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Old 01-17-2013, 11:32 AM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
21,525 posts, read 14,413,543 times
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After reading all the replies, I realized that trying to describe the Manson family murders was like the fable of the blind men trying to describe an elephant.

There were so many strange intertwined connections that all were beyond belief. The Manson followers were a bunch of stray dog street kids led by a strange little criminal who had spent 2/3 of his life in prisons. They lived by eating out of dumpsters, and Manson pimped the girls out for drugs and money.

At the same time, they ran around with some of the best known musicians of the time; the Beach Boys' Dennis Wilson ended up moving out of his house for a time after the family moved in and took it over. Wilson introduced Charlie to a bunch of other equally famous musicians at the time when California music dominated the air waves.

Terry Melcher, Doris Day's son, was a famous record producer and the son of one of the most popular movie stars of the early 60's. Topanga Canyon, a wooded twisty secluded area above L.A., was one of the hippest places in the country to live at that time, and was famous for it's residents; a lot of the most popular rock stars and movie stars lived there. And Melcher's former home there was where the first murders occurred.

Abagail Folger was famous as the inheritor of the Folger Coffee fortune. Jay Sebring was famous as being the hair stylist for all the stars. He created most of the popular hair styles of the 60's for both men and women, had sold a line of hair products nationally.

Sharon Tate was a hot up and coming move star, just as hot as any of the young actresses of today, and was far better known for her looks than her roles. The last movie she was in was The Valley of the Dolls, a blockbuster movie taken from a blockbuster best selling book. Roman Polanski, her husband, as famous as an up and coming movie director after his movie Rosemary's Baby, taken from another best-seller was an enormous hit.

The murders were all very gory. Spectacularly gory. And there were no suspects. There was no obvious connections to the LoBianca murders that happened the following night. The LoBiancas were nice, average folks who had no enemies.

The year in between the murders and the first arrests of the Manson families was filled with fear, rumor and speculation. When the Family was arrested, there was massive disbelief. How could a bunch of kids, mostly young girls, living out in the barren deserts above L.A. have any connection to the victims?

When Vincent Bugliosi put the pieces of this big elephant together, his theory was so convoluted and seemingly outrageous that it was hard to believe, then and now. In those days, there was no DNA evidence; only blood typing, and the evidence was all circumstantial. It was all based on extremely strange connections and coincidences.

The trials also went on for a very long time, and every trial was full of it's own strangeness. They were like the O.J. Simpson trial, the Casey Anthony trial, and several others all happening in a row, one after the other.

The girls amplified all this. Many were never charged and were released, and they all trooped into the courtroom, chanting, singing, hanging outside the building, and causing a continuous uproar. And then some were charged and went to trial.
Some of the girls were just like the kid next door. Sweet young girls from average families. Some were spooky, and some were scary dangerous. Some threatened everyone connected to the cases. And then they all faded away like ghosts as soon as the convictions began. It is still disquieting for folks when they start thinking about those who were never brought to trial.

The public had a very hard time wrapping their minds around all of this. Now, almost 50 years later, it's obvious from the responses here that we are still trying to make sense of these spectacular crimes.

The 20th century was full of Crimes Of The Century. There were a lot of notorious kidnappings and murders. Some were never solved. I think the Manson Family murders were the true Crimes of the Century; we mostly know what happened and who did it, but there is no comforting logic in the answers.
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Old 01-17-2013, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,495,090 times
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Originally Posted by imcurious View Post
Oh, so not one of the main ones: Kasabian, Fromm, Atkins, can't recall the other names . . .
Oh, no. Thank goodness.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:56 AM
 
174 posts, read 132,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth-Kaunda View Post
What is it with Charles Manson and all the sensationalist fame?

ok, he led a hippy cult in the 60's that killed a few people, and bad that that is, why is there such a lingering infamy?

plenty of people have done far worse yet we hear next to nothing about them.

What makes the Manson case stand out so much?
A variety of things.

*Celebrity. A well-known actress (and wife of a well-known director) and a coffee (Folger's) heiress were killed; the family's association with Dennis Wilson (a member of an enormously popular band); and the quoting in the blood of victims lyrics from the Beatles (the biggest band in the world).

*Manson's charisma. His manipulative abilities and striking appearance made him (and by association, the killings) very memorable.

*The suggested threats to all of society. Killings tend to be associated with those of lower classes and they also tend to occur between those who know each other. Society at large isn't terribly threatened by a massacre occurring during a drug-deal gone bad, because people not involved in drug deals aren't going to find themselves in such a situation. But here, houses in upper-class neighborhoods were being targeted, seemingly at random. As far as anyone knew, they might be the next target of whoever was undertaking these killings. Compounding things, Manson was using as his tools seemingly normal young middle class women and men. Combined, these things served to strike more fear in society than most killings.

*The presence of an outspoken, charismatic and media-savvy prosecutor in Vincent Bugliosi.

*The killings were in Los Angeles, a major media and culture center of the United States, as opposed to fly-over country of the hinterlands.

Considering all that, it would be astonishing if they killings weren't still infamous today.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:36 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,678 posts, read 23,284,047 times
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I happen to be old enough to remember this. I was ten that summer. I don't think that "hype then was anything close to what it is today. The reportage on television and the print media was, I think; pretty consistent with what had occurred. And something pretty horrific happened. By standards then and now. The murders were gruesome and random.

It was a home invasion, and some of the people killed were minor celebrities, wealthy, connected to famous people and, in the case of Sharon Tate, beautiful and pregnant with the child of a famous film director. Miss Tate was not a household word then, she was, what was known as then; a starlet.

There was moral outrage that a very pregnant woman was murdered the baby almost cut from her womb. The was a lot of public sadness over lives that were senselessly cut short. And the brutality of the whole thing.

Both the Tate, and LaBianca murders took place during what we call now a "home invasions". Anyone can feel free to correct me, but I don't think the term was used then. And the phenomenon was infrequent. Those that had happened previously, that were also brutal and notorious were the James Stakweather and Carol Ann Fugate spree killings on which a small independent film 1970s "Badlands" was based, as was " Natural Born Killers".
The other was the murder of a Kansas family, the Clutters.; which Truman Capote wrote his iconic "In Cold Blood" about. They occurred in the 1950s.

While there must have been other home invasion murders, I can't think of any.

There is something about a group of people breaking into the home of a family that is very unsettling. Money was not the motive in any of these crimes, killing for the sake of murder was. That was especially true in the Tate-LaBianca slayings. These victims were not in a gang, they were not in the Mafia. They were in their own homes, minding their own business. Money and valuables would likely have been surrendered on demand if that was what was demanded.
Their is a chilling and random aspect to this. If it could happen to these people, it could happen to anyone. They were not even in a dangerous place. They were at home.

People also forget that in 1969 things were still pretty conventional in most of America. People knew about hippies and rock bands, as well as music events such as Woodstock.
The first wave of the women's movement peaked in the early 1970s. The Vietnam war raged, and decent on college campuses was widespread. People were very divided over this.

However, family life for most middle and upper middle class people was pretty conservative and conventional. I grew up in a suburb of NYC, not in the deep south or on a farm and life for most of us was still infused with 50's values. Dads went to work, moms stayed home. People had children and divorce was not terribly common. If you ever watched the television series "The Wonder Years", you would get the idea.

That summer my family was spending at a resort on the Jersey Shore where families dressed for dinner, days were spent at the beach or pool, and evening playing miniature golf, croquette, horse shoes and having singalongs. There were no TVs in the guest rooms on purpose. This was a family vacation by the sea shore.

I remember the shock and horror of all of the adults when going to breakfast that morning. People were gathered around the TV in the lobby watching coverage of the events.
There were only seven TV channels, and none devoted exclusively to the news as we have today. There really was no hype at the time, but the public was intrigued and horrified, as they would be now.

The book and movie "Helter Skelter" did much to keep the mythos of the Manson family alive.
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Old 01-20-2013, 12:53 PM
 
7,112 posts, read 9,359,291 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
I happen to be old enough to remember this. I was ten that summer. I don't think that "hype then was anything close to what it is today. The reportage on television and the print media was, I think; pretty consistent with what had occurred. And something pretty horrific happened. By standards then and now. The murders were gruesome and random.

The book and movie "Helter Skelter" did much to keep the mythos of the Manson family alive.
I know the killings changed things forever on the West Coast, book and movie or no book and movie. That was when the hippie-dippy culture was 86'd by the creative community and people started arming themselves and hiring personal bodyguards. In the past nobody in Hollywood did that until AFTER they had a stalker, and even then it was co0nsidered a flukey, rare thing. After the murders, everyone was packing heat and they put up serious fences, alarms and la de da. Take for instance the remote-controlled security gate at 10050 Cielo Drive; all the Mansons had to do to defeat that was walk around to the side of the house, where there was no fence, then cut the electric cable so they could walk in and out without having to press the button. The gate was only designed to keep out unwanted cars.
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Old 01-21-2013, 04:12 PM
 
Location: Poshawa, Ontario
2,986 posts, read 3,325,924 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenneth-Kaunda View Post
What is it with Charles Manson and all the sensationalist fame?

ok, he led a hippy cult in the 60's that killed a few people, and bad that that is, why is there such a lingering infamy?
Because Manson played into every conservative stereotype about hippie culture and drug use, and the murders themselves were the symbolic death of the Age of Aquarius.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:21 PM
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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^^^Didn't want to quote your whole post, Sheena, but you are right about the term "home invasion". I don't think that one is even ten years old.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Earth Wanderer, longing for the stars.
12,408 posts, read 16,495,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffie View Post
I know the killings changed things forever on the West Coast, book and movie or no book and movie. That was when the hippie-dippy culture was 86'd by the creative community and people started arming themselves and hiring personal bodyguards. In the past nobody in Hollywood did that until AFTER they had a stalker, and even then it was co0nsidered a flukey, rare thing. After the murders, everyone was packing heat and they put up serious fences, alarms and la de da. Take for instance the remote-controlled security gate at 10050 Cielo Drive; all the Mansons had to do to defeat that was walk around to the side of the house, where there was no fence, then cut the electric cable so they could walk in and out without having to press the button. The gate was only designed to keep out unwanted cars.
Yes. I think I read that Manson had a hit list of recognizable names.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Efland
1,878 posts, read 4,780,772 times
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Manson is fake just like everything else. Check out wellaware1.com
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Old 05-26-2013, 11:13 AM
 
Location: So Ca
15,805 posts, read 15,046,279 times
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LAPD detectives and prosecutors finally have decades-old audiotapes that could give clues about other cases potentially connected to the Manson murders.
LAPD reviews Charles Manson follower's tapes for new clues - latimes.com
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