Manson Follower Hints Gun Raid May Have Been Prelude to Freeing Cult leader from Prison
Tuesday, August 24th, 1971
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 24 – A disciple of Charles Manson indicated yesterday that a week end raid on a Hawthorne surplus store may have been intended to get weapons to free the condemned mass murderer.
“We are his will now,” said Sandra Good, 26, one of Manson’s followers who has kept a vigil outside the Hall of Justice for the past year.
“We want him out. We want him out soon,” she added.
Miss Good, a petite blonde who, with others in the “family” shaved her heads nearly six months ago as a sign of protest, declined to say specifically if the Saturday night raid was, indeed, to have been the first step in a jail break scheme.
Also refusing to give a direct answer was Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, 22, another shaven-head Manson follower.
When asked why the raid occurred, Miss Fromme, a small young woman with red hair, replied:
“Everybody ought to have a gun. It’s getting to the time where everybody ought to have a gun.”
Five persons, most of them Manson followers, were arrested following a shootout with police at the Western Surplus Store, 13415 Hawthorne Blvd.
Three of them including two women, one the mother of Manson’s son, were wounded in the exchange of gunfire.
Miss Fromme appeared upset that three or her friends had been shot.
“I know they didn’t hurt anybody,” she said. “I know they could of (hurt someone) if they wanted to.”
Miss Good, meanwhile, said she was “getting tired” of sitting on the corner of Temple St. and Broadway waiting for Manson to get out of jail.
“I know Charlie’s getting tired of sitting up there in that cell,” she added. “He’s given everyone a chance to wake up. He’s given you two years to open your eyes and look at the truth – look at the light.”
Arrested in the shootout were Mary Brunner 26, Manson’s first “young love” and the mother of his toddler son Michael, also known as “Pooh Hear,” Catherine “Gypsy” Share, 28, a long-time “family” member who says her infant child “Phoenix” was fathered by Steven Grogan, a Manson follower on trial in connection with a murder; Lawrence Edward Bailey, 22; Dennis Rice, 32, and Kenneth Como, 31, a Folsom Prison escapee.
Rice and Miss Share earlier this year served short jail terms in connection with their “no contest” pleas to a misdemeanor charge stemming from allegedly trying to prevent a prosecution witness from testifying at the Tate-LaBianca trial by taking her to and feeding her an LSD-spiked hamburger
Miss Share and Miss Brunner both testified for the defense at the penalty phase of the Tate-LaBianca trial.
Como escaped in Los Angeles after he was brought here to testify in the trials of Manson and Grogan, accused of the murder of movie stuntmanDonald “Shorty”Shea, whose body has never been found.
Manson, being tried separately from Grogan, also is accused of murdering musician Gary Hinman two years ago. His trial is in recess for two weeks and won’t get under way again until Sept. 7.
Miss Share, Miss Brunner and Bailey, all shot during the exchange of gunfire, are all in the prison ward of County-USC Medical Center, where they are listed in “satisfactory” condition.
Authorities were seeking criminal complaints against them from the Inglewood branch of the district attorney’s office, Dep. District Atty. James Ideman has been assigned to prosecute the five.
It was believed all would he arraigned in Inglewood Municipal Court tomorrow. This would depend on the conditions of the three wounded.
Como meanwhile, is scheduled to be arraigned on the escape charge at 9 a.m, today in Municipal Court Division 40.
Authorities were still seeking a sixth suspect, whom they identified as Charles A. “Chuck” Lovett, 19, also a Manson follower.
Meanwhile, authorities said there will be no beefed-up security for condemned murderer Charles Manson after the weekend raid.
Sheriff’s Dep. Jim Orr said Manson is “quite secure” in a vacated juvenile cell block on the 10th floor of the Hall of Justice where he occupies a lone cell.
“Manson is isolated in the cell block,” Orr explained, “but he is not in solitary confinement.”
Police rushed to the scene of the shootout in answer to a silent alarm.
Detectives said there has been talk that Manson and the others convicted with him in the Tate-LaBianca case would be freed.