hope you’ll read my next novel: All About Lulu.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 13:37:01
    I haven’t had a bath in about a year. In fact that was probably the last time I had a bath.
    I do like a good bath though.
    My brother told me something interesting about water. Running water gives off some sort of wave— c-waves or something (I forget) that stimulate the creative part of your brain.
    Your more likely to come up with creative ideas in the bath.
    EUREKA!

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 14:00:31
    I wasn’t so keen on baths till I read that the great photographer Robert Capa read in the tub every day. But that’s useful information about running water. Does it apply to urination, I wonder?

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 14:04:26
    I don’t think so. I think the heat is a factor.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 14:06:36
    Urine is warm!
    Sorry. I couldn’t resist.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 14:09:07
    Well, some people enjoy those sorts of showers…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 14:34:37
    Touche!
    That was a comment worthy of a Listi post!
    You do me proud, m’boy.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 14:43:59
    I have a perverted sense of humour when it comes to TNB comments.
    Innuendo.
    In-Your-End-O!

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 14:59:05
    Put down the bottle of Jameson, Jim, and back away it from very slowly.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 15:01:07
    I’m sober! Honest!
    Although the bottle is within arms reach… shit, it’s 1am.
    I’m also bitter that I’m frozen on 50 comments. What I need is a nazi sympathiser…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:23:05
    I’ll try to unfreeze you in a bit. I’ve just been kept hopping on my own board almost since I first posted the piece.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 15:28:33
    I’ve been hopping on your board too.
    Thing is my posts aren’t as interesting in subject matter, hence less tangents and digressions.
    I’m glad you posted today, not long after I did. That way I’ve only lost one day of writing to gawking at TNB waiting for some comment action.
    Smithson just e-mailed. He appears to be a live and well.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 18:24:27
    Yes, well. There’s been some back and forth between this post and yours, so we’ve probably mutually benefited. Even though, as Brad reaffirmed the other night, there’s not necessarily any correlation between comments and the popularity of a post. That’s just the way some of us interpret comments.
    But aren’t we all a little guilty of that?
    Oh, and I’ll have you know, Jim, that when I started here four months ago, I was only getting around fifteen comments per post, whereas you started off much higher. I was a little jealous, too. What a retard I was. But I felt terribly insecure on arriving at TNB. I wonder if that’s how most new arrivals feel?

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-14 22:28:53
    I’m under no illusions about what comments equate too— I don’t care either. It’s just nice to get ‘em.
    My comments have only just bumped up again. I started out in the 50s but dropped to the 20s— and most were mine!
    Now I’m on the cusp of 100. A personal best.
    And they’re pretty much all honest comments…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 10:42:17
    Say. What are you trying to imply?

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-16 21:32:17
    Nothing. Honest.
    All I meant was I didn’t ask anyone to leave a comment, neither did you.
    So, the two most commented posts…
    Will there be a Haney backlash…?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-17 21:34:52
    I was afraid it might begin with you.
    But I’m joking, as I was originally. Honest.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-17 22:41:48
    FUCK YOU HANEY!
    Haha. No. Joking is fun.
    Also, preceding your name with an obscenity isn’t much of a backlash…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-17 22:54:20
    Nor are all the terrible things I’m thinking at the moment.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-17 22:59:40
    Terrible things? You? I don’t believe it.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-17 23:13:02
    Hey, I did write about Manson, you know.

    Comment by len
    2009-09-13 01:47:21
    enjoyed your story about sitting in front of Labianca house. I thought it was a story from yesteryear. till i read about you descibing my white cadillac pulling up. i new you didnt belong in the neighborhood. and ill be damed if i was gonna allow you to deny me my feeling of being brought into NOW. i cared less when you got outta your car because i was in a trance. i was 11 when IT went down right there. we used to go horseback riding at Spahn in 69. saw hippy lookin people didnt seem strange to us at the time. in 73 me and friends of mine scaled the Tate house at night high on acid window paine. it seemed unattended. we drank a beer in front yard and left over the slope as we had arrived. it seems those people werent as innocent as they are made out to be. im not judging in a human manner, rather a celestial karmic debt was owed and payed by via a simple girl like susan atkins. people appear as though they need to be brought to NOW again. those old cars pullin up unnoticed in darkness of night. theyre led by and temporaily protected by mystical forces. its like being invisible.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-09-13 04:53:13
    Reading your comment in the middle of the night, as I did, it spooked the living shit out of me.
    Was that really you in the white Cadillac?

    Comment by skynard
    2009-09-13 18:44:37
    yes my good man it was. still got the car. got the pictures as well. also got pictures at tate the night before. at 1230 at night. weird but hair raising. i freaked when i stumbled on your story last night and slowly realized you were describing us. the girl in the back was freaked out by you 2 sitting there. never know whre the family still is. to bad you didnt join us for coffee after. but i feel our parties had mutual fear,except for me cause i guess i was in azone. your a good man like your writing. great article on the whole manson story. glad i could freak you a little. the girls with me were my daughter and her friend. who have reintroduced me to this history of my youth. sorry i couldnt bullshit and make up some shit about how close you came to trouble. but im just a normal guy who works for the dwp. but that was a cool interchange that night and made us sound freaky. and to stumble on your story was delightful. respond.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-09-15 01:23:24
    I never really thought I was in trouble. It was the way the approach of your car evoked for me the night of the murders that spooked me. And what spooked me about your initial comment was simply that I never, ever expected the occupants of the white Cadillac to read this piece or get in touch. It fairly blew my mind.
    But I’m so glad, Len, that you did read and comment, and I’m envious that you once had a beer (while on acid yet!) on the front lawn of the Cielo house. There’s probably never been another house that fascinated me quite so much. Could you see it well in the darkness? And you rode horses at Spahn in ‘69! The closest I ever got to Spahn was the Iverson ranch, just across the road, but that was many years later.
    Yes, it is too bad we didn’t have coffee after we passed in the darkness. But it still blows me away that we’re having this conversation, so to speak, which has been a powerful lesson on a small world made smaller still by the Internet.

    Comment by skynard
    2009-10-05 06:15:22
    DR last nite monday at 1230 midnite. me and my daughter and her friend and another guy, drove down Benedict cyn. from the valley. we turned on good ole cielo dr, black as night could be. we were nervous. accross from Bella we cruised left right the tate street.
    We passed the first 2 houses no lights, no traffic coming at us yet. we drove to the spot where ther is no housesand very difficultly turned our car around pointing down hill. We quietly got out of the car. Walked silently and swiftly pass those 4 houses with the Tate gate in sight. so far no lights no cars cold and silent except for the sound of our tennis shoes on that famous street the clan was on in 69. Fifty ft to THE GATE. I hand one side of an old blanket with straps attached. Motion lights come on from one house, motion lights from 2 houses, the last house motion lights dammit. but except for our hurried movement the whole street is dead. No cars leaving or coming. Finally we reach the gate where the women whose name was painted in large red letters on the blanket slithered 40 yrs. ago. Like we rehearsed we connect 3 straps to the iron bars of gate. Bigger than life it proclaims SUSAN ATKINS. We stand to the side 2 pictures. Off we go back to the car scurrying down the same road Sexy Sadie did. Past the 4 houses, we run to car pop in and totally un noticed we cruise Tex”s route home. Creepy crawled the whole street. Pictures are awesome. Very exciting doing this at that time of nite at that pinched off location. I wonder who will see it first. What theyll think. Susan was like a Beatle dying to us. Had to do something.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-10-07 00:59:01
    I wonder how the neighbors responded when they saw it?
    The last time I drove up there, I had a hard time turning around at the end of the strip leading to the gate. I don’t recall it being that hard when I moved to L.A. Is it possible that the width of the strip was shortened during the construction of the new buildings that have gone up there?
    Also, in looking at photographs of Cielo since I posted this piece, I noticed that the telephone pole that was climbed by Tex Watson was either torn down or moved to the other side of the road. It used to be be on the left side of the road as the gate is being approached. Now it’s on the right.
    Do you think Susan Atkins did more than simply guard and hold Tate during Watson’s assault, or do you think she did more? Her story changed a few times, though at a certain point she naturally stuck with the less self-incriminating version.

    Comment by len
    2009-10-08 09:36:57
    Yes i think the 4 new houses at top of hill made that section tighter. we parked at the spot between homes which made it fun because we had to creep up and down the very street atkins et al did. however we were so into getting to that gate hanging the sign, snapping pictures i didnt have time to take in the historical ambiance. i dont know if the neighbors even know who susan was. i would feel violated knowing someone was there un-noticed in the dead of night. And ya know i really dont wanna terrorize anyone its just fun doing these little capers. ya know the truth of what happened that night is so intriguing to people like you and i. they always say truth lies somewhere in the middle of stories. but can you imagine how fast it went down once the panick and craziness came about. whats weird is its been along time since i did acid but to be stabbing people like crazy on it would be so bizare. i believe Tex did the most of the physical work. i believe Pat did some. Susane was a crazy little girl back then. I believe frykowski was stabbed in the leg by her. I can only imagine sharons last minutes watching all this. Tex may have started on sharon but susan probably joined in. whats wierd is it seems like they were ready to leave and susan went back to get blood for the door. Its so strange to be on that street at night and imagine them leaving down that very road. Man that house was awesome looking the new mansion sucks. hope you are doing very well DR

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-10-09 00:44:09
    The original house was beautiful, yes. Did you know there’s a “twin” house a little further down on Cielo, built according to the same blueprint? I don’t think the blueprint was followed exactly, and also the Cielo house was modified some time after it was erected in the forties, with another section added — I think Tate’s bedroom. (It would have been a two-bedroom house earlier.) I looked for the twin house when I last drove up to Cielo, but couldn’t find it — I think because the front is facing away from the street, from which you can only see the side.
    I’m envious, of course, that you once visited the original house. When it was leveled, the stone fireplace was broken into chips, some of which were sold at X singer Exene Cervenka’s store, You Got Bad Taste, in Silver Lake. A lot of early punks were Manson-case afiacinados.
    You’re probably right about the neighbors having no knowledge of Susan Atkins. I doubt that anyone who lives there now did so at the time of the murders. Also, people nowadays largely have no interest in history whatsoever. It was never a subject for the multitudes, of course, but the number of armchair historians has, I’m sure of it, significantly dwindled in recent years. Anything that can’t be “understood” in a microsecond is, like, boring, dewd.
    I’d prefer not to imagine Sharon Tate’s last few minutes, and doubt anyone could. It must have been completely hallucinatory; a sense of, “This can’t really be happening,” yet knowing it was. I once witnessed a mother and child hit by a car and tossed like ragdolls across a street, but even having seen it, I couldn’t quite take it in. And you’re absolutely right about Atkins having stabbed Frykowski in the legs as he fought for his life; that’s something she never acknowledged when she insisted in later years that it was Watkins who did all the killing. Of course, the wounds she inflicted weren’t fatal, but if she could have fatally wounded him at that moment, I’m sure she would have, since, by her reckoning, it was her own life that was then in danger. As for Tate, Watkins now corroborates Atkins that he alone stabbed her, but there’s one person, other than Watkins, who could say for sure, and that’s Patricia Krenwinkel, who, I think, was in the room at the time, though I can’t recall her ever remarking on it. She claims that, when Watkins sent her to the guest house to check for people there, she stopped halfway down the path and thought, “This has gone far enough,” and returned and told him the guest house was unoccupied — where was that remorse earlier, when she was stabbing Abigail Folger? And why did it not prevent her from accompanying Manson the following night?
    As I’ve said before, no matter how much you know about this case, aspects of it remain mysterious. And I hope you are doing very well also.

    Comment by N.L. Belardes
    2009-08-13 08:24:35
    It’s fun to take creepy drives.
    I lived in a haunted bungalow just down the street from the Fritts mansion. That was the home of the Lords of Bakersfield newspaper publisher who I wrote the fictional account of in my book “Lords: Part One.” I could go on and on about ghost stories and such related to it. People tell me I should give Bakersfield ghost tours.
    As a journalist I’m often creeping around murder sites. It’s just what we writers sometimes do.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 08:33:47
    Did you personally experience any hauntings at the Fritts mansion? I’m going to have to read Lords one of these days. It sounds fascinating.
    When I moved to L.A., I knew a lot of people who were always visiting crime scenes and the like. Later, a few people realized that there was many to be made that way and organized tours. I myself went to Marilyn Monroe’s house — the one where she was found dead — and one or two others spots of a similar kind. But, mainly, I just went up to the Tate house.
    Your new picture is dope, by the way.

    Comment by Elizabeth Collins
    2009-08-13 08:40:30
    Charles Manson really freaks me out. But–and this may be completely un P.C.–I feel badly for those girl followers of his who have never been paroled. What is it about that? Yes, the murder of pregnant Sharon Tate was just horrifying. I feel, though, that there is something bigger at work–fear of Satanism? Manson always strikes people as utterly evil (it’s that crazy look in his eyes). Those girls who worshipped him, though, seemed so unlike him. Weren’t they just brainwashed? Such a shame, all of it. I don’t even understand the whole point.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 08:45:25
    You could argue the same for Hitler’s followers.
    The thing is these days they’d probably get parole on that basis— brainwashing. ”Oh, we’re just innocent brainwashed li’l girls mistah judge, sir.”

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 08:51:38
    Liz, I don’t think anyone, to this day, really understands the point. It was pointless, in fact. And I, like you, have sympathy for the girls who followed him. He destroyed many lives, apart from those who were murdered.
    As to why his fame continues, I think, yes, it’s partly because of that famous image (the second image of him that I included in this post), but I think he was playing “crazy” for the photographer. Manson was, and I imagine continues to be, very expressive, with one photo contradicting another. But I think his talent for mind control is another reason for his renown (did I use that word correctly, Greg, should you read this?), as well as the fear we all have of monsters appearing in the middle of the night, or just generally. That’s another way in which the Manson murders changed America: doors were locked where people didn’t bother before.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 09:00:46
    Jim, I don’t think the girls will ever get paroled. Even the one who did the least has been rejected for parole again and again. The crimes were simply too horrible.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 09:09:08
    I meant if the crimes happened today.
    And maybe just Britain. We have a freakishly lax/pussyish attitude to putting people in prison.
    A lot of shit about ‘human rights.’
    I believe in human rights, obviously. Just not for murderers.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 09:14:00
    Whoops.
    Also, the same applies to rapists.
    I’m sure Harry Callahan says something about the human rights of rapists in the first Dirty Harry film.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 09:16:17
    I think a lot of European countries now have that lax attitude about crime. A friend of mine once said that, in lieu of retiring, he was going to commit a horrible murder in Norway so he could spend his declining years in a Norwegian jail. Apparently, those jails are pretty nice.

    Comment by Greg Olear
    2009-08-13 11:09:58
    Ha! And yes, it’s correct.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 11:20:14
    Have you been jailed in Norway, Greg?

    Comment by Greg Olear
    2009-08-13 12:56:32
    Was talking about “renown” a few comments back.
    I did my time in Finland.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 13:05:49
    Did you tangle with a Lapp? Now, that would make for one of the all-time great TNB posts.
    I’m looking for a new comment regarding “renown,” but my eyeballs are failing me. I hope it’s a kind of invisible-ink comment. Or perhaps not, since I’d probably sit in front of the screen for hours as I watched it slowly materialize.

    Comment by Greg Olear
    2009-08-13 13:14:53
    The “Ha! It’s correct.” comment was about your use of “renown.”
    Working title for my story: “Lapp Dance, or, I Like To Finnish Off Helsinkians”

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 13:16:19
    Ah! (That’s “ha!” in reverse, in case you didn’t notice.)
    I eagerly await your Lapp Dance.

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-14 15:25:46
    I was going to make my inaugural comment on this at a later point, but I just can’t go past the phrase ‘Lapp Dance’. Wunderbar, Greg.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 15:42:00
    Isn’t it? And he came up with it just like that.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 08:47:20
    Incidentally— Manson’s birth name was Charles Maddox…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 08:53:12
    I know. I was reminded of that at some point as I was writing BFL. And guess what Maddox originally meant?
    The son of God.
    Perfect for Manson’s Christ complex.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 09:01:18
    I mentioned Manson’s Christ Complex in CCB recently.
    It was in relation to CCB’s very own cult… who live in the desert. That was an accidental Manson nod though— the cult ‘compund’ in CCB is based on a decomissioned military base-turned-family home saw on a documentary.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 09:02:43
    Ha! Cactus City Blues indeed!

    Comment by Greg Olear
    2009-08-13 11:14:57
    There’s a character in TK named Maddox, too, although I didn’t know it was his real name. There’s also one named Jason. But not the same one.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 11:26:52
    I just found out I was almost named Jason. Which is spooky as I was working on a post about how a name affects you as a person.
    Also, Greg, is one of the characters in TK named Taylor?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 11:36:59
    Okay. We are getting into Simon Smithson territory here.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 11:45:15
    Where is that Aussie bastard anyway?! He didn’t say something about being caught in a typhoon of work.
    Although when I first read the message I read it as ‘caught in a typhoon’ and became surprisingly concerned.
    Hell, would YOU want to live in a world without Simon Smithson?!

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 11:47:53
    No, actually. But I think it’s still very early Down Under.
    But did you mean that he DID say something about being caught in a typhoon of work? I’ve noticed that he’s not quite as active with comments of late.
    I hope that’s not the case.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 11:59:34
    Yeah, I’ve exchaged a few e-mails. The last one he apologised for not writing much and he was in a ‘typhoon of work.’ It might have been a different weather metaphor, but I know he’s busy.
    And yes, it is kind of early.
    I hate time difference.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-13 12:20:33
    It’s bloody early here…AND it’s Friday. Plus we are busy down under searching for items to send to lucky TNB’ers for our Cultural Exchange Programme.
    Very busy.
    Very Important.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 12:51:27
    I know nothing of this program (or programme, as you spell it, with your strange Kiwi accent). Will I be one of the lucky recipients?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 13:14:43
    Oh, and Jim, I’m sorry for Simon that he’s caught in the middle of a typhoon — of the work kind especially. Poor guy. I just hope this raffle-ticket business finally pays off in a big way.

    Comment by Greg Olear
    2009-08-13 13:15:48
    Jedi: Yes, the heroine’s name is Taylor.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 13:17:37
    Are you for f’ing real? ‘Cause I so hope you are.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 13:24:20
    Greg— awesome. The main female character in Part Three is named Taylor. I’d like to claim this is a tribute to TK, but it is a reference to Dallas Taylor who played drums with CSN&Y— it’s switched to become Taylor Dallas.
    Another character has it for a surname.
    I love the name Taylor.
    Totally Killer name!

    Comment by Zara
    2009-08-13 14:29:39
    Oh, you want to be part of the Cultural Exchange Programme? I’ll flick you an email with the details…. It’s getting very competitive. But fun.

    Comment by Zara
    2009-08-13 14:32:23
    Oh deja vu.. I think I just tipped you over 100. You are such a comment magnet.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 14:33:09
    Competitive? TNB? No! Or have you already forgotten the Night of the Thousand Haiku?

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-13 14:42:05
    How could I forget
    counting syllables out loud
    I will not start now.

    Righto, you can join the programme. It’s worth it.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 14:46:23
    Damn Haney!
    I chug up to 50 in two days, he gets 100 in hours!
    I need something sensationalist to write about.
    Expect ‘My Alien Abduction and Brief Fling With Greta Garbo’s Ghost’ next week!

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:00:40
    Will it include a murder? ‘Cause I won’t read it if it doesn’t. Greta Garbo’s ghost must murder the alien abductor.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 15:03:48
    She lures him into a false sense of security with a seductive flash of ankle. Then she scalps him and frolics nude in the entrails.
    It’ll be a must read!

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:07:50
    Your “seductive flash of ankle” shows you are indeed familiar with how little it took to excite back in the day. But “frolics nude in the entrails”? Wow. That could’ve come straight from the imagination of a certain hirsute, diminutive cult leader.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 15:15:17
    I nearly vomitted when I wrote that.
    Horrible imagery.
    But funnier than frolicing in blood.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:20:11
    As well as in vomit.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 20:14:14
    Wait. I missed something back there. Zara, did you tip me over 100 again?
    That’s it. Pack yer bags. I’m taking you to Vegas. Stand by while I play roulette and we’ll make a fortune!
    But do you think it’ll work if you bring Simon along? ‘Cause I know he wants to make a fortune too.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-13 20:41:39
    Guilty. I tipped you over. Must be your lucky charm.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 23:59:52
    She ain’t just a pretty pair of nostrils you know…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 01:50:18
    I never doubted it, though I like a pretty pair of nostrils as much as the next guy.
    I’ve already written a haiku for Zara in gratitude.

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-14 15:28:09
    Whew! It’s OK. The typhoon, that is. The hatches have been battened down, the mainsail splice, and all those who would so much as utter the words ‘Rush don’t suck’ have been pitched overboard to face the maelstrom on their own.
    A world without Simon Smithson? Awful. Just awful. Fortunately, there’s at least one more of us in the UK, so we’ve got a relief hitter waiting should anything unpleasant befall me.
    Vegas, baby. Vegas.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 15:44:49
    Oh, I bet there’s many a Simon Smithson in the world, but there’s only one that matters. And I see that by “relief hitter” that you’re acquainted with our former national passtime, or at least a bit of its verbiage. That game generally doesn’t travel.
    Glad you survived the typhoon. I think it’s now headed my way.

    Comment by jmblaine
    2009-08-13 10:14:11
    Excellent.
    Manson represents some sort on unnamed chaos we know resides in all of us,
    a time when the pin pick burst the balloon.
    The picture is gold.
    A photog friend of mine’s new book is a collection of shots of famous murder spots.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 10:20:34
    Hey, I still owe you an email regarding DAC. I’ve just been (apropos Manson) insane.
    I’d be curious to peruse your friend’s collection. Is there a link of some kind? Oh, and the picture Mary took: yes, I was kind of amazed at how it came out, the haunted feel of it. The whole stakeout felt a bit haunted to me — but that’s the power of imagination.

    Comment by jmb
    2009-08-13 16:57:12
    Manson and Coe are closer than you might – well OK, one wouldnt imagine they were too far apart.
    Deb’s book isnt out yet, I’ll send you a link when it is.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 20:34:48
    I look forward to it.

    Comment by Sam
    2009-08-13 10:31:53
    The Manson murder story is quite fascinating. We reported on it 40 years ago and have updated and re-released our book for the 40th anniversary: Five To Die: The Book That Helped Convict Manson. You can check out http://www.mansonbook.com too and the blog.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 11:30:57
    Thanks for commenting, Sam. I obviously agree that the case is fascinating, and that’s partly because there are still so many mysteries associated with it. For example, did Susan Atkins or did or did she not stab Sharon Tate? She was overheard to say that she did by Barbara Hoyt, and she confessed to it in the penalty phase of the trial, but she’s otherwise denied it (except for her jailhouse bragging).
    At any rate…
    I’ve heard of your book, but I’ve never read it. I’m sure Mary’s read it. But your links aren’t working, or they aren’t on my computer. I would correct them, but I’m sure to make a mess of it.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-13 10:34:19
    Great post, as always, Duke.
    Your stake out sounds like it was fun. I like doing things like that; scaring the hell out of myself for a good time.
    I didn’t know much about the LaBianca murders..thanks for that. Now I’ll be scouring the internet to learn more.
    In the town I grew up in, there was an insane asylum that burned to the ground (I think about 80 or 90 years ago) with everyone inside. Every year on the anniversary a group of us would go out there, just to see, and every year something inexplicable happened.
    Great pictures too…the one your friend took is especially haunting. And that photo of Sharon Tate! I always forget how gorgeous she was.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 11:52:03
    I think Sharon Tate was one of the great beauties of her time — of any time. I tried to find a good link on YouTube, but the ones I had in mind are now gone.
    Funny that you mention inexplicable things happening at an old insane asylum. I was approached about writing a screenplay about something along those lines. In fact, your comment has inspired me to call those people and see what’s up.
    Do check out more about the Tate-LaBianca case. It really is fascinating — and addicting, if you’re in any way interested in true crime.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-13 12:12:02
    You should call them back. Write the screenplay. I think you could have a lot of fun with the psychology of scaring people. An insane asylum is the perfect backdrop to a film.
    I’m sure I’ll dig my copy of Helter Skelter out (after I finish reading your book) and dig into the research of both the murders. Prepare yourself for an onslaught of emails..cause if I can’t sleep, why should you?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 13:21:51
    I agree about the asylum story. I’m going to call those people any minute now, if I can ever pry myself away from this screen.
    Oh, and a good addition to Helter Skelter is The Family. It’s very sloppily edited, but there’s a lot of information in it that you won’t get in Helter Skelter. Some of it’s bogus, but, still, the book is absolutely of value.
    Oh, and it just hit me: you still haven’t finished my freaking book? I demand a cupcake in compensation!

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-13 13:31:11
    I’ll definitely check out ‘The Family’ (I can’t write code…so I won’t even attempt) AFTER I finish your book.
    I haven’t finished it. I know. I’m horrible. But I had to put it back down the other day. It was for personal reasons–if you really want to know why, I’ll email, but I won’t bore you with them here. Anyhow, the part I was reading hit a bit too close to home and I had to step back from it.
    Will strawberry shortcake suffice? I made some last night. We’ll work something out.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 13:35:36
    I love strawberry shortcake, so I think we’ve already worked something out.
    I would indeed be interested in learning why you stopped reading. (And, no, I don’t think you’re horrible. You do realize I was kidding, right?) Funny; one other person — a friend of mine — told me the same thing. But I’m sure his reasons weren’t the same as yours. He did so because the book captured a little too well all the reasons he dislikes living in L.A., or so he reported.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-13 13:46:34
    I know you were kidding. I was too. Kinda.
    I’ll send you a note to tell you why I stopped. My reasons are very different. I also plan to pick it up again tonight since I have some time.
    Strawberry shortcake works. I can send you shortcake, but you have to supply the strawberries. I don’t think they would make the trip. Or I could just send cookies….and if I get some things worked out and end up in California in a few months, then I’ll make you some fresh cupcakes or shortcake. You pick.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 13:55:24
    Decisions, decisions.
    Ah, well. I have plenty of time to decide, yes?
    Meantime, I hope you plan to bake while blasting punk.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-13 14:07:18
    I ALWAYS bake while blasting punk. It’s the reason I can get so much done in such a short time. That and massive amounts of caffeine.
    Yes, you have time to decide. A few months at least.
    I sent off that email. Sorry its such a downer.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 14:15:27
    I’ll have a look in a while. I’ve been meaning to run some very important errands all day, and I got caught up with this board. I never expect anything I post to receive any attention, and when it does, I’m so flattered that I respond as soon as I can.
    The energizing factor of punk is one of the things I like most about it. Music and caffeine: you’ve just described my recipe for writing.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-13 14:20:45
    eh,….no worries. No need for a response, really.
    Caffeine and music are the two reasons I get anything done during the day. Well, except today…I’ve been screwing around too much.
    I don’t blame you for sticking around and responding. Its probably a lot of fun ( I know it is on this end).

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 14:31:23
    I won’t admit to it being anything other than fun for fear of not receiving a cupcake. Or shortcake.
    I still can’t decide, goddamnit.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-13 14:56:22
    Well at least now I know who to call on when I need a taste tester.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:04:33
    Oh, no. I have one of those. Like a king, I fear poison.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-13 15:14:32
    no cupcakes for you, then.
    I request the name of your taste tester..he can have the cupcakes.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:18:51
    It’s Charlie, actually. Charlie Manson. I’ve been hoping that one day he’ll bite into something poisoned, but no luck so far.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-13 15:25:24
    Okay then….I’ll send some his way. Special cupcakes, we’ll call them.
    Yours won’t be that special. Should you make a decision…..

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:29:24
    I will eventually.
    Oh, and load a picture, willya? That stock outline is creeping me out.
    The king has spoken!

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-13 15:35:11
    I have a picture…it just doesn’t like me today.
    (I hope you weren’t expecting a “my liege” any where in there.)

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:45:38
    I was. But as you have obeyed me, I’ll overlook it.
    On the other hand, it was your picture that obeyed me.
    Oh, what the hell. I’ll overlook it either way.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-13 15:56:55
    woohoo!
    and just for the record…I generally go out of my way to disobey. But I thought I’d be nice, this time.
    Next time, though……

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:59:38
    O you saucy wench.
    Which I say because it sounds, y’know, like something a medieval king would say.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-13 16:11:53
    Ha!
    and here I was, thinking that was your new pet name for me.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 20:16:43
    Hey, the two aren’t mutually exclusive. We can make Saucy Wench your new name if you want. Are you sure you want it in that order? ‘Cause Saucy could also be your last name. I mean, Wench Saucy — that sounds kind of cool.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-14 04:58:03
    Wench Saucy does sound pretty cool.
    It would make a great character name…should you go the midieval king (or pirate) route.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 15:47:40
    Now that you gave me a choice (as with shortcake or cupcake), I’ll have to go with pirate. But you can still be Wench Saucy.
    Hey, maybe you can start a band with that name! Or it could also be the name of your bakery, which you can possibly open next to Forevermore, the bar I propose to open with Simon.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-14 16:47:47
    Pirate it is.
    That would be a great name for a bakery or diner. I thought the bar was going to be called Nevermore…have you changed it to Forevermore? Either way, both names are cool. A band…hmm….I dunno, I’m not exactly musically inclined. I could manage a band.
    You find me some musicians and I’ll manage them. Sound good?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 18:29:13
    That may be difficult, but I’ll see what I can do. I mean, they’d have to be in your neck of the woods for you to perform your duties properly — or maybe I should rephrase that in pirate-talk, starting with “Arrrrrrrr….”
    Oh, and of course you’re absolutely right about Nevermore. Good God, what’s wrong with my brain? I don’t even know the name of my own bar! I guess this means I should stop cleaning my own top shelf. Don’t tell Simon I’ve been nipping at it, please. The co-owner relationship is fraught with peril.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-14 18:38:17
    It’ll be our little secret. But you really should lay off the sauce…its not good for the thinking process.
    Well….I guess I should be managing a band in my neck of the woods….but my neck of the woods sucks. I’m slowly working my way in your direction….meet in the middle?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 18:45:50
    Not for a while yet. I’m stuck here, alas.
    You’re absolutely right about the sauce. But are cupcakes good for the thinking process? I think not, Wench. (Note the capital — it’s your name now, not an insult. Even though it’s maybe an insulting name, and one I invented. I’m horrible. But I blame the top shelf.)

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-14 20:41:35
    Cupcakes may not be good for the thought process, but they are good for the soul. The sauce is good for nothin’.
    (its not as insulting as most of my other nicknames are…or as rude…trust me)
    Stuck there? No one is stuck anywhere….its where you want to be. Or at least need to be for the time..so it works.
    Yes, you are horrible. I blame the top shelf as well. Must be some good stuff.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 08:20:33
    Well, it’s more a matter of “need” than “want” in my case. But you’re right, Dr. Debbie. May I have some meds with that?
    Alas, even the top shelf makes for hangovers. I have one at the moment. But I’m speaking purely metaphorically. Didn’t touch a drop last night.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-15 10:07:21
    Dr. Debbie…hmm….I could get used to that. Medicine? All I have is the illegal stuff….will that do?
    I’m glad your hangover is metaphorical….mine isn’t. Blasted top shelf! Too many drops consumed last night while my friend and I plotted my escape from the mental institution I have found myself living in.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 10:31:41
    Oh, the illegal stuff would most certainly do. But did you really drink only top-shelf stuff? And you have a hangover due to mere drops? Come now. Surely it was great heaping swallows. Not that you can be blamed, living in a mental institution. I hope you escape soon. And don’t forget everything you need to make me some damned cupcakes. Or shortcake. No decision yet.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-15 10:46:07
    Last night? Yeah…mostly whiskey. And yes…mere drops of whiskey can turn me into a…oh, well, you don’t need to know THAT. There was a lot of it consumed, I’m not sure if it was drops or heaping swallows (as you so wonderfully put it)…but it pretty much did me in.
    Don’t worry….when I move, everything in my kitchen will come with me. Cupcakes or shortcake there will surely be. Or just plain cake. Or pie. I made cherry pie today. It was tasty.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 10:54:07
    I hope it was good whiskey, at least. And you appear to have survived to the point of making a cherry pie.
    Say, is that an option? Because, between cupcakes, shortcake, and cherry pie, I’d probably go with the last.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-15 11:28:48
    Its an option. I’m pretty good at the baking, so pretty much anything is an option.
    It was good whiskey. I generally never feel too bad after drinking good liquor, but if I over do it with beer or the cheap stuff I feel awful the next day. Coffee helped my cause today, though, or else I may never have made it to the gym or run all my errands. Or made the pie. But I was craving the pie, and there were the cherries just sitting in my fridge, doing nothing. So i thought..what the hell?

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-15 15:24:08
    I feel I must chime in here, especially as references to my previously being a bartender keep popping up. And I hope I don’t come off as sounding all snooty and cleverer-than-thou, as it’s just a piece of trivia that I like, and like to share with people (also, Duke, you’ll need to notice this when we open Nevermore and its sister bar, Forevermore) – whisky should only spelled with an ‘e’ if it’s brewed in America or Ireland. If it was Scotch, then you were drinking whisky, my friend. Also, legally, bourbon can only be called bourbon if it was brewed in Kentucky.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-15 16:00:02
    Whisky it was….I always end up with an ‘e’ in there for some reason.
    Snooty Australian. You’re worse than Duke.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 16:29:22
    How, exactly? Anyway, he’s better-looking.
    I’m sure I’ve gotten that ‘e’ thing wrong from time to time, though I was aware that it only applied to the products of certain countries. But I almost never drink Scotch; it’s all Irish whiskey if I can help it — Jameson in particular.
    Did you notice if I got it wrong in BFL, Simon, you snotty Aussie?

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-15 16:37:29
    How is he worse than you? Who knows…I’m bored…thought I’d see if I could get a rise. Apparently not.
    You’re both good looking….stop fishing for compliments. Besides…I think you are taller and that always wins in my book. But then again….he’s very funny…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 16:53:03
    Well, you got a rise from me. Want one from Simon? Call him and say the word “cock.” That’ll do it. Besides, he may have yet to see your merciless attack on him. And I’ll bet you anything he’s taller than me. And, no, I’m not fishing for compliments. I’m ugly, that’s all, and it will take many, many compliments before I’m convinced otherwise. Now, take that hint, why don’t you?
    Of course you realize I’m going to be murdered by Brad Listi if this post supplants one of his own in the Most Comments box.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-15 17:30:04
    So, I’m contributing to the demise of D.R. Haney? Cool. I feel like I may be accomplishing something this year after all.
    You do know I’m screwing with you, right? I’ve never met either of you…so I couldn’t really say either way who is worse. I’ll take your hint and tell you what you can do with it. You haven’t seen merciless yet.
    I still think you’re handsome and there’s nothing you can say to make me think otherwise. So there.

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-15 17:52:16
    Actually, I get the feeling that you’ve got the drop on me height-wise; I come in at 6 foot and from photos, you look to be taller than that.
    I couldn’t tell you on BFL – that’s a note I’ll make to myself for when I come around to re-reading.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 20:28:50
    Well, trust me, Simon, I got “whiskey” right in BFL. Damn you. Damn you and your expert English.
    I’m six-one and a half, but I could’ve sworn that you were taller than that from the photos I‘ve seen. But height is overrated, I think. I’ve never seen that many advantages to it, except maybe drunken strangers are less inclined to fuck with me.
    Oh, and yes, Debbie, you’ve now contributed mightily to my demise. I haven’t checked, but I’m sure this post has now passed Brad’s on that list. Meantime, if I move up any further, Nick may well join him in a necktie party. But what was I to do? Ignore all of the fine people who so kindly commented? I had to comment back. I just had to.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-16 06:27:11
    Really? I would’ve guessed you at the 6′3 – 6′4 range. I guess you just look like a big dude.
    Yeah…people are less likely to fuck with taller people…but when you stand 5′3 and a half, people fuck with you daily. I should know…..
    I understand your predicament. You can’t really ignore the people who comment…that would be rude. But on the other hand….you don’t really want to die either, do you? Quite the predicament you’ve gotten yourself in sir.
    Fuck..311 comments? I’d get a head start if I were you.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-16 15:17:22
    I’m headed for the hills any minute now.
    I’m a bit like Jason in BFL, or an object in a rearview mirror: I appear larger than I really am.
    Hope you’re well after your recent bump. Wow. Only have time at the moment to jot a quick note, headed as I am for the hills and all.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-17 09:06:05
    eh…I’ll survive.
    The good news is that I finally have a chance to catch up on my reading.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-17 21:32:37
    I’m glad you see the silver lining where I’d be inclined to see the dark cloud.
    BFL just got reviewed in Maximum RocknRoll by the way — the hardcore bible. It was a good review, overall. The writer, a chick, had problems with Irina, natch, and was taken aback at certain bits that failed the PC test. But that’s to be expected with Maximum RocknRoll.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-18 08:06:04
    There is always a silver lining when the prescription is an hour a day in the hot tub and a joint to relax the muscles. (I have a super low tolerance for pain meds)
    Fuck the PC test. Who says you have to pass it anyway? I don’t hate Irina. She irritates me a little, but thats mostly because I’ve been her. I think at certain point in life most of us (women) have been her or known someone who has.
    Thats great about the review! But why does a magazine that calls itself Maximum RocknRoll want you to be more PC? You’d think it would be the opposite.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-18 11:16:39
    MRR was founded by a neo-hippie commie (now dead) who projected his agenda onto punk and policed it for any suggestion of the reactionary. That trend continues. Still, overall, as I said before, it was a good review.
    I’m glad that you have a low tolerance for pain meds and are instead spending an hour a day in the hot tub. Otherwise you might end up like Rush Limbaugh — a terrifying fate, as I’m sure you’d agree.

    Comment by Debbie
    2009-08-18 11:24:48
    You mean overweight prick, full of myself with my head jammed clear up my ass? Not to mention a republican?
    That will never happen, Haney. I can promise you that.
    My drugs are much more fun than Limbaugh’s and they help me to function like a half normal human. Besides, there aren’t any dependency issues with pot…unlike oxycontin.
    I’m glad it was a good review.
    Oh! I’m almost finished with your book! I told you I would.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-19 11:22:59
    I always await this moment with trepidation — when people near the end of the book, I mean.
    Oh, and there was no promise needed with regard to the Limbaugh thing, because in order to morph into him, the first thing you would need is grow is a tiny, tiny penis. Plus your heart would have to shrink to match it.
    Never happen, as you said.

    Comment by Mary
    2009-08-13 10:40:49
    For a really intense perspective on the 60s and the Manson murders, I highly recommend Joan Didion’s Slouching Toward Bethlehem if you haven’t already read it. Didion is freaking incredible.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 11:08:48
    I’m a Didion admirer, in fact. But did she also write about the killings in Bethlehem? I know she did in The White Album. She covered the Manson trial as a journalist and remained friendly with Linda Kasabian, the prosecution’s star witness, for a period afterwards. She was also acquainted with the Polanskis.
    Didion wrote perhaps the most famous of all quotes about the Manson case: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true. The tension broke that day. The paranoia was fulfilled.”

    Comment by Mary
    2009-08-13 11:26:59
    Oh, I had White Album and Bethlehem confused. Actually, it was the title essay of Bethlehem that I loved perhaps the most out of anything I’ve read by her, but in generally I’m overwhelmed with how she’s able to take a bird’s eye view of an entire decade in those essays… The only thing I think she really didn’t use the bird’s eye view on was The Year of Magical Thinking.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 11:34:06
    I wonder if the death of her husband contributed to any change of style with Year? She mentions in that book that he was always her de facto editor, as she was his.
    For me, all of Bethlehem is fantastic. It’s a latter-day American classic. But do you like her fiction? I’m sorry to say that I much prefer her essays.

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-14 15:29:19
    Huh. And I just quoted The Second Coming to someone in an email…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 15:49:29
    Ooo-EEEE-ooo!
    That should be your ringtone, Simon.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-14 15:52:59
    Unfortunately Australia’s cup-and-string telecommunication system doesn’t allow for ringtones….

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 16:07:39
    Simon, did hear that? Another case for using the powers of your convict ancestry to wreak revenge!

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-14 16:08:50
    Hey! You leave our national communication network alone! It’s the envy of many an island-based micronation!

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 18:41:21
    You tell him, Simon! I mean, holy crap, you survive a typhoon, and then this? Have they no decency in Blighty?

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-14 20:37:36
    You’d think they would, after they shipped the criminal element of to Terra Incognita.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 08:28:25
    He’s not biting, damn it. My provocations aren’t working. O, Satan, where did I go wrong?
    Aussies have a rep in the U.S. for being a good-looking lot, so I wonder where Blighty rounded up its criminals. Did models go on a rampage or what?

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-15 12:23:48
    Do they? I suppose SOME of them are not too bad.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 16:17:34
    Surprisingly so, yes. But they’re also seen as sleazy.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-15 18:52:24
    Oh. Fair suck of the sav, cobber.
    Aussies are great, mate. They are fair dinkum good sorts. They like doin’ grouse stuff like rooting and having barbies and watching the footie.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-15 19:31:14
    and… Cha-ching!

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 20:17:37
    Okay, well, now I’m going to have to consult the guide to Aussie slang that my friend Daniel recently sent me by way of further dirtying my mouth. Except I already know about barbies (as does everyone in America) and footie. Oh, and rooting — we already covered that once, huh?

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-15 20:21:14
    Fair go, cobber! You’re a top sheila, Zara. If I could ride Shank’s pony to the land of the sheep shaggers, I’d be off like a blue-arsed fly. instead, I’ll go to Macca’s with Bazza and Shazza, listening to Accer Daccer. It’ll be sick unless we have a prang.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-15 20:30:08
    She’ll be right, mate. Don’t have a prang, you big galah,or I’ll pitch a pink fit. And we don’t want you to come a gutser. Rightio, i’m off to put my togs and jandals on.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-15 20:35:09
    Oh and Duke, someone’s going to spit the dummy big time. Maaaaaate.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 20:38:55
    Meanwhile, back on Earth…

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-15 20:45:01
    Sorry. I was trying to mix it up. You know, get away from the haiku war.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 21:12:57
    No, I think the apologies are mine to make. It was an old and stupid joke. And by pressing ‘Add comment,’ I’ll have sealed my fate.
    Sorry, Nick. Sorry, Brad. Can I at least select my method of execution?

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-15 21:17:50
    Oh I think we need to think big. 3301 would be appropriate, no?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 21:23:55
    Appropriate, yes, but, as Mick Jagger once sang, I ain’t got that much jam.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-15 21:26:10
    So close, but no haiku. One syllable too long.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 22:52:31
    Ha! I think you’re right.
    Do you have, like, a syllable meter at the ready?

  3. D.R. Haney says:

    Original comment thread (part two):

    Comment by Zara
    2009-08-13 11:05:29
    Another great post from you, Duke. The movement of your words makes me feel like I’m along for the ride.
    I like the ‘connect the dots’ feel of this piece and I’m glad you didn’t focus on the horrific nature of the killings – it always gives me nightmares and I think people deserve to be remembered for more than they way they died. Your writing gives this a poignancy and sympathy that is much needed I think…
    Incidentally, when I was a journalist, I had a producer who had once written to Manson requesting an interview, the interview was declined but Manson replied and then wrote him letters on a weekly basis. My producer pulled out a stash of these letters for me one day and gave them to me to read.
    I would not touch them. I did not want them near me. Even just being close to a piece of paper on which he had written made me feel ill.
    My producer read out some of the letters and it was all just bullshit rambling. Just fucking nonsense. Pages and pages of shit.
    Anyway, fantastic piece. As always.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 11:24:31
    Manson was always full of gibberish. That’s why it’s so surprising, to me at least, that he could attract and control followers. I can barely stand to listen to the guy for more than two minutes. He’s only interesting in theory.
    I’m glad you like the piece. I did try to keep the gruesome details to a minimum, bearing in mind something that Mr. Olear had said to me about reading TNB while eating cereal in the morning. I don’t think the Manson murders, or any others, go well with cereal. And yet that’s the way they’re often “consumed,” yes?

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 12:55:47
    That sounds awesome. But then I like feeling connected with unequalled figures of evil-doing.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 14:29:02
    To what end, Jim? Does it balance you, somehow? A dollop of evil to even out your overwhelming good?

    Comment by Zara
    2009-08-13 14:34:07
    No, Jim. Believe me, the letters were creepy. I’m usually quite brave, but not with these. Some things you just don’t want to mess around with….

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 14:44:53
    Not even if you’re a ninja?
    Uh-oh. I hope I haven’t started something here.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-13 14:49:05
    I haiku-ed up the screen a bit.
    But hey, have another one:

    Go check your facebook
    cultural exchange is there
    all you need to know.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 14:50:09
    I just find it fascinating having that closeness. It’s exciting.
    Like standing in the spot Hitler stripped Jews of rights in Germany. Or looking at his favourite cafe table.
    It brings it home, makes it real.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:12:30
    Facebook I will check
    when I have run my errands
    which I still postpone

    And here’s one for you, Jim:

    There are certain things
    that I don’t want to make real
    I’m perverse that way

    ‘Cause, see, I already am perverse — oh, never mind.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 15:17:30
    Really when I was standing there all I could think was:
    ‘This is TNB dynamite! If only Greta Garbo were here…’

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:24:29
    And flashing a bit of ankle?

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 15:31:25
    Maybe even some calf.
    The calf is like the booby of the limbs… Or is it the ass…
    calf… ass… both animals. Weird.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:43:44
    Not so weird. Caveman stuff. Animals still figure greatly in our thinking. I mean, without birds, could we even have conceived of flight?

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 16:02:36
    of course in Britain it’s ‘arse’ which sounds frightfully posh.
    the phrase ‘frightfully posh’ also sounds frightfully posh.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 20:18:43
    Are you at all posh, Jim? Or maybe, in the UK, one is either posh or isn’t, with no shades of gray. The class game runs a little differently in America, even though it’s definitely there, as much as Americans try to pretend it isn’t.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-13 20:43:21
    It’s arse here too. We all have corrupted british accents. Not from convict stock, mind.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 23:37:07
    I’m not really posh at all. Some people in this country think I’m posh because I speak properly.
    Someone told me sounded like Prince Harry. I don’t think I do.
    I say ‘awesome’ too much to be posh.
    Middle Class I am.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 01:56:20
    We’re back to teasing the Aussies about their convict forebears, are we, Zara? Well, go ahead. There’s no Simon Smithson to offend. We can say whatever we bloody like about Aussies now.
    And, Jim, I have a feeling Prince Harry, at least, says “Awesome!” all the time. Particularly when he’s attired as a storm trooper.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-14 02:05:32
    I thought that costume was hilarious.
    ”Hey! I know what’ll make for a great outifit…!”

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 02:14:00
    Frankly, I was relieved that a member of the Royal Family for once seemed like a human being. He seemed like someone you wouldn’t necessarily want to slap silly, as you do most of the others, though I do have a soft spot for the Queen. She strikes me as a good egg.
    Too bad he had to wear a hair shirt for a while afterward.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-14 03:12:12
    Oh you know.. I just couldn’t resist taking a swipe. Nor can I resist the lure of a haiku on Jimmy’s Page. So I shall submit….

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-14 06:26:47
    Jimmy’s Page sounds like a one man Led Zep tribute act.

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-14 15:30:15
    You just wait. I’ll use all the powers of my convct ancestry to wreak revenge!

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-14 15:37:54
    Sorry, Simon. Couldn’t resist. IOU – one sheep joke.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 15:53:10
    But I thought it was Kiwis who were ordinarily the butt of sheep jokes. Or is this a private thing between the two of you?
    Oh, and Simon, had you not noted the Led Zeppelin thing, I would’ve been forced to.
    I dodged a bullet. I owe you, man. I owe you, big time.

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-14 16:10:19
    It’s absolutely the Kiwis. I guess I get to make one without fear of punitive measures now, to balance out the score.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-14 16:16:41
    Nothing gets past you guys does it????

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 18:36:13
    Should it, Zara?
    Wait. Do you mean nothing gets past me and Simon, or nothing gets past the Ockers?
    No matter. I’m just trying to provoke an argument. Also, I owe you a haiku, since you wrote one way above that I never addressed.

    No sheep jokes from me
    I’m vulnerable to them
    My father keeps sheep

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-14 18:39:29
    I’ve warned you before
    I may be small but I’m quick:
    Remember the stars.

    Oh and there’s another couple I think on your magical pig porn post. Riiiiight at the end.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-14 18:42:16
    Wait! I’m confused.. they’re on Jim’s board. Not the porn pig piece. Fucking haiku’s everywhere….

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 18:43:11
    As ever, we exist in SimonSmithsonland. I said just made the same comment a second ago, below. But don’t I owe you one on Jim’s recent post as well?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 18:48:49
    My God, Zara, check the time code. We were leaving the same message, more or less, only seconds apart.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-14 18:49:07
    I think I want your haiku on my OWN board.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 18:51:30
    You’ve more than earned the right.
    Why don’t we just turn TNB into an all-haiku site? It seems to be headed that way.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-14 18:53:54
    Hmm. I think we must have some weird ass connection happening. What with me tipping you over the milestones and leaving the same messages… I may have to consult my cosmic almanac.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 19:00:04
    It’s true. I noted that you were the one who pushed Jim to a record number of comments, and you’ve obviously done the same with me — more than once.
    Unfortunately, it appears that this post may be headed for the TNB Hall of Fame — which means that I may be bound for the chopping block via Brad and Nick and perhaps at least one other person.
    On the other hand, by way of protest, I may not have the cooperation I did last time by one very, very special Kiwi.
    I did mention that you’re very, very special, yes? May I add another “very” to that?

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-14 19:13:18
    You may add as many as you like. I’ll take each and every one.
    Did I mention that as well as being the Queen of Haiku, I am also the Queen of Cooperation?
    I’m in all the way.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 19:15:09
    And I was only just commenting on your wrath, way down below. How could I ever have doubted Her Majesty?
    I’m shocked, by the way, that this piece seems to have done well. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I figured it was too long and the subject matter would be too off-putting.
    But, to tell you the truth, it’s the first thing I’ve posted on TNB about which I felt really proud. It just felt more complete to me, somehow, than the other things I’ve done.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-14 19:18:59
    Wrath? Me? I’m a kitten.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 19:21:57
    It was a joke referring to the stars.
    But kittens do have claws, you know.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-14 19:29:11
    In response to your above response: You are mad. All of your posts have been complete, nicely wrapped, beautifully written numbers. I understand what you are saying though, my part 2 that I just posted, I absolutely hated. Hated writing it, didn’t like the way I wrote it, and yet other people seemed to like it – for which I am very grateful.
    I think this was a great post, and I like the way the comments have taken off and over.. pushing the freak spirit of Manson away..
    oh, and kittens only have little claws. they don’t do any real damage. Unlike ninja stars.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 19:34:56
    Is that a threat?
    As for what you say about your new post, it just goes to show, because I thought and think it went beautifully with your first. Together they amount to very funny, very honest tale.
    But of all the things I’ve read by you, I think “The Silk Parachute” may be my favorite. It was so moving and so well done. I was actually pissed that it didn’t receive more recognition in the way of comments.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-14 19:40:52
    You are such a sweetheart.
    How can I make any threats when you say such kind things?
    Goddamn it. You’ve taken all the ninja wind out of my sails.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 19:52:27
    Check Jim’s post and your own. That may put the fire back in you.

    Comment by wade
    2009-08-13 11:18:29
    great post dick.
    as u know, i have a moderate fascination with the whole serial/mass thing. i’ve read a lot about this particular case and what i find most interesting about it is how *interesting* it is. like you said, his overall numbers aren’t all that impressive, gary ridgeway took 80 something working alone. it’s how it went down, but more so what lead to how it went down. the psychiatry behind manson and his *wives* is pretty intense. his mom was a hooker, he was in jail half his life by 32. he stood 5′2″, i mean, who the fuck is 5′2″ (’cept peewee)? anyway, i’m mumbling…my point….what surprises me most about the 40 year anniversary, and having lived in la for 7 of those years, is that i’m yet to see the headlines read, “disgruntled actor joe blow refused part in Bad Boys 10 and drives to maroon 5 house and kills paris hilton, lindsay lohan, orlando bloom, tori spelling, and usher, along with other nobodys, all within 10 seconds of machine gun fire”.
    the point being, i’m surprised that 40 years has passed and the tate murder has held up as number 1 arguably. i realize that the fashion in how it was executed (and tried, and convicted, and a forehead swat etc…) is perhaps more famous than the murder itself, but you’d think by now it would’ve been outdone in the hollywood world. i guess it’s something else you can chalk up to us being the most boring generation since the middle ages…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 12:03:57
    Nice comment, dick. (I’m cracking up at having written that.)
    You know, I’m not convinced that Manson was 5′2″. I swear I’ve seen photos of him looking taller. But whatever his dimensions, that was a singular case. I mean, everything about it is weird, and I can’t blame our generation or any other for failing to produce one of similar stature. It has rich and famous victims, girl killers, mind control — you name it, it’s there. It’s a criminal case for the ages.
    But I do wish that Joe Blow would lose that part in Bad Boys 10 and attempt the revenge you’ve outlined. I’ll stop short of wishing him success — except in the case of Paris Hilton.
    On the other hand, if it happened and she were contacted via seance, she’d no doubt brag about having supplanted Sharon Tate in the murdered-blonde department, just as she’s bragged about being today’s answer to Marilyn Monroe.
    Please, Joe Blow! We’re counting on ya!

    Comment by wade |
    2009-08-13 17:04:04
    i totally agree about it being a case for the ages. and nothing in todays world could offer such stature. however, i think with the sensationalism of “hollywood”, and “fame for being famous”, and reality tv, and the perpetual dumbing down of our friendly neighbors in this generation there is the potential for some serious impact respectively. catch my drift? at all? i would bet 99% of todays youth only know the name charles manson in passing (they are the same ones that don’t know the capital of the state where they live). If the jonas brothers were murdered at disney world, it would be quite a headline (not to you or me dick). historically, obviously, it would have zero impact. i read today that woodstock just turned 40, and once again, we haven’t come close. a hippy fest famous for 40 years (and forevermore). i guess my point through all this banter is that i feel like our society would be easy to shock, because we are used to nothing happening. 911 was pretty intense, but that was more like war. an isolated attack on our beloved still has the ability to raise feathers, however it is pitched, and i’m personally shocked (and thankful, in ways) that it doesn’t happen more often…i love you.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 20:57:14
    Any mention of the Jonas Brothers and Disney in the same phrase is bound to remind me of that South Park episode. Did you see it? If not, here’s a link. Go to 2:47 or so for the really good bit.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w5Le0w4pQ8
    In a strange way, I think the Manson murders had a deeper impact on America than 9/11. Obviously, 9/11 had a huge effect on foreign policy, but I don’t really see that it changed American culture. Everyone was shocked for a few minutes and then everything went back to normal. That was what shocked me, because I’d just returned from Serbia, where people had been through this awful wars and seemed profoundly altered by them, and I thought, “It’s going to take something that dramatic to alter America.” And then something dramatic did happen, and a few weeks later everyone was watching the same ridiculous TV shows and listening to the same awful music, and the government was worse than ever and people were actually supporting it. And that remained true all the way through the Bush years. People said, “Oh, well, it’s going to be good for the arts; they always flourish during times like this.” But that didn’t prove to be true, and so far Obama hasn’t had any galvanizing effect on the arts either — not that I can see.
    I love you, too, dick.

    Comment by wade
    2009-08-13 11:22:23
    …oh, and i wish i would’a been there with you and your friend that night. the two mysterious people coming and going sounds like the most interesting thing that’s happened in LA since Sharon Tate was murdered by tex watson and a bunch of models in the Hollywood Hills. I heard it was bloody…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 12:08:52
    I’ll tell you this much: you would’ve learned a lot about the case from Mary. I certainly learned a lot for the two hours or so that we were parked outside the house.
    I wish I hadn’t loaned out the tape of Roman Polanski’s lie-detector test that Mary made for me a few years ago. I never got it back. But it was riveting.
    Oh, and check out some of those links I planted in the piece — talk about riveting!

    Comment by Greg Olear
    2009-08-13 11:33:50
    Excellent account, as usual. I love when you write about underground pop cultural LA stuff. And I’m with Nick, creepy car rides are fun.
    My $.02 on the continuing popularity of Manson is this: he’s still with us. You write about him in the past tense, but the fucker’s still alive and well. If there’s a compelling argument for the death penalty, he’s it. If a cop had just blown his head off all those years ago, I don’t know that the story would have the same impact. It’s almost like he got away with it, in a sense.
    As for brainwashing, that’s a load of crap. It’s not the same as following Hitler — that’s not something most Germans had much of a choice about (as Littell demonstrates so well in The Kindly Ones). Killing a pregnant woman in cold blood, under those circumstances? Not to get all Hammurabi here, but you waive your right to sympathy.
    I’m not necessarily pro-death-penalty, but, put it this way: if they decided to fry Chuck, I wouldn’t attend the amnesty rally.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 11:40:38
    I didn’t mean your average Nazi party member. Membership of the Nazi party became compulsory for pretty much every job in Germany.
    I was referring to the fuckers who worshipped at the Reich churches, believed Hitler to be a saviour, worked the gas chambers etc. The ones who were REALLY into the whole trip.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 12:30:48
    Greg, I’ve gone back and forth on whether Manson’s followers were brainwashed. There’s a lot to support an argument either way.
    For example, members of the Family came and went, and Bruce Davis, who was one of Manson’s most fervent followers (later convincted in the murder of Shorty Shea, a ranch hand believed to be a snitch by Manson), even went to England for a very long spell, where he may or may not have killed the estranged husband of Sandra Good, yet another of Manson’s most fervent followers.
    At the same time, as I was putting this piece together, I was struck by that picture of the girls outside the courthouse. They clearly share the same mind, so to speak, just as, if you see interviews of the Family members from that time, they all behave peculiarly the same, with the same crazed look in their eyes. Brainwashing, or folie a famille? Or are they one and the same?
    I can’t argue with you about the death penalty in this case. They were unbelievably savage crimes — and apparently they were intended to be far worse, but, at the Tate house anyway, things got out of hand and the killers left early, so to speak, because they thought the victims’ screams might cause the police to appear.
    Oh, and you’re right that I wrote about Manson as if he were no longer around, but I suppose that’s because, to me, he might as well be dead, his brain is so scrambled. I mean, it always was, but he’s now utterly incoherent. Were you aware that he was set on fire a few years ago by a fellow inmate? That may have been the final nail in his mental coffin.

    Comment by Greg Olear
    2009-08-13 13:02:40
    Folie a famille. I love it! (Note: I don’t mean that sarcastically; I love the casual deployment on French phrases. And you’ll see when you read TK). If your brain is washed to that degree, it’s gone. At some point, you choose to go to the Dark Side, and from there you cannot return. Not in this life, anyway.
    I did not know he was set on fire. That restores my faith in the criminal justice system somewhat…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 13:53:44
    Is this French-phrase thing part of the Simon Smithson syndrome? It appears to be happening quite a bit on this board.
    About brainwashing: I’m wondering if it can only happen if you somehow allow it. Patty Hearst, for instance, said she decided during her captivity with the SLA that she would do anything it took to survive. Also, I’m reminded of the old saying that no con game can take place where there isn’t a willingness to be duped.
    Your remark about the criminal justice system has produced a much-needed chuckle, thanks.

    Comment by Erika
    2009-08-13 11:57:55
    So I started reading your post very unaware of what the topic being I am not at all knowledgeable in the Manson murder cases.
    Half way through I stopped, closed my laptop, and pushed it aside because I was getting spooked, overactive imagination and all. After 10 minutes of inner conflict my curiosity won and I finished reading and very glad I did.
    This was totally interesting I must say. I like how you weaved the story without all the disgusting details of the murders themselves, which was why I was scared to go through with my first attempt at reading this. But as mentioned I am glad I did. I learned more about the case without making myself sick, however I will still continue to lock all my doors and wake up at least once a night to ensure I did indeed lock the doors.
    Great post Duke.
    P.s. I forgot to mention to you a while ago that I finished reading and I truly loved BFL. Excellent, excellent job.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 12:58:39
    Thanks on all accounts, Erika, but especially for your kind words about BFL. I’m glad it went down well for you.
    I’m afraid it’s a good idea to keep your doors locked. I personally know people who’ve looked up to find strangers in their homes, and I once got a knock on the door at three in the morning from an apparently crazy woman who begged me to let her inside. Freaked me the fuck out.
    And I did, by the way, try to keep the gruesome details to a minimum, as I wrote somewhere above. It’s a deeply upsetting case, and my interest in it started because I was, frankly, so disturbed by it when I learned about it as a child that eventually I forced myself to learn more by way of facing down the fear it put in me. But that’s not a therapeutic method I’d recommend to everyone.

    Comment by Erika
    2009-08-13 23:53:06
    Hey Comment King!
    I just jumped online to check if you had read my comment in regards to my love of BFL and had to scroll down for what seemed forever. Very cool.
    Anyhow BFL did go down well so much so that my coworkers are now passing it around. I do have to mention that through out the story I never got to disliking Irina as expected due to what was said about the typical female response to her character, in your interview with Megan. I actually was kinda sympathetic towards her.
    As for keeping doors locked I have to include car doors as well. Just last week I had a run in with a crazy lady as well. I was in my car on my way to work and trying to get on to the main street from my street when I saw this crazy cracked out looking lady standing at the corner. This was pretty weird because I don’t live in a bad neighborhood. Anyhow she started walking, which I believed she was just doing to get across the street, but I was wrong. She walked up to my passenger window and started pounding on it. I typically try to help others who seem distressed but she was just straight fucking scary. She was totally unkempt being she was missing teeth wearing a brown colored sweat suit (it was about 108 degrees that day) shock full of stains, dirty, greasy hair, both her wrist were covered with bandages and she held a cigarette in one hand and a bottle of booze in the other. Needless to say I was scared shitless.
    She was pounding on my window yelling at me to let her in and when I yelled at her to go away she started pounding harder then tried opening both passenger side doors. I was freaking out because I couldn’t drive forward or put the car in reverse to get away from her in fear that I would run her over. I couldn’t really make out what she was shouting about but spit was now flying out of her mouth on to my window, which she had gone back to pounding. I finally grabbed my cell phone and yelled at her that I was going to call the police. With that she called me a “fucking cunt” the walked back to the corner. I speed away as soon as I had the opportunity to. All this took place in broad daylight too and no one was around to witness this insane occurrence. I am completely surprised that I didn’t cry.
    I am a totally pansy -hence my fear of going through with the original attempt of reading this post- I cant even watch scary movies. So unlike you I prefer to live in denial rather than undertake something as facing down my fear in these types of situations. Sadly I’m a girlie girl and will take silly any day of the week over scary and disturbing.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 15:57:18
    I think “silly” is an excellent way to survive, whereas “scary and disturbing” aren’t, obviously. I’m sure that suicide stats will bear me out.
    Meantime, your crazy-lady story necessitates that you read the following:
    http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/lzion/2009/06/the-little-person-incident/
    I’m glad that you were sympathetic to Irina. She’s a good girl, I think; just confused. And I can’t thank you enough for passing the book around to your co-workers. That’s the only way it can hope to build any following.
    But tell me, if you don’t mind and if I’m not being rude to ask, where exactly you work. I’m picturing you as a glamorous showgirl. Please don’t disappoint me!

    Comment by Erika
    2009-08-15 10:54:41
    Wow the comments just keep doubling on this post! They are like Gremlins…just add water.
    I had ready Lenore’s story before but reread it and laughed my as off. Fucking people are nuts.
    The part that gets me in my situation is when I relayed the story to my best friend of 22 years, she commented on how these sorts of things always happen to me. Which blew my mind because I can’t really recall anything like this happening before. But I will have to take her word for it because I have the worst memory ever. She constantly has to remind me of the hijinx we used to get into in the 5th grade or the “ground breaking news” I broke to her the week before. It really is that bad…I blame the drugs I did in my youth for it.
    Anyhow as for Irina I wouldn’t say she is a good girl because there was some manipulation on her part to both Jason and her husband (sorry I cant recall his name right now being that the book is not in my hand and of course my bad memory and all). But I can understand her selfishness in wanting to have her cake and eat it too. In my mind she was very aware of her actions, knowingly did wrong and this doesn’t make for being a good girl. So I will agree with you on her being “confused”. However I did dislike Astrid. Her character was the type that makes me want to kick ass.
    I don’t think it’s rude of you at all to inquire about my occupation however now I’m in a tough spot of telling you the truth and disappointing you or being a liar. So I’ll be a liar!
    Yes I am a glamorous showgirl. I lead a very exotic life of sequence, feathers and jeweled undergarments. I perform nightly shows at the Tropicana while posing with
    the mayor and tourist in front of the Welcome to Las Vegas sign during the day. I drink nothing but champagne, except when I’m with the Mayor because he is a gin guy, as well as bathe in it whilst on the phone with Steve Wynn and Carrot Top. In between my entertaining and photo taking I help Roy with his physical therapy and help train the lions in gratitude being they were the ones to give me my big shot as a showgirl.
    Hope that doesn’t disappoint.
    P.S. Thank you for going with showgirl and not exotic dancer.
    However the description I gave of the showgirl attire could have easily been in regards to the exotic dancer.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 23:17:28
    Yeah, the comments are crazy, huh?
    My ex was always getting into strange situations with strangers. She was a weirdo magnet. I used to be a weirdo magnet, but at some point that stopped. If I knew how it stopped, I would pass along the technique, but it’s just one of those things that happened, much as I somehow went from being the lonely guy in a bar to the guy that others want to befriend; I don’t know how or why.
    No need to apologize for failing to remember the name of Irina’s husband. Only the writer should have to remember such things. But I think, deep down, Irina is a good girl — or she’s destined to become one, which is more what I was trying to say (but didn’t). I even feel some sympathy for Astrid, who’s pushing forty and still unmarried and desperately seeking love, though she goes about in all the wrong ways.
    But you know what I find really charming and flattering? That you say: “Her character was the kind that makes me want to kick ass.” That’s the highest praise for a writer, or this writer: when his (or her) characters can elicit that kind of strongly expressed feeling.
    Oh, and thanks for not disappointing on the showgirl front. Have you been watching movies about the 1920s? I mean, taking baths in champagne… But I think I developed this idea of you being a showgirl because you’ve frequently mentioned the bright lights of Vegas, and for me that conjures images of runways and fending off the advances of Penn Gillette.
    Poor Roy. It’s really good of you to help with his physical therapy.

    Comment by Erika
    2009-08-16 10:28:14
    I don’t think I am a weirdo magnet but feel like I tend to get myself into odd and interesting scenarios. Half of them being worthy of being categorized under the Vegas legendary tale category and the others…I have yet to find an appropriate name for their category. I will however have to get an outside opinion from others to concur on my belief of weirdo magnet to weird scenario theory and get back to you on that.
    As mentioned before I have a very overactive imagination, which is why I love to read. I get to picture characters, as I want them to be which makes it-in my crazy mind- seem like I know them personally. Hence invoking the wanting to kick some ass feelings.
    Not to sound like a raging feminist but your comment of Astrid “pushing forty and still unmarried” makes me want to scream. I agree with you that she probably is going about finding love the wrong way but who is actually going about it the right way? I found her character so bothersome because she was weak and let her desperation run her life where I was sympathetic to Irina because she was a strong character in charge of her own destiny but just confused on which path to take (the one with least or more resistance).
    Sorry about that…. just realized they are fictional characters.
    As for me mentioning the bright lights of Vegas frequently I was totally unaware of that. Ha! I am always so aloof to certain things I do or say. Anyhow I guess it’s a Vegas resident thing. Reno’s stories tend to mention them often as well. Maybe because it’s something we can’t escape…like moths to a flame. I haven’t actually been watching much TV. as late but the last movie I did netflix was Gentlemen prefer blondes that might have had something to do with the showgirl description or maybe it was the article I read about Dita Von Teese.
    Penn Gillette is actually a really nice guy as is his wife…. Carrot Top on the other hand is a 5-stage pervert. He is the one most females have to fend off…totally disgusting. Yes, poor Roy who to this very day still defends his beloved feline who almost put him in his grave.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-16 15:30:41
    Funny; I always heard that Carrot Top was gay. Penn Gillette, meantime, is a big (literally so) punk-rock guy. He personally put out at least one record by Half Japanese. Friends have suggested that I somehow get a copy of BFL to him.
    Ummm, Erika….? (I jest.)
    You recently watched Gentlemen Prefer Blondes? Great movie, directed by a true Hollywood master, Howard Hawkes, who was incidentally friends with both Faulkner and Hemingway. (He once asked Hemingway if he wanted to adapt his novel To Have and Have Not for the screen. Hemingway declined, and Hawkes said, “Fine, I’ll ask Faulkner to do it. He’s a better writer than you anyway.”) And then there’s Marilyn Monroe, who was a comedic genius and never looked or acted better than she did in Gentlemen.
    What I said about Astrid wasn’t my opinion of her; rather, I think it’s the way she sees herself. I’m sure she’s very aware that the clock is ticking and so on. I count myself a feminist, incidentally. And I’m glad you see Irina as strong. I’d never thought about her in that way, not particularly, but she certainly doesn’t take any lip from Jason. That’s no doubt part of his attraction to her. She can slam a door with the best of them.
    Now to run some errands amid the dull lights of L.A. Watch yourself around Carrot Top. Jesus, talk about a weirdo! Don’t be his magnet, no matter how many drugs you did in days of old.

    Comment by Erika
    2009-08-16 19:44:39
    I don’t know Penn on a personal level, I’ve only met him at certain events in town but I can ask around to see if anyone I know does. Wouldn’t be a problem in the very least.
    I have heard those rumors about Carrot Top as well but I know a girl who actually was desperate enough to fuck him or so she says, making this story even more tragic. I bumped into him a couple months back at the MAC cosmetics counter buying some lip liner which makes me question even more things about his character.
    I LOVED Marylin Monore in Gentlemen but think she was better in Some Like It Hot. Although great story about Howard Hawkes.
    I hope my remark in regards to yours about Astrid didnt come off in anyway angry on paper (or on screen). I always hate how ones tone is never truly understood within these circumstances.
    Anyhow I’ll steer clear from CT being we dont at all run in the same circles despite previous drug history.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-17 23:10:48
    I really was joking about Penn, but, hey, if the opportunity should present itself…
    Meantime, I trust that Carrot Top’s lip liner was orange, and I hope you occasionally send flowers to the poor girl who fucked him. I’m sure they’d brighten her cell in the asylum.
    Oh, and MM in Some Like it Hot: Yeah, she’s great in that, but I think it was an easier part than the one she had in Gentlemen for one reason: her Gentlemen character isn’t really that nice, being a gold digger, but you always like her — in fact, you love her — and that had everything to do with MM. But, hey, that’s just my opinion. MM was gold in pretty much everything she ever did.
    You didn’t come off as angry at all, by the way, in your remark about Astrid, but I try to be careful in such matters, since, as you say, tone is easily misconstrued online.

    Comment by Nicole
    2009-08-13 12:20:44
    I have to say I’ve never given much thought to Manson, beyond the fact that “The Downward Spiral” was recorded in the home where Sharon Tate was murdered.
    I decided to read this right before jumping in the shower. I think that was a mistake. I had to double check my locks and turn on the house alarm before I felt secure. The insanity and randomness of these murders leaves one feeling so vulnerable.
    Remembering James Irwin’s comment above…
    “Surfers look like sex fiends. Although I get this impression from Point Break, which may be an innacurate portrayal of surfers.”
    …made me chuckle and thankfully alleviated my paranoia and recurring images of the Psycho shower murder scene. So, thank you Mr. Irwin!

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 12:31:46
    I myself am now concerned I may have an horrific dream about Manson tonight.
    Glad to be of service…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 13:46:47
    As I wrote in the post, I’ve had dreams about this case for years. I still have them, and I imagine I’ll continue to do so. It really fucked me up when I heard about the case as a kid, and the effect lingers.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 14:01:20
    Yeah, but I imagine taking it in as a kid is more affecting.
    To me it’s not really that shocking. I mean it’s awful, but nowadays brutal murder is fairly common.
    Rarely as batshit crazy as Manson’s kilings, but still enough to condition you to a sort of apathy and acceptence.
    This is not a good time to be growing up. The kids of the future will be strange individuals. You can sort of see it. I see kids now acting in ways I never did at that age.
    Society has lost it’s innocence— and it probably wasn’t consensual.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 14:02:54
    Only ‘that’ was meant to be in italics.
    hey ho.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 14:25:41
    Duly corrected, though I’ll leave your second message to bump up my comment count. Ha.
    I am truly scared for the future of humanity. Oh, yes. I’ve seen what you’ve seen, I’m sure of it. Some have described the future, as projected, as “post-human.” I’d say that just about it nails it.
    Oh, and regarding the brutality of the Manson killings, I’ll just say this: I saw a re-enactment in a very low-budget movie made in Kansas City (of all places) while the trial was taking place in Los Angeles (the movie is entitled The Helter Skelter Murders), and it brought home to me like nothing before just how awful it was. I mean, you would think the blunt-object blows some of victims suffered would be the least of it, what with all the stabbing and shooting, but when you see someone having his scalp pounded with the butt of a gun again and again and again and again (as happened with one of the victims) — I can’t begin to describe the horror of it.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 14:57:32
    If your bumping up your comments then I’ll mention CCB again!
    It’s set in the near future. Generally it’s quite like and comic throughout so my thoughts on future society are kind of non-existent, save for the more celebrity saturated element of the media.
    However, Part Three is darker and is sort of a satire on where we’re headed. A dark vision of humanity in the 2020s.
    Generally I like movie violence, but based on real events then it becomes… well… horrifying.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    CCB sounds a bit Vonnegut-esque. Is that in any way a fair assessment?
    I like the sound of Part Three very much. I’d be curious to hear your projection of the future, satire or not, O Jedi.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 15:11:21
    Someone said something about one of my short stories being Vonnegut-esque and I would say that CCB owes a lot to Cat’s Cradle, most of it by accident.
    It follows a similar sort of pattern, with a romantically troubled journalist, an imaginary tropical island paradise, bunkers and… something else. I’m desperate to finish it so you can read it and then I can talk about it.
    I’m hoping for Vonnegut-esque. It’s not as clever or original, but there is a little social commentary in there. Mostly nob jokes though.
    Part Three worries me. Part Two was kind of easy to plan, Three is going to be tough though.
    I am very pleased with the plots, ideas and whatnot. If it’s even 1/5th as good as Vonnegut I shall be elated.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:16:54
    Do you plan to include Vonnegut-like drawings and such?

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 15:19:35
    No. I have no artistic talent for it.
    Also, I’d probably be sued by his estate.
    Which was a plot point in the abandoned predecessor to CCB.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:26:06
    It’s not like Vonnegut owned the patent on that kind of thing. The same was done by writers before him.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 15:33:15
    I know. But it’d feel really nasty and hacky to do it.
    Especially just because he did it.
    If I could draw then perhaps…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:41:59
    No, excellent point. You had me at nasty.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 16:05:30
    The writing style borrows enough from him anyway.
    I’m not saying I’m as good as Vonnegut, of course.
    But his writing has affected the style of my writing in the comic tone of the story, so it goes…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 20:29:47
    We all begin by borrowing, and later, if we we’re any good, we’re robbed.
    I see that aphorisms aren’t my forte.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 13:28:14
    In fact, Nicole, I was going to add a link to footage shot at the Tate house during Reznor’s tenure, but for some reason I didn’t. He claimed that he had no idea what had occurred there when he rented the place, which of course is absolute bullshit. He was only best friends with Marilyn Manson at the time (and possibly that’s still the case). He also claimed that the place was haunted — lights going on and off and so on — but his credibility is kind of nil on the subject of Cielo Drive.
    Did you know he saved the front door from the wrecking crew? I read somewhere that it now hangs in his recording studio. Exene Ceveranka of X used to sell chips from the Tate fireplace at a store in L.A. Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring were both killed by the fireplace.
    I hope this comment isn’t going to cause still more anxiety about unlocked doors.

    Comment by Nicole
    2009-08-13 14:23:24
    Oh, of course he knew the history of the house. How ludicrous for him to say otherwise. He built a recording studio in there and named it “Le Pig” after the bloody “pig” message. I did hear of the haunted house claims. Supposedly, Tori Amos tried to cook a turkey dinner there, but the oven was acting strangely. Maybe she just messed up the meal and blamed it on ghosts…
    I do believe in good and bad energy being stored up in locations for a variety of reasons. A Realtor friend of mine manages a rental property where a woman had committed suicide years before. Many people have walked into the home and felt a sense of impending doom and dread and they don’t even know the history of the house. There is a large percentage of people turned off to this home with no concrete evidence as to why they have such negative feelings about it.
    I vaguely remember hearing about the saved front door. It’s a strange keepsake, but then again I saw that Elvis Presley’s old prescription bottles were to be auctioned off to the highest bitter as well. People love the morbid.
    …I’ll go check my doors again…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 14:41:35
    And I was afraid that people would frown on this post for it being so morbid.
    Regarding energy being stored in houses: Mary, who staked out the LaBianca house with me, was telling me that that’s been more or less proved by science.
    It makes sense that Reznor saved the door when you consider that the word PIG was painted on it and he later hung it at his recording studio. (”Le Pig”?) But I think he later admitted to knowing the history of the house and even apologized to the Tate family for moving there.
    I love that story about Tori Amos, though I’m having trouble conjuring an image of her cooking a turkey.

    Comment by Nicole
    2009-08-13 20:39:49
    Yes, energy can be stored up anywhere…good and bad. We have people traveling to Sedona, AZ from all over the globe to be around the supposed energy vortexes there. I’m not sure what scientific tests have been done to prove that these energies exist, but it’s definitely interesting.
    You added a question mark to “Le Pig”….I don’t know the true reason Trent went with that title, but if I’d have to guess, he must have a love for the French. Everyone should love the French!
    I found this Trent interview snippet in Wikipedia…
    Reznor made a statement about working in the Tate house during a 1997 interview with Rolling Stone:
    “While I was working on Downward Spiral, I was living in the house where Sharon Tate was killed. Then one day I met her sister. It was a random thing, just a brief encounter. And she said: ‘Are you exploiting my sister’s death by living in her house?’ For the first time, the whole thing kind of slapped me in the face. I said, ‘No, it’s just sort of my own interest in American folklore. I’m in this place where a weird part of history occurred.’ I guess it never really struck me before, but it did then. She lost her sister from a senseless, ignorant situation that I don’t want to support. When she was talking to me, I realized for the first time, ‘What if it was my sister?’ I thought, ‘Fuck Charlie Manson.’ I went home and cried that night. It made me see there’s another side to things, you know?”
    …I’m glad the gravity of this “weird part of history” struck a cord with him and he was able to look beyond the house as just interesting American folklore.
    Love the man’s music and Tori as well. What an interesting pair to have over for dinner.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 22:17:22
    In fact, before seeing this, I made a comment on Irwin’s recent piece about the superiority of French women. But my question mark had to do with not knowing if Reznor’s recording studio is still named Le Pig — assuming he continues to have a recording studio, as he must. And the Wikipedia quote is what I must have dimly recalled about his mea culpa.
    Funny that he and Tori Amos are friendly. They seem so incompatible, musically.
    Oh, and I know a celebrity who used to live in Sedona because she was attracted to the vortex said to exist there, though that was something I heard from others and not from her. I always thought it was because it looks like a deeply spiritual place, but, hell, what do I know?

    Comment by Nicole
    2009-08-14 06:59:20
    I’ll have to go read your comments on Irwin’s recent story. I can’t argue with you…I wish I had more French blood running through my veins.
    I believe Trent’s studio name is simply, Nine Inch Nails right now. I couldn’t find anything on the internet to say otherwise.
    Yet, if you read interviews of Trent and Tori talking about one another you see they have a love for each others music. Tori uses “Nine Inch Nails” in her lyrics of “Precious Things” and she put “Pretty Hate Machine” in her lyrics to “Caught A Lite Sneeze”. And Trent sings backing vocals on Tori’s song, “Past the Mission”. It is interesting for them to be friendly. It’s corky and unexpected. I find it endearing of both of them.
    Haha, maybe you should go to Sedona and test out these vortexes for yourself. They have tours to take you to different energy “hot spots”. I haven’t tried out one of these tours, but there is something more than just the spiritual, “at peace” beauty of the surroundings. Call me crazy…I’m a believer.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 15:17:13
    I won’t call you crazy. I’m open-minded about such matters, though I’m not yet a believer.
    I’m not nearly as familiar with the music of Amos as I am of Reznor’s, so that surely accounts for my ignorance in this matter. But do you know if Reznor and Marilyn Manson are still friends? I seem to recall that there was bad blood between them for a spell.
    Marilyn Manson, by the way, recently threatened a friend of mine over a piece she wrote for the L.A. Weekly. He didn’t at all care for the way he was portrayed, but she was quoting someone else, not personally editorializing. Those rock stars and their out-of-hand egos!

    Comment by Nicole
    2009-08-14 17:20:03
    All the more reason to visit Sedona…you may get some positive mojo out of it. Who knows?
    Yeah, Trent and Marilyn are definitely moving in different directions. They are not the chums they used to be. Here’s a recent interview with Trent regarding Marilyn…not much love there…
    http://www.spinner.com/2009/06/01/trent-reznor-slams-marilyn-manson/
    Hmm, what was the quote that got Marilyn Manson so worked up? It’s not the first time unkind words were spoken of him. You would think he’d have a thicker skin built up by now.
    Regarding Tori Amos, I would definitely recommend you give her more of a listen. She is absolutely amazing in concert! Love, love, love her!

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 18:16:10
    I always enjoyed reading interviews with Amos when I came across them. She seems interesting.
    Feuds like the one between Reznor and Marilyn Manson interest me from a writing point of view, since they overlap so much with my usual subject matter. I had an exchange after another piece I wrote about the ongoing weirdness between Pete Doherty and Carl Barat of the Libertines, courtesy of Jim Irwin. Unfortunately, in Googling to learn more about it, I discovered that Doherty is now a Scientologist. Bummer. I always kind of liked Pete Doherty, just because he’s such a relentless fuckup.
    You’ve undoubtedly already seen it, but here’s a clip of Nine Inch Nails (with Marilyn Manson doing a “guest spot”) shot at the Tate house:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVpw1SwJRBI
    Funny, by the way, that Reznor speaks of MM pretending to be wasted on tour, trying to play the role of rock star. Oh, and many celebrities have thin skin, since they were prompted by an excess of narcissism to seek celebrity in the first place, and narcissists are quick to take umbrage.
    On a hopefully unrelated note, my mojo could use a tune-up and then some, so if you’re saying Sedona could help…

    Comment by Nicole
    2009-08-14 22:00:28
    I’m not familiar with the Libertines, but don’t fret I’m sure even Scientologist fuck up sometimes.
    Yes, you have a good point about the immense narcissism of celebrity. Bunch of whiners, they don’t know how good they’ve got it compared to the average folk.
    Thanks for the “Gave Up” YouTube link. I do have the video box set of all the Downward Spiral videos and tour footage, but its been quite awhile since I’ve watched it. It is amusing that Marilyn used to pretend to be wasted…lot of acting and effort just to maintain the appeal of your audience. A beautiful disaster gets all the attention, well, not that he’s a beauty, but it holds true in other cases.
    I think a change in scenery always helps to tune-up the mojo. I know I could use a vacation myself… Here’s more info on Sedona vortexes if you’re interested. There is some actual physical proof to the vortexes in this link. Trees growing in these swirling energy hot spots are physically affected. Their branches actually twist and grow in a spiral pattern to match the motion of the energy around it…pretty cool!
    http://www.lovesedona.com/01.htm

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 08:45:22
    Those pictures are gorgeous. You’re lucky to live close. But all that talk about masculine and feminine energies — I wonder if any transgendered types were inspired to seek surgery after visiting Sedona.
    What do you think it is about “beautiful disasters” that they get so much attention? Do they elicit rescue fantasies in men and maternal instincts in women? But they’re nightmares in reality. I think Marilyn Monroe, for instance, drove her friends and lovers round the bend.
    On a related subject, I’m sure Pete Doherty will continue to fuck up. He can’t help himself. I was never especially keen on the Libertines, but I was obsessed with this song by Doherty’s subsequent band, Babyshambles. He’s the singer.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpeJFVvwz6A

    Comment by Nicole
    2009-08-15 16:08:42
    Yeah, we have family in Sedona, so it is a very convenient stop. Haha, I don’t think the masculine and feminine energies would work in that way, but it is an intriguing thought. I think we all have some male and female characteristics working in each of us. The vortexes could create a peace of mind for someone to finally decide on all types of issues in their life: deciding to go ahead with a surgery, to start or end a relationship, to change careers, travel the world, have children…etc.
    I see beautiful disasters as the unattainable. You may be able to have them for a short while, but you know they are not someone you can have or possess forever. I think they do elicit rescue fantasies and maternal instincts, but I think they also create a more selfish desire within a person. If you can attain such a person’s love and attention than you may feel that you are something special and powerful in a way. This out-of-control, gorgeous being is willing to settle down and spend time exclusively with you. That would be an intoxicating feeling…a bit of a power trip. Maybe you could even put up with the craziness they create within their own life and yours. They are unpredictable, exciting, and addicting. One always wants what they feel they can’t have or feel that they don’t deserve.
    Oh, I really liked that Babyshambles tune! I never heard it before now, thanks for sharing. It’s now in my head. I would sing it aloud, but little children are present.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 21:07:50
    I agree with you about the masculine/feminine dialectic (to use a word I haven’t used in ages). Jung wrote quite a bit about that — the anima and the animus, in his terminology — and of course he was following the yin and yang of ancient Chinese philosophy.
    But regarding settings and their impact on reflectivity: don’t you think that’s one reason people are drawn to the ocean? It’s funny; Jim mentioned somewhere above that surfers strike him as sex fiends, but I always got the feeling that there was something spiritual about surfing; that by cooperating, so to speak, with a wave, there’s a feeling of oneness with nature. Not that that means surfers couldn’t also be sex fiends; in fact, that very same “oneness,” if I’m in any way right, might result in a more powerful sex drive, or any case have an influence. But I’m riffing aloud, so to speak.
    I see what you mean about the unattainable. It all goes back to narcissism, finally; how better to prove that you’re special than by gaining the attention of someone so self-involved that he or she barely notices others?
    Glad you like the Babyshambles song. Yeah, definitely not meant for children. Sorry to have placed you in the path of temptation.

    Comment by Nicole
    2009-08-15 22:28:52
    No apologies necessary. My days are in constant edit for violence, sex, language and depravity that my children should not be privy to. I need my adult time here and there, Dr. Seuss and Elmo do not feed the soul I’m afraid.
    No, I’m following your riff. I feel like a hippie in saying this but, yes, if you are one with nature and can feel your connectivity to the earth, than you would most definitely feel even closer to your lover and how they are apart of the earth as well and apart of you. Your “oneness” with them would be much more than just in a purely physical sense. Maybe we should all be surfers.
    So just out of curiosity, is there a level within Jung’s anima development spectrum that you see yourself in (Eve, Helen, Mary, and Sophia)?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-17 23:36:08
    Camille Paglia once referred to herself as a brain surfer. Some would say she routinely wipes out.
    You know, my knowledge of Jung’s anima notions is pretty sketchy. I’ve read summaries, but they didn’t include the spectrum you mention, so I did a Google search, and, from what I read, I don’t know that I’d place myself at the most developed stage (Sophia), only because I think there’s usually a little lingering sexism in all of us, male and female both, if sexism encompasses the occasional generalization, particularly at moments of irritation with a significant other. (”Women! You can’t live with them and you can’t kill them!” “Men! They’re all alike!”) But I’d like to think that, if I’m not 100 percent in the Sophia range, I’m close.

  4. D.R. Haney says:

    Original comment thread (part three):

    Comment by Irene Zion
    2009-08-13 12:58:34
    Duke,
    This is certainly creepy.
    I personally know someone involved in a famous attempted murder by the poison ricin. That had more of an effect on me because I knew about it myself.
    The Manson thing was so totally far out of the realm of my understanding that I just tried to block it out. It was really frightening to me. Unimaginable.
    I understand about a particular house having a power over people. The Beatles stayed at our house once, way before our time, but once or twice a year we find new-age hippies sitting outside the gate who quiz us about the Beatles. They are always very polite, but somehow also disturbing.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 13:07:17
    Have you ever lied to them?
    I would.
    Mischief.
    Beatlemania— the acceptable 60’s cult? Still ended in a horrible murder…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 14:04:10
    Irene, did the Beatles stay at your house during their first visit to the U.S.? I remember seeing pictures of them taken in a Miami pool on that tour.
    I imagine the Dakota in NYC continues to attract Beatle nuts.
    The attempted murder you mention strikes me, at least, as wonderful fodder for a forthcoming TNB post.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 14:07:00
    I just accepted an invite to a party at the other end of the country on the basis that I could ‘probably get a TNB post out of it.’
    Hopefully the beverages will be…y’know…non-death inducing…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 14:12:57
    Funny; that was the thing that immediately struck me about Mary’s invite to stake out the LaBianca house: it might make for an interesting TNB piece. I’d already wanted to write something about the Manson-case anniversary for TNB, but the message from Mary sealed the deal.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-13 14:19:35
    TNB really has changed my life…
    As for locked doors, actually, I picked up a habit— a compulsion I guess, at university.
    Firstly when I lived in the 15 room flat with a door I didn’t feel safe behind. And then when I moved I became paranoid that my former flatmates (who I cut all ties with) would come and find me and beat me shitless.
    I only rid my self of it recently. Almost fell back tonight, convinced Charlie Manson was just waiting to perform an anaesthetic-free cesearean operation on me.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 14:57:30
    Oh, Charlie’s a coward. He wouldn’t do such thing; he’d have someone else do it for him. If he could. He’s so batty at this point, I don’t think he could get a bear to eat honey.

    Comment by Irene Zion
    2009-08-14 02:36:12
    Duke,
    The Beatles stayed in our house when they were filming one of their movies. There is a scene of them running down a street with girls tearing after them screaming. That’s my street. Anyhow, we have see pictures of them in and around a pool. One of them is definitely ours, but they were apparently in lots of pools. They were VERY young.
    It would be a good post, but it’s already a true crime novel. One of the women who specialize in true crime wrote it. I just forgot her name. I’ll have to find it and I’ll tell you the title.
    James,
    Naw, I can’t lie to them. They are so pathetic. All they want to do is sit on the ground outside our house and, I don’t know, commune with the Beatles or something. How could you lie to them?
    The Dakota is one of the most beautiful buildings in manhattan. Only the richest, fanciest people were living there. It’s sort of been ruined now because of John Lennon’s murder. He was murdered on my birthday. It was not a good birthday.

    Comment by Irene Zion
    2009-08-14 02:39:52
    How did my answer to you end up down here?
    I think the comments get out of order somehow and confuse the reader.
    Does the TNB server seem particularly slow to you?

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-14 03:27:23
    all the other comments pushed it down

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 15:23:42
    Irene, the server does seem to have slowed a little of recent, but I figured it was only happening with me. And the comment boards seem to have become more confusing, with comments posting in odd configurations. That’s why I often open by citing the person whom I’m addressing by name.
    I’m very familiar with the Dakota, having passed it many times when I lived in New York. Also, apropos this thread, Rosemary’s Baby was shot at the Dakota. It looks a bit haunted.
    I’m assuming the movie that was shot on your street was in Help!, yes? You ought to mess with the look-loos by playing, for instance, an interview with Lennon loudly when they’re communing with his spirit on your lawn.

    Comment by Stephanie St. John Olear
    2009-08-13 13:23:12
    You should watch “The Men Who Killed Kennedy” – great documentary about the JFK assassination. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0254033/ – since you mentioned your interest. And my guess is that you haven’t seen it if you’re leaning toward that Oswald may have done it.
    I think Manson’s followers were vulnerable and easily controlled – as opposed to him being a master mind controller or brainwasher. Also they were on alot of drugs – which is the case often when unspeakable acts are committed. I have mixed feelings when people give the Manson murders mystique and power – I feel like that’s what he wanted – to be a the murder rock star. But it is a great coping mechanism to learn as much about the things that haunt us – the things we can’t even believe could happen. I can certainly understand the draw to being there outside that house.
    But great piece and I love anything written about L.A.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 14:55:12
    Finally!
    I haven’t been receiving all my pings today, Steph, so I keep going up and down the thread to make sure I haven’t overlooked anything, and until now there always has been.
    I continue to be undecided on the JFK case. Before I read Norman Mailer’s book, Oswald’s Tale, I leaned heavily toward conspiracy. But Mailer analyzed Oswald at great length, and he finally (and reluctantly) came to the conclusion that, in all likelihood, assassinated JFK and acted alone in doing so.
    Is The Men Who Killed Kennedy a kind of miniseries? Because, if so, I saw part of it. But, again, I remain open-minded about the case, which I don’t ponder as much as I once did, because it’s impossible, I think, to get anywhere near the truth.
    Somewhere above, I made a comment similar to yours about the coping mechanism of wanting to learn as much as we can about the things that haunt us, though I don’t think I phrased myself as well as you did. But that was absolutely the reason that I first starting to read about the case. It really fucked me up as a child.
    I didn’t realize that you love anything written about L.A. That’s perfect for me, huh? Have any requests? I mean, hell, musicians take requests; why not writers?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 15:51:23
    I hadn’t even clicked on the link you kindly provided, Steph. I was delirious. Anyway, I just looked and, yes, I did see at least one episode of that series — involving LBJ, I think.

    Comment by Greg Olear
    2009-08-13 17:22:30
    Ellroy figured it all out in American Tabloid. Oswald had nothing to do with it. And I know, because, you know, I was there and all.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-13 20:11:23
    Well, maybe I like the idea that Oswald had something to do with it, because that way the greatest mystery of twentieth-century America remains one. Except, you know, it’s not a mystery to you because you were there.
    Just tell me this much: Were Corsicans involved?

    Comment by Stephanie St. John Olear
    2009-08-14 08:11:28
    Yes, I am fascinated by L.A. – I’ve only been to your town three times but feel like there’s
    nowhere else anywhere like it. I always thought I could live there – but who knows.
    I have some friends who only spent a year there and hate it and some who have never come back.
    I feel like L.A. houses our true culture. NYC is really the capital of the world – it’s own country really. But L.A. is where the culture of being American, I feel, really incubates. Because to become American, we all check our actual ancestral roots at the door. I’m half french, half polish – but I’m not going to call myself French-Polish American. My roots really mean nothing to me, since my grandparents all had to become American to adapt to here. So, I’m American. And L.A. to me, is the birthplace of (most – obviously not all) our pop culture – which really is our culture – we are a culture of pop. Anywayyyyyyy – so yes, love anything written about L.A. – hence – I loved your book – fascinated by the place. And can I really request something? Rock!

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 15:10:53
    Do you mean a piece about rock? I’ll have to think up one for my next post.
    In fact, I think L.A. is now the seat of world culture, since what’s produced here is consumed with gusto internationally. Which is kind of horrible, actually, seeing that most of it so awful.
    Maybe four years ago, there was a top-flight underground music scene in L.A., which exists still, but it kind of fizzled out. The point is that it’s not always just crap that comes out of L.A.; occasionally it’s good stuff.
    L.A. has always created strong reactions in people — particularly in New Yorkers, it seems, who often hate it. Of course I count myself as an ex-New Yorker, and I’ve gone back and forth on L.A., but even at its worst, I think it’s unfairly maligned. A lot of New Yorkers only know the L.A. west of LaBrea. That’s the part of town that I’ve always avoided as much as possible.
    Tell your husband, if you see this before I’m able to write or call him, that his book showed up today. I’ve only been able to have a peek at it so far, but I was quite taken what read I read. The girl in the book really is named Taylor, as per a comment way above.

    Comment by Rachel
    2009-08-13 23:58:22
    This is one of my favorite pieces of yours.
    I love swimming and baths, and I don’t know why I felt the need to comment on that, except for the fact that I love being in water so much, and find its healing properties unrivaled.
    My father was in a band called “Absalom! Absalom!” in the 60’s and they spent a year in Topanga trying their luck for that ever elusive record contract-a dream cut short by two untimely deaths in the band. He and his band mates were partying at the Spiral Staircase with their good friends The Sufaris, when my dad was introduced to Charlie. He said he didn’t like him, and kind of wanted to punch him.
    I have a friend who served time in the same prison, and got caught in a corridor during lockdown while Manson was being moved. He was told to lie face down and to keep his eyes averted. Like any of us, he couldn’t resist the urge to take a peek. Manson was shackled by his wrists, ankles, and waist, and had three guards on each side. My friend said Manson turned to look at him, and made eye contact. A religious man, he said he looked into the eyes of the devil, and it chilled him to the bone.
    He is my favorite kind of lunatic-One that can be truly horrifying one minute, embarrassingly stupid directly afterward, and chillingly convincing and logical the next. His philosophies on relative truth and societies responsibility for the horror of the 60’s, and even the horror of his own actions are fascinating, while at the same time he spews transparent mumbo jumbo that makes you wonder how he manages to even come up with the brilliant stuff. May be it’s genius, maybe it’s mental illness, maybe it’s chance.
    I met Sharon Tate’s sister in Venice two weeks ago at a gay bar surrounded by dressed down drag queens. It reminded me that a mother begged for the life of her unborn child, and was told, by another young woman no less, that there was no mercy for her. It made me feel awful, for the first time ever, that I dressed as Sharon Tate post death the Halloween that I was pregnant with Mars. It was a clever shock inducing costume, but tasteless.
    Next time, you should take me on your morbid drive.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 15:36:29
    But will you come?
    Great to run into you here, so to speak.
    Funny that your dad was in a band that took its name from a Faulkner novel. And the Spiral Staircase, as I’m sure you know, was where Manson met Bobby Beausoleil. Your father probably was also around Beausoleil at some point, though he may not have been aware of it. As for you religious friend — my God, to look into the eyes of Charlie Manson! There’s a barroom tale for you — but, alas, your friend may not partake of barrooms.
    To somewhat contradict what I said to Greg Olear above, I do think that Manson can at times — or has in the past — shown flashes of brilliance, but there’s so much nonsense mixed in with it that I can barely bring myself to listen. It’s the case that interests me. Manson is but a part of it.
    Meantime, you recently met Debra Tate. She’s become a controversial figure to followers of the case. She’s said to lie and distort as she goes about seeking attention. I have compassion for her, because she’s the last survivor of what was obviously a very troubled family. Her younger sister, Patti, also died early, and her mother was understandably a basket case for years after the murders.
    As for your Sharon Tate Halloween costume, well, that was kind of a punk-rock thing, yes? I was going to get into the way that the Manson case figured so largely in the punk world, but I decided against it.
    Have you read any of my TNB pieces before this one? Just curious. Meantime, you can expect a package from me any day now.

    Comment by Rachel Nicholson |
    2009-08-14 21:03:31
    If I had a babysitter, I would come. If it was true crime history related, Sid would babysit. I’ve read one or two before, but until about 10 hours ago, I didn’t own a computer and tried to navigate the web on my tiny, barely functioning cell phone. It wouldn’t allow me to make comments, follow most links, or even load complete pages sometimes. I could really only follow links from Twitter. I am currently typing this from the first actual computer I have ever owned. Yes, I do know what year it is. I expect this leap in my personal technological access will allow me to participate in what I have been merely a spectator to for awhile now, primarily blogs and articles such as this…I hope you know that my limited presence in person at events and social gatherings almost always due to lack of funds, complete lack of a responsible person to leave the little prince with, and the infuriating fact that I cannot drive after the sun sets. I’m not nearly as anti-social as I seem, just limited in freedom to go where I choose. I can’t wait for the package!

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 07:40:48
    I hope it arrives. I tried to send it a week ago and complications arose. Then more this morning. I think I’ve finally got it all worked out. Goddamn Amazon.
    I was aware that things have been tight in Sun Valley, as they’re tight here, but I didn’t know you can’t drive after dark — because of a phobia? Also, I didn’t know that you just came into your first owned computer — congrats. But what year is it? That’s something I’m not sure I do know.
    I was only asking about whether you’d read previous pieces out of a general curiosity as to friends who “lurk,” and not because it’s something I expect. I generally post links at Facebook and, yes, Twitter, but not always. But I have to confess that, before I put up the current post, I just happened to see a comment you’d made on Facebook about Manson, and was hoping you’d check out the piece, though I wouldn’t have written to you to make the request. There are limits to self-promotion.
    Still, I’m happy you read it, and I hope things continue to get brighter in Sun Valley.

    Comment by Rachel Nicholson
    2009-08-15 10:30:32
    Not a phobia-Although there are probably others who have a phobia about me driving. I’m legally blind in one eye, and the other is very poor. Their difference in strength gives me very unreliable depth perception and almost complete night blindness. Watch me closely next time we hang out, you’ll notice I take wide turns around corners and touch the wall a lot. There are restrictions on my license. These fancy cat eye specs aren’t just for looks! I’m far sighted with degenerative problems so laser surgery for me just yet.
    By the way, I am very much a lurker. I read everything I can as much as possible by everyone I know that writes, I just rarely have a chance to discuss any of it.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 20:13:21
    But you have a chance now, yes? I mean, now that you have your own computer and everything.
    I notice that your emoticon is sightless in one eye. But it seems awfully happy about it. That’s one perverse emoticon. For my part, I’m growing increasingly far-sighted, where I used to be a bit near-sighted. But it’s not that bad. I still see well enough to drive and read without need of glasses.
    So glad, as I said before, that you read and commented. It’s a bit like you’re visiting me at home — the reverse of our usual, except online.

