Manson Planned Black, White War
Monday, December 8th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 8 – Charles Manson talked of triggering a war between blacks and whites by killing whites — including white police — and making it appear that blacks were responsible.
“He said he was building a bunch of dune buggies. He said he was going to mount machine guns on them.”
“He said he’d take his army of dune buggies and kill every white mother — every white pig — between here and the desert.”
“Then he was going to make an exodus — take his people to a big hole up in Death Valley and hide there. From there he could just sit back and watch the revolution.”
“You see, he hated the establishment. It wasn’t that he felt it owed him anything. He just didn’t belong.”
“He had strong antiblack feelings, too. They came from those years he spent in the penitentiary, I think. But he didn’t talk about it much. It was just one of those feelings you get.”
Charles Miller Manson, 35, leader of a band of young nomads accused in the Sharon Tate and La Bianca murders, sits in the Inyo County jail today, charged simply with possession of stolen dune buggies found at his most recent headquarters near Death Valley. But he is accused of sending his cult from an earlier encampment on raids that may have led to as many as 11 deaths. All the victims were white.
The people who quoted Manson are hippies — members of a community frequented by Manson before he led his group into the desert.
These hippies pride themselves on the reputation for mutual love and peacefulness and they curse Manson for the notoriety he has brought the “long-haired people.” But they also respect him.
“He simply overpowered you,” said a slight, nervous teenage youth who frequents a dilapidated restaurant that is a social center for hippies.
“It was the way he looked at you. His eyes did strange things. When Charlie talked, people listened. Some people listened too close, I guess.”
Noting that Manson was most successful in attracting girls to his flock, a youth said:
“Word had it he was one hell of a good lover, and that was part of it, I guess. But it
was those eyes, too, and that heavy line he put on them. He was a real powerful man.”
Michael Crow, 24, another restaurant habitue, said he and Manson never got along well because Crow “wouldn’t go on Manson’s trip.”
But he was real heavy,” Crow said. “He could do just about anything he wanted to.
“He said only the most down, the most wasted come to him and he makes them what they are. He changed a lot of people. And he did it without drugs, too. He did it with his head.” Manson changed too, depending on the situation and what he was seeking, according to a 30-year-old author who lives in the hippie community.
“I first met him about three years ago when he came down here in his bus,” the author said. “He was the only cat I’d ever seen with a harem. He had total control over them. They did what he told them.”
At that time, the hippies said Manson affected rather long hair and hippie garb.
“He was a musician, singing and playing the guitar,” the author said. “He had his own very creative style. He was an artist.”
After months of hippie-style living, Manson suddenly changed his approach, the author said.
“He picked up the revolution thing about eight months ago. He hoped to cause some all-out confrontation between the police and blacks. Blacks and whites.”
Manson never discussed his entire plan for fomenting a black-white war with any one person at the restaurant. But each had heard part of the plan, and together they pieced it together.
“I think his talk about the machine guns and dune buggies and starting a revolution was dead serious,” said one young man. “If what they say he did was true, maybe that was all part of it.”
A few months after the talk of revolution began — and a few weeks after the lethal raids blamed on his cult — the group moved out to the desert. When he was arrested, Manson looked like a typical hