I was going to wait until the U.S. premiere of the made-for-TV, 40th anniversary special, "Manson: 40 years Later" to air before publishing my diatribe take on the show…but peoples' tongues are already wagging with opinions less than based on fact and more than based on personal perceptions.
Yeah, I know; that's what blogs are for, but if you have a large following of people who know little about the subject and bloggers say that the world is flat, then those followers are apt to travel to the edge to see if they will fall off…
And a popular following website doe not always correlate to a fact-based version of events…
I will not deny that several "facts" given in Linda Kasabian-Christian's version of events of the Manson Murders are either, a) brand new facts finally revealed, or b) embellishments of her story for TV ratings, or c) a warped memory due to aging and years gone by. Regardless, these new points should be properly examined in the light of day, solely against what we know to be fact from eye witness testimony, forensic evidence and trial and parole hearing transcripts.
What follows are points I tweaked to in the movie, in the order in which they were observed;
1) Linda claims that all four – Tex, herself, Katie & Sadie – took capsules of speed before heading to the Tate residence.
In previous testimony by Susan Atkins and Tex Watson, only Tex and Sadie took the meth/cocaine mixture and that they snorted it, in powder form, behind some of the buildings at Spahn, by themselves and out of eye-sight from Charlie, as Charlie frowned on the use of both of those substances. Sadie was said to keep this substance in an old glass baby food jar, hidden in floor boards in one of the buildings at Spahn's.
Linda testified at both trials that she was not on any drugs the night of the Tate killings, and maintained this stance even as late as 20 years ago.
2) Linda claims that after Tex shot Steve Parent in the Rambler near the gate of the Tate residence, he ordered her to take Steve's wallet, and further claims that she indeed obeyed this order, entered the front seat of the Rambler and rifled through Steve's belongings until she found and took his wallet.
Neither LAPD Progress reports state that Steve's wallet was ever missing and in no other testimony – eye witness, family members or killers - trial or in the killers' parole testimonies, does anyone ever mention the act of stealing Steve's wallet, or much less entering the front seat of the Rambler after the shooting.
No fingerprints were collected from the Rambler, inside, nor any useable prints collected outside, and neither the body, Steve's clothing, nor any aspect of that front seat was reported as disturbed in any way by the LAPD or their forensic techs.
And if the wallet was taken, no Family member present that night admits to the amount of money contained therein, all four previously only admitting to taking Gibby's wallet money of $72 and change, in terms of any theft that was perpetrated on the victims at Tate that night.
3) Linda makes a slip-of-the-tongue in her description of events after the killing of Steve Parent, when she claims that in her ordered search of the back of the Tate house – the west (or hill) side of the residence – that she saw that the owners had a pool.
This is quite a damning admission as Linda had always claimed that she feigned her attempt at looking for an open window or door in back of the Tate house, as she hoped to deter Tex from entering, and killing others, if she stated that there was no easy way into the house. She had always testified that she just leaned against the outside wall of the house and cried and waited there for a long enough time period to convince Tex that she had indeed carefully surveyed the house for a possible access.
If you examine the aerial west side, north to south pool location shot and the architectural map of the Tate house done just after the killings, you will see that the house follows the curve of the adjoining hillside, and in doing so, one would have to traverse the entire length of the west side of that building before one could see that at the south end of the property indeed had a pool.
Although not an incredible misstep of her actions, in this admission, Linda either, a) has erroneously added information that was later known by her but was not discovered at the time of her west side search of the house, b) has added this tidbit of information to embellish her story, or c) has now admitted that she did indeed survey the entire length of that house, in enough of an effort to discover the pool at the farthest south end of the property.
If it's the third possibility, then we have been enlightened with knowledge that Linda Kasabian was not the wholly innocent eye witness to the killers actions as she has previously been perceived.
Although many of us researchers into these murders have quietly suspected as much, Linda now, by her own admission, may have just offered another piece to her puzzle which adds anything but an innocent light to her already tainted youth.
Finally, this last point is up for grabs, as I am personally unclear as to the exact actions Linda took in her successful attempt to flee the Family after the murders. I welcome TLB2 viewers to correct me if I'm wrong but I will throw this last point out there regardless.
4) Linda claims that she fled Spahn's ranch in one of the available cars located on the property, on an obeyed order from Charlie to go visit Bobby Beausoleil in jail, to uncover what Bobby was planning to say in court concerning the Hinman killing.
Not Johnny Swartz's, as he left the ranch shortly after the killings and it was only examined for blood residue after Susan Atkins' admission that it was Johnny's car they had used to reach the Tate residence.
And if she did indeed flee in a car, or truck, no one in The Family have ever admitted to same, then or now.
It was my understanding that she left Spahn on foot and finally reached Taos, New Mexico, staying with friends there before she fled back to New Hampshire and ultimately surrendered to authorities once it was known that there was a warrant out for her arrest.
Again, this admission isn't catastrophic but it it news to me as to the exact known actions of the Family members after the killings. This again might just be story embellishment on the part of Linda or the movie producers but its existence just adds another question to the already question-laden timeline of the Family before, during and after the murders.
And as a post-script, a note about the scene in the movie where Charlie pounds on Dennis Wilson's door, only to discover that Dennis is not there, and instead is greeted by a man at the front door, who is named "Shapiro" in the movie, an obvious reference to Wilson's music cohort, Gregg Jakobson…
As other bloggers have insinuated, Gregg Jakobson, to my knowledge is of Danish ancestry, born in Los Angeles, California. There is no evidence to suggest that Gregg was anything other than of Nordic-American ancestry and the use of the Jewish-originated name of "Shapiro" in the movie has no bearing on Gregg's ethnicity whatsoever.
Just food for thought…as I see it. Munch on!