    Comment by Rich Ferguson
    2009-08-14 04:36:22
    So you did it, Duke! I remember you telling me last Saturday that you were going to cruise up to the house. Ah, you’re a man to your word. Wonderfully entertaining and enlightening post, my friend.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 14:58:23
    But not nearly as entertaining as you, Rich — particularly when you’re wearing a massive paper crown in lieu of your famed straw hat. You killed, motherfucker.
    But you know what? Your competition was pretty stiff. And I see that she has a piece in the current L.A. Weekly — cute and funny. She’d probably do well at TNB.

    Comment by JB
    2009-08-14 06:31:22
    This is undeniably creepy. I got goose bumps. Nicely done.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 14:39:04
    Thanks, Justin.
    I got so caught up yesterday that I never commented on your most recent post, which has been in my head ever since I read it. It’s an interesting question, why we write or for whom, and I’ve been trying to formulate an answer. But I think mine would be close to the one you gave.
    But, of course, this really belongs on the comment board of your piece.

    Comment by Megan
    2009-08-14 07:30:33
    Happy Halloween in August! Good capture of the creepiness, Duke.
    Yeah, who knew Sharon Tate was sex incarnate? Manson is more terrifying with loads of hair. The crazy is just popping out of his eyes.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 14:49:37
    Howdy, MLP! So pleased to see you here.
    Actually, with my interest in the Manson case, August 9th-10th has always seemed a bit like Halloween. But I wonder at the “creepy” comments. Does this make me creepy? I’ve always had an anxiety about coming off that way.
    Yeah, Charlie could work his eyes. And wasn’t Sharon Tate something? According to my friend Harry, she was every bit as beautiful in reality.
    I’ll close with an X — but not the kind worn by the Manson acolytes above their brows.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-14 11:41:47
    SOMEONE CALL MR SMITHSON:
    Lynette Fromme was released from prison today.
    The would-be-assassin of Gerald Ford.
    and
    former
    member
    of…
    The Manson Family.
    Spooky shit indeed.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 14:34:37
    Yeah, but I knew that was in the works. Apparently, Squeaky didn’t want to be released. She’s however old she is now, and her prospects in the so-called real world are bound to be grim.
    I wonder if she’s still in touch with Manson? She was always his special girl. My old lady, he’s called her in interviews.
    I’m hurt at the absence of Simon. Sniff, sniff.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-14 14:47:37
    I’ve seen him on another comment board…
    I got ridiculously excited when I read the story.
    I read it on The Onion of all places.
    It’s not as funny as Fox.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 14:51:03
    Ah! So he comments on other boards and not this one, eh? WhyIoughta…

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-14 15:32:29
    Hey, it’s not because I don’t love you. It’s because I love you too much.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-14 15:37:34
    Haha!

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 15:37:54
    Isn’t that what wife beaters say, Simon?

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-14 16:12:24
    Speaking of colloquialisms, as we were with the phrase ‘relief hitter’, do Americans call singlet tops ‘wife beaters’, as we do over here?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 17:42:02
    I’ve never heard them referred to as “singlet tops” (thanks for the vocabulary expansion), but, yeah, “wife beater” is the term here too.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-14 18:31:34
    Singlet tops here too. Oh and Duke, I think you owe me a haiku or two. Just in case you’ve forgotten.
    Love,
    The haiku Queen from down under.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 18:38:55
    Ha! I just posted a haiku for you above!
    Let me now if I still owe you another, but I think I was only one down.
    Oh, right. On the other post, I do owe you a haiku. Soon, queen, soon.

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-14 15:35:54
    Wow, I’ve never really seen that many photos of Sharon Tate before. But she really was quite the beauty.
    I was commenting in the other recent Manson post how it’s something that doesn’t seem to have quite the same cultural resonance over here. In terms of grisly fascination, the US seems to be where we on this side of the ocean turn to for our serial killer fix – Gein, Bundy, Berkoweitz, et al. Maybe it’s because the publicity surrounding American killers seems to be so much more prevalent. Maybe it’s because America has such a fixed place as the starting point of cultural touchstones (although in this case, I’m not sure how much of a claim to fame that really is). While I, and people I know, can recognise the Manson killings as a horrible incident, it doesn’t seem to hold the same power and fascination for us as it does for Americans.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 18:55:32
    My friend Daniel, who lives in Melbourne, has said that Australia draws much of its culture from the US, and indeed, a couple of weeks ago, I met a few people fresh off the plane from Melbourne who said that being in LA was like falling through a TV screen, since everyone there is so addicted to America shows.
    That said, it’s interesting that the Manson murders have never caught on in Australia the way they have here — and elsewhere, I think. Manson is something of an international celebrity, alas.
    And Sharon Tate — yeah, right?

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-14 19:03:52
    If I can jump in here and speak on behalf of my Australian brothers and sisters, I have always found the Great Southern Land to have very much its own culture.
    Whereas NZ is still very English in its culture (despite having a strong bi-cultural element) Australia has taken good (and bad) bits of everywhere, so it definitely has its own vibe (see: The Castle for more on the ‘vibe’).
    having said that, television in Australia IS very American influenced.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 19:13:10
    Oh, I’m sure Australia does have its own culture. I don’t think Daniel was trying to say otherwise. He was just speaking of the influence of American TV and movies.
    I fear your wrath, as you can see!

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-14 19:21:14
    Oh! Did that come across as aggressive?
    Sometimes the vibe is lost in translation. Loving the word ‘vibe’ today…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 19:23:18
    Explanation above.

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-14 20:42:17
    In terms of culture – we’re a bit of a mixed bag, but the underlying flavour is very much our own, I think. As for TV… well. SO glad you asked.
    For a number of reasons, the predominating force on Australian TV is America. For a number of reasons. It’s cheaper to syndicate American shows than it is to produce Australian shows, an incentive for networks to do so. American shows generally have far higher production values than Australian shows, and have more well-known actors, making them appealing to viewers. Also, when it comes to entertainment… America’s kinda got the game stitched up.
    That being said, there are some good Aussie shows out there. And there are stipulations in the programming Code of Conduct over here that say that TV networks must, by law, screen a certain number of hours of Australian-made product monthly.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-14 20:47:31
    You have the excellent ABC.
    Lucky devil.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 07:27:58
    I’m glad the Aussie government has the stipulations it does. American entertainment has a strong tendency toward the Godzilla-like, crushing everything in its wake. I’m not even a fan of ninety-nine percent of what’s produced here, but I suppose I can understand its popularity, since much development based on market research goes into its creation. There’s no room for accident. Everything has been minutely calculated to trigger and maintain addiction.

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-15 17:48:43
    Ah, but there’s now a massive fight going on over the lifting of certain publishing industry restrictions… now that’s going to be an interesting one to watch unfold.
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25784278-5001986,00.html

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 20:07:02
    I’m a little confused as to the reasoning here. It sounds as though other matters are being hidden behind “cost,” where the true motive is for non-Australian publishers to gain a larger share of the Australian book market. Am I in any way right?

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-15 20:25:15
    It really depends who you talk to. Authors are saying that book importers and distributors want to increase their margins, at the cost of Australian authors being edged out and eventually losing their livelihoods unless they’re in the top ten or so sellers, in which case they’ll simply have their livelihoods drastically reduced.
    Whereas the importers and distributors are saying hey, we all take smaller slices… but increase the size of the pie, and all of us benefit. Their rationale is that if Australian-written books decrease in price, more people are likely to buy them, increasing the overall profit of Australian authors.
    It’s a big thing in Australian publishing right now.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 22:55:12
    But which do you believe? Or here’s the cogent question: What do you think is the more likely outcome if the restrictions are removed?

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-16 17:09:27
    Well, at this point please allow me to refer back to the time I studied publishing and get all smug and know-it-all-esque…
    Actually, I can’t be that smug, as I don’t remember the exact text I’m quoting from. But the line that stuck with me about the industry was ‘The bottom line is that there is a bottom line.’ Cynical though it may be, my belief is that the distributors are motivated by the idea of increasing profit, not helping out authors. Similarly, I can’t honestly say that I think every single author who is crying out in outrage is doing so because they’re morally outraged and unconcerned about their bank balances. Both of these are fair enough concerns, but the water gets muddy when people start throwing the moral high ground around.
    It’s actually really interesting. Is it protectionism or national interest to keep the restrictions? The Australian book market being the tiny (relatively) thing it is, does it need to be guarded at all costs, or is some mass cost reduction going to help everyone?
    I think there’s a case for middle ground. Similar to the TV example, government regulations that necessitate a certain amount of Australian-produced content in the market would, I think, be a good thing if restrictions are going to be lifted. But that opens a whole new barrel of monkeys, not to mention a can of worms.
    I think if it goes through, we’ll see the more successful authors riding out the storm, maybe even profiting from lower costs. But less well-known Australian writers will probably suffer, as cost reductions, while significant, probably won’t be enough to make the average consumer think ‘Wonderful! I’ve saved six dollars on The Da Vinci Code 2: Electric Boogaloo – I’m going to go and buy the latest Simon Smithson!’
    And that’s a damn shame.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-17 21:44:27
    Without knowing any of the particulars of the situation beyond what you’ve told me, yours sounds like an excellent analysis. Because, first of all, the middle ground is almost always the best solution, though it seldom works out that way; and your projection as to how the money saved is likely to be spent rings, alas, all too true. Yes, a damn shame.
    But here’s the new cogent question: How dramatically does a barrel of monkeys differ from a can of worms?

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-17 23:22:41
    Ah, how I wish I’d spent more of my life in that wonderful patch known as ‘the middle ground’. Shame, shame.
    I think the difference is that the barrel of monkeys will quickly, if left unattended, foster a whole new set of troubles whereas a can of worms will require less damage control, but be inherently more disgustingly messy.
    I hope my explanation has not let the cat out of the bag.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-17 23:40:13
    It has not. And that’s straight from the horse’s mouth.

    Comment by Simon Smithson
    2009-08-17 23:48:31
    As much as I’d like to continue this, I think we may have done the animal puns at another point on TNB…

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-18 00:08:12
    Have we? I think you confuse me with another, sirrah.
    Anyway, as you can see, this post now sleeps the Big Sleep. Rest in peace, post. You’re history.
    Now: Who wants to party at the wake?

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-14 15:56:36
    Damn it, as much as I’d love to continue commenting with you gentleman I need to go to bed.
    I’ve been doing manual labour today and I need to be up early for a meeting tomorrow.
    And please, feel free to start tangents on my post. There was a time when 86 would have me jumping for joy.
    Now it’s not enough. I want more.
    I guess that’s kind of how it went for Hitler, invasion wise.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-14 15:59:08
    I’ve been meaning to return to your post, and I will, but I have to jump off for now.
    Sleep well. And Smithson? I’ll be gunning for you later.
    I just liked sounding like I was in a cop movie for a second.

    Comment by James D. Irwin
    2009-08-14 22:25:08
    Ah, so you’ve done it again Haney! Good work!

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 07:14:01
    It was wholly unintentional, I can promise you. I honestly never expected this piece to move as far as it did. I figured it was too horrifying.

    Comment by Brin Friesen
    2009-08-14 22:35:49
    Someone appears to be at it again.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 07:15:43
    As I wrote to Jim a minute ago, immediately above your comment…

    Comment by David S. Wills
    2009-08-14 22:59:22
    Good piece! I read Vincent Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter when I was in high school, but I’d forgotten a lot since then.
    Seriously, nice post.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 07:18:05
    Thanks, David. I was hoping it wouldn’t feel too familiar, always a danger with a subject as high-profile as this one. Glad it apparently didn’t for you.

    Comment by Brin Friesen
    2009-08-15 18:49:54
    Your writing is a magnet, man.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-15 20:00:06
    Yeah, I can tell by my book’s high placement on the NY Times bestseller list.
    Does that sound as ugly and bitter as I think it does?

    Comment by Brin Friesen
    2009-08-17 08:16:07
    It sounds like Eeyor. And one day I wouldn’t be so surprised to find you on that list.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-17 21:38:03
    That makes one of us.
    Hear me bray.

    Comment by Megan DiLullo
    2009-08-16 07:55:57
    Hi Duke,
    I’m late to the party, very late. This was great. It’s always a pleasure to read one of your stories.
    Thanks for the history lesson, I look forward to more.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-16 15:13:31
    Crowded party, huh? But you’re always more than welcome, early or late. Thanks for showing. It brightened my day.

    Comment by Marni Grossman
    2009-08-17 10:42:16
    So many comments!
    Why does it seem as though serial killers are so quintessentially American? There’s something about them…Maybe it’s the whole up-by-your-bootstraps, DIY ethos. It seems to apply, oddly, to the Mansons as much as it does to the Henry Fords.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-17 22:09:52
    Yeah, it’s a regular Comments R Us round these parts of late. But I’m certainly glad to have yours.
    I’d say it’s true that serial killers are — or have become — quintessentially American, and I think it has to do in part with the ethos you cite. The myth of the American frontier comes to mind: outlaws and mountain men — antisocial neo-Neanderthals. And then there’s quote from D. H. Lawrence, who, seeking respite from the TB that eventually killed him, once lived in Taos, New Mexico, which led to the following famous quote: “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.” If he was in any way right, we’re fascinated by serial killers because they mirror us so well.
    But Manson was particularly American, since his philosophy incorporated (among other things) survivalism, crackpot religioisity, down-home racism, and class resentment of a kind that many Americans feel but are loathe to acknowledge, let alone express. While I do feel some sympathy for the young people he manipulated, I feel none for Manson, though there may be a sand of truth in his oft-repeated whine that he was being scapegoated for the sins of society — that is, Americans unconsciously saw aspects of themselves in Manson, which compounded (though not by much) their disgust for him.

    Comment by Colleen McGrath
    2009-08-17 11:35:31
    Very well written, Duke. You brought this together very nicely weaving in and out of current and past time. Very timely as well as Squeaky Fromme’s release has been much reported of late as well. I look forward to something on the JFK assassination soon then.
    Was freaky to hear him singing away sounding like a normal rocker from that era. What flip switches, really? Were the drugs really just that much stronger or were passions so much more easily inflamed? Of course there are current and past horror shows that proves you don’t need any of that to get the results he did but he’s so linked to that era, it’s hard not to ask the questions.
    Anyway, very good read. Now I try to sleep. Without nightmares. Not happening, I think.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-17 22:43:34
    You realize, of course, that I’ll feel guilty if you have nightmares. I’m weird that way, among others.
    Actually, Manson wasn’t without talent, musically. But he was so warped by his wretched upbringing and the many years he spent in the penal system, even prior to his conviction in the Tate-LaBianca case, that his showbiz aspirations were doomed from the jump. (I’m glad to hear that you clicked on the link, by the way, since I’m never sure if people do.)
    I used to have an idea about Manson and the sixties that owed a lot to Camille Paglia. The hippie emphasis on “love” and “peace” was embarrassingly naive, ignoring as it did the dark side, which is always there, so it should never be ignored. I mean, the Manson murders took place not even a full quarter-century after the end of WWII, and they aggressively reintroduced the dark side missing from the sugary outlook of sixties youth. I’m reminded of seeing for the first time Gimme Shelter, the documentary about the 1969 American tour of the Rolling Stones, and thinking, “My God, the sixties were a failure!” as Mick Jagger pleaded with kids in the audience to stop fighting with empty flower-power talk that usually began with: “Brothers and sisters…” And what happened? A kid was stabbed to death, on camera in front of the stage.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-18 00:09:28
    Oops! It seems you’re gone.
    Relegated to page two.
    Oh well. Join the club.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-18 00:19:45
    I was forced to join
    but thanks for feeling my pain
    O fellow member

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-18 00:25:48
    Yes, I feel your pain
    but you can hardly complain,
    comment king again!

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-18 00:33:13
    Because of you, queen,
    this post will live forever.
    Exaggeration?

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-18 00:35:47
    If I am a queen
    does that make you my subject?
    or is it joint rule?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-18 00:41:34
    In the interest
    of not incurring your wrath
    I’ll go with joint rule.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-18 00:44:53
    Two royal names now!
    King Duke. Long may his reign rule,
    and his posts live on!

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-18 00:51:14
    But compared to you
    I’m a peasant when it comes
    to writing haiku.

    Comment by Zara Potts |
    2009-08-18 00:53:31
    You sell yourself short.
    you are a ninja master
    don’t you remember?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-18 00:59:22
    By heaven, you’re right.
    I recall my ninja past,
    though dimly, it seems.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-18 01:02:24
    How can you forget
    the stars, zed shaped, in your back?
    were they too gentle?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-18 01:19:43
    The jagged edges
    of the zed points hurt indeed
    like kitten’s claws.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-18 23:23:41
    Kitten’s claws don’t hurt.
    they only leave wee scratches.
    don’t be a pussy.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-19 11:15:58
    Your barbed fingers speak.
    I hope you yourself aren’t scratched
    while writing haiku.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-19 11:33:40
    Never scratch myself
    and hardly ever, others.
    Thanks for your concern.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-19 17:43:22
    Was that sarcastic?
    I scratch my head in wonder
    as if by your hand.

    Comment by Zara Potts
    2009-08-19 19:33:36
    No! not sarcastic!
    Nuance lost in translation.
    Maybe my accent?

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-26 11:09:16
    Your accent is fine.
    The Internet’s to blame for
    misunderstandings.

    Comment by Maximilian Hohlweg
    2009-08-27 09:46:05
    Thanks for the nice article.
    I always thought Bobby Beausoleil was one of the most interesting persons in the whole Manson story. He seems to have been at the wrong place at the wrong time. The murder he commited was actually connected to a drug deal that went wrong: Manson and his group were threatened by a biker gang they sold bad stuff too, and they went to the dealer to get back their money, and when he refused, they killed him. (As far as I can recall the story.) Which is not a nice thing to do but it differs a lot from the mayhem at the Tate and LaBianca mansions.
    Bobby Beausoleil was a great musician, having made the Lucifer Rising soundtrack for Kenneth Anger. And he gave the wonderful quote: “I’m not a hippie, I’m a barbarian”.
    There is a good biography on him in one of the two Apocalypse Culture books published by Feral House.
    Oh, and ‘Cease to Exist’ was dubbed ‘Cease to resist’ by the Beach Boys, if I remeber correctly.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-08-28 14:00:32
    Good to hear from you, Max. I owe you an e-mail.
    I agree that Beausoleil one of the more interesting figures in the Manson case. He lived with Kenneth Anger before he fell in with Manson, and appeared in Anger’s film “Invocation of My Demon Brother” — as Satan. Meantime, he always maintained that he wasn’t truly a member of the Family and that he murdered Gary Hinman without orders from Manson to do so.
    But there have been so many versions of the Hinman murder given over the years that we’ll never know what really happened. The drug-deal-gone-bad story has also been applied to the murders at the Tate house: Tex Watson got burned by future victim Wojciech Frykowski, etc. But, though Hinman did sell drugs to supplement his income, Manson seems to have been under the impression that Hinman had recently received an inheritance or some such, and he wanted Hinman to make a “donation” to the Family and so sent Beausoleil and a few others to convince him. That’s the testimony of some involved, anyway, but, again, it’s been contradicted by versions given since.
    But don’t you think all of the Family members were, in a sense, in the wrong place at the wrong time? None of them would probably ever have killed but for their assocation with Manson. That’s why I maintain a small corner of sympathy for them, with the exceptions of Manson himself and Tex Watson.
    I think you’re right about the retitling of Manson’s song by the Beach Boys. Oh, and I agree that Beausoleil’s line — “I’m not a hippie, I’m a barbarian” — is terrific. I first came across it in, I think, a book entitled The Garbage People.
    E-mail soon, I promise.

    Comment by sweet suzanne
    2009-09-29 09:37:42
    How odd, your story – I would especially like to correspond with the guy whose father was in “Absalom, Absalom” at the Snake Pit – (rotten, torn-down house in Topanga) that is now called the Spiral Staircase (given it’s name by one of the Manson girls.
    Supposedly that is where Charlie Manson was bewitched and turned from a benevolent ‘gardener of lost kids’ to a ‘guru of evil’ – not with standing that he had been charged with violent sodomy while putting a knife up to his victims neck while previously in prison.
    I doubt he had a lot of personality to change that drastically – I think he was a psychopath who had the ability to seek out other psychopaths – or as we say, “an accident waiting to happen’.
    I would like to know about the woman, Gina that owed the old house where in Topanga – does your father remember anything about his ‘hostess’.
    The Spiral Staircase is a euphemism for ‘portal to hell’ and it was opened by many in California during that time – when the gates came open then it was beyond human capabilities to restrain the demonic presences that emerged.
    I also would like to know about the visit from the little man to your friend that night – was she ever questioned by the police – certainly it seems she would have been able to save a few lives (maybe Shorty Shea and Zero Haught) had the police picked up on her story – many of us suspected Crazy Charlie but we were all too terrified to even name him – there is an old saying that if you call the devil’s name, he’ll show up at your door and that is how paranoid we were.
    It was a strange and very unusual time in history – the sixties had to die for what had seemed like a generation of love, peace and happiness had been invaded by forces that were the antithesis of such –
    It’s like Rome – when a society becomes too debauched – it has to have a radical salvation or either it is destroyed.
    Please contact me if you will – leave me a message on this board and I’ll try and get an address back to you in private.
    Yours truly….

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-09-30 05:52:42
    Hi, Suzanne:
    I think you’re referring to my friend Rachel, who commented above about her father’s band and his meeting Manson at the Spiral Staircase. I don’t know that Rachel often checks this board , but I’ll drop her a note and let her know that you left a message for her. She’s very interested in the case, and the fact that you seem to have been around Crazy Charlie may well pique her interest.
    This piece has continued to generate commentary of the most fascinating sort, which is a rarity for those no longer on the site’s splash page. I was contacted, for instance, by the man who drove the white Cadillac past the LaBianca house on the night I was parked outside it. That was very unexpected, just as your comment was unexpected, and I thank you for the read and your thoughts. But which “visit from the little man to your friend” do you have in mind? I seem to have lost you there.
    Now to send a note to Rachel.
    Best,
    Duke

    Comment by Jerry
    2009-10-03 18:58:59
    Was it ever known why Manson chose to kill at 10050 Cielo? He knew that T. Melcher had moved out earlier that year. It was Melcher who rejected him not Tate or Polanski.
    It was not random, he also must have known that their were people in the house that night.

    Comment by D.R. Haney
    2009-10-04 01:41:59
    Good question, Jerry.
    Manson did for a fact know that there were new occupants in the house, which he visited in March 1969, looking for Terry Melcher, and he saw Sharon Tate, who saw him. That was the testimony of Rudi Altobelli, the owner of the property, who was staying in the guest house at the time. He spoke to Manson when he visited that day, after being directed to the guest house by Sharon’s personal photographer, who’d been taking pictures as she packed for a trip to Europe. Altobelli was on her flight the next day, and he said that Sharon asked about “the creepy-looking little guy” who’d showed up on her doorstep.
    But you may already know that. As to why the Cielo house was selected, the answer lies in a conversation between Manson and Tex Watson shortly before Watson and his accomplices drove to the house, and no one aside from Manson and Watson knows what was said. I don’t believe Manson has ever given a full account of that conversation (but why would he?), and Watson has given conflicting accounts. However, the Cielo house seems to have been selected because Watson was familiar with it, having been there in the past, and because it was isolated, and because of the assumed wealth of the inhabitants, since money was needed to bail out jailed Family members. The status of the inhabitants also figured because Manson wanted a headline-worthy crime; hence his (reported) instructions to Watson to make the murders as gruesome as possible.
    It was later claimed by the Family that they knew of Sharon Tate, and that they had the number of the house and called before Watson and the others left Spahn to make sure that Tate wasn’t going to be there. I don’t believe it, just as I don’t believe that the Family knew Abigail Folger and Wojtek Frykowski, who’d been occupying the house while the Polanskis were in Europe. Frykowski had sold drugs to the Family, some say, but, again, I don’t buy it. However, I think it’s possible that Manson went to the Cielo house after the killers had returned to Spahn, to rearrange the bodies and plant clues. The D.A. has always insisted Manson didn’t go to Cielo that night, but the fact is, the crime scene doesn’t match the stories told by the killers. Drops of Tate’s blood were found on the front porch, for instance, and none of the killers have ever mentioned Tate being on the porch during the commission of the crimes. Also, it appears in photos that the towel used to write the word PIG on the door was wrapped tightly around Jay Sebring’s head, and none of the killers reported doing anything like that. And then there’s a pair of glasses that were found in the foyer, which some claim to have seen at Spahn, though none of the killers ever recounted having brought the glasses with them to Cielo.
    That’s the thing with this case: for all that’s been said and written about it, mysteries remain. There’s much about the case, I’m sure, even the killers don’t know, including Manson’s motives.

  5. Rowena Waverly says:

    Interesting…the last photo of the LaBianca driveway has one very clear spirit orb to the left. There appears to be a larger transparent orb closer to the lens and layered, as if in motion. I live within walking distance to the house, and I can tell you the energy in the vicinity felt weird before I knew the history of the place.

    • D.R. Haney says:

      In fact, when Mary, who accompanied me to the house on the fortieth anniversary of the murders, sent me the photo in an e-mail, the subject line was “Haunted LaBianca,” though I was inclined to explain the strange lights as something to do with her camera. But, hey, I remain open-minded, and I thank you for your comment. It probably would’ve spooked me if I hadn’t already had a number of eerie reactions to the piece. I assumed it would be read by my fellow TNB contributors and few, if any, others, but that didn’t prove to be the case. Let’s just say it’s a small world, and Manson continues to provoke interest in surprising ways.

  6. […] 3301 Waverly Drive As you know, the 40th anniversary of Tate/LaBianca is this August 8th & 9th. I wanted to go to the LaBianca house around 1am on the 10th to see if anyone else shows up. Would you be interested? I don’t want to walk up there alone at 1am. (the nervous breakdown) […]

  7. […] for Christmas. I’ve mentioned Jon at TNB, though not by name; in my piece about the Manson murders, “3301 Waverly Drive,” he was the guy who asked me to drive him to the former home of Sharon Tate when he made his first […]

  8. […] fascinated by Charles Manson.  Also punk […]

  9. Mark says:

    You can always tell when a writer has never actually been a part of or lived within the time period of an historical event. Although D.R.’s pulled a majorty what he wrote from other publications and a large portion of it is correct, he does not realize the strife nor uncertainty of that period in Los Angeles history. My grandfather was murdered not far from this area in July 7, 1969 so it was certainly of great interest of my family when the Manson family went on it’s murder rampage. His murder remains unsolved.

    I would also like to point out that I found this author unaware of the major accomlishments of President Richard Nixon, including removal of our troops from Vietnam. Let us not forget that this was LBJ’s war and to have the former Presidents picture appear with Charles Manson is complete disrespect for the office. No other President since Nixon could pick up a telephone and call another leader of a country to discuss it’s issues. Certainly not the one in the seat today.

  10. D.R. Haney says:

    Thank you for your comment, Mark.

    Though I was a small child at the time of the Manson murders, I did not live in Los Angeles, so I’m sure you’re right in saying that I don’t understand the strife or uncertainty that went on here in the summer of 1969. I’ve asked, I think, everyone I’ve ever met who did live in L.A. then for their impressions, but I realize that isn’t the same, and I can well understand how a piece like this one could grate on someone who’s suffered the kind of loss you and your family did. I offer my sincere condolences, and I do hope the case is one day solved. It can happen, though of course you don’t need me to say as much.

    I don’t think I am unaware of Nixon’s accomplishments. Diplomacy was his forte, and he opened a dialogue between the U.S. and Russia, and the U.S. and China, that was sorely needed and too long in arriving. In terms of Nixon’s personal traits, I think his fortitude is to be admired; and there’s no question that he inherited the Vietnam War from LBJ. But Nixon was slow to end the war, and in fact perpetuated it before he did, as you say, remove the troops, resulting in many unnecessary deaths, both military and civilian. You may not agree that those deaths were unnecessary, and if so, I don’t think there’s anything I could say to persuade you.

    I didn’t intend any disrespect to the office of the presidency by placing Nixon’s photo next to a photo of Manson. I was trying to demonstrate the way both Manson and Nixon were sold to the public. There are other photos of Manson in which he didn’t appear quite so mad, but the one I included is the most famous, while there are bound to be photographs of Nixon appearing as shady as his widespread reputation had him, but those photos weren’t the ones disseminated by the White House. The photo I chose was of Nixon as his handlers wished him to be seen: someone the average American, if anyone average truly exists, wouldn’t mind having to dinner.

    I’d like to add that, on television, there are cuts from perfectly gruesome images of, for example, plane crashes, to cheerful advertisements for, say, dishwashing liquid. Which I think is finally valid. All of these things exist, and co-exist, just as Nixon and Manson co-existed. Flip through any Life special issue on the sixties, and you might find pictures of Nixon and Manson on the same page, along with pictures of Woodstock, the Beatles, Neil Armstrong, and so on. Disrespectful? I don’t think so. But, again, if you don’t agree, it’s not within my power to change your mind, and it’s not my place to try to do so anyway.

  11. […] D.R. HANEY, whom Al Pacino once described as “powerful,” stakes out one of the Manson houses. […]

  12. Jim P says:

    The Manson case has long held a morbid fascination for me as it has, I suppose, for thousands, maybe millions of others. Although places have changed, it has always been my goal to get to LA and see the sites…maybe see them in my mind’s eye, as they were 42 years ago.

    • D.R. Haney says:

      It really is a fascinating case, Jim, and one that shows no sign of going away. I note that very young people have an interest in the Manson case, whereas, for instance, they seem to by and large regard the JFK assassination as relevant only to those of their parents’ or grandparents’ generation. Maybe the youth of the Manson killers is part of the reason that it continues to fascinate the young, and the case itself amounts to a a kind of sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll cautionary tale that meanwhile raises vexing questions as to free will and culpability and a latent capacity for savagery that may be shared by us all. Zombies, many called the Manson killers, and of course there’s tremendous interest in zombies these days, which I personally think is tied to the hive mind encouraged, or even inculcated, by technology. And then there’s the Hollywood aspect of the case, with its glamorous victims and Manson’s celebrity connections, and, needless to say, Manson was himself a performer who played the bogeyman to the hilt and so cemented his legend.

      In any event, yes, the case continues to fascinate, as this blog piece about another visit to the house on Waverly Drive, which I recently stumbled upon, proves:

      http://caitlinmfoyt.com/2010/04/21/the-house-formerly-known-as-3301-waverly-drive/

      You don’t suppose it was influenced by my own piece, do you? I’m being facetious, since its title was derived from the last line of my piece, and I recognize other words and phrases borrowed from it. Hey, I’m flattered.

      Meanwhile, even apart from the Manson-case sites, L.A. is definitely worth a visit, though hopefully you have a friend or friends who can show you around. It’s a “hidden” city in many ways, so that what’s best about it can easily be missed without a knowledgeable guide.

  13. TripleLindy says:

    NO – they’re still working on the doc! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider doing it! Everyone wants to hear your stories and this is the definitive look at the series. The same people did an amazing doc on the NIGHTMARE ON ELM ST. films with their NEVER SLEEP AGAIN documentary a couple of years back. I hate being on camera too but remember you’re your own worst critic. FRIDAY fans will love you for doing this!

  14. Jim says:

    A lovely bit of writing. I greatly enjoyed it. I’ve bookmarked it because certainly it’s worth reading again.
    PS: I live in New Zealand but if you’re thinking about doing a 50th anniversary stake-out in 2019, I’m up for it.

    • D.R. Haney says:

      Thanks, Jim.

      If I’m still here in 2019, meaning alive and in L.A., and if the house is still there, by all means, let’s do it.

  15. Mike R. Livingston says:

    Have lived in a building down the street for 15 years. Must have driven by that place a million times. Always wondered about the house next door and the neighbor. The house next door has not changed since the murders. Always thought it would have been more shocking if they had passed up the Labianca’s and gone to the Nuns next door instead.

    • D.R. Haney says:

      Are you referring to the monastery? Or is it a convent? If so, I believe it was a monastery at some point. Anyway, the thought of Manson’s zombies fighting with monks or nuns is — well, the image speaks for itself, I guess. Also, they had already sealed their place in crime history by killing Sharon Tate and four others on Cielo Drive the previous night. No one except relatives would probably have remembered the LaBianca murders if the LaBiancas had been the sole victims.

      Here’s a recording of a D.A. interviewing Harold True, who was the other next-door neighbor of the La Biancas and an acquaintance of the Manson family. They had repeatedly visited Harold True’s place, which he shared with a number of roommates, and Manson’s familiarity with the neighborhood dated to those visits. This recording was made in early 1970, about five months after the murders and almost two months after Manson’s arrest.

      http://www.cielodrive.com/updates/coming-november-26-27-audio-archives-interview-of-harold-true-with-aaron-stovitz/

      • Mike R. Livingston says:

        I think it would have made the papers even if the Tate killings hadn’t happened. Mainly cause of the writing on the wall and the general atrocious character of the killings. Many people still didn’t lock their doors in LA at that time.

        • D.R. Haney says:

          Yes, well, Manson gained access to the La Bianca house by walking in through the unlocked kitchen door. The front door of Sharon Tate’s house was locked, however; Tex Watson slashed a screen covering a partially open window and climbed through it and opened the front door to admit the others.

          I agree that the Tate killings would have made headlines even if three of the victims (an actress, an heiress, a celebrity barber) hadn’t been prominent, though interestingly, I don’t believe newspapers made much of the murder of Gary Hinman in Topanga Canyon a few weeks earlier, and Hinman’s blood was used to write “POLITICAL PIGGY” on the wall. But the Manson case continues to fascinate for multiple reasons. In the history of L.A., only the Black Dahlia case is anywhere near as famous, and that’s largely (but not exclusively) because the killer was never identified.

  16. Dave says:

    Thanks for story,I enjoy these types of articles,hope to go on Helter Skelter tour next April.

  17. Mike R. Livingston says:

    Yes and a few others. I enjoyed Daniel Wolfes book. I think I go with the theory about the Surgeon from County who got the brain tumor that James Ellroy has been talking about recently.

  18. John.A says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed the read.
    I was 12 years old when this happened and have been fascinated by it ever since.
    Was during a cold winter here in Australia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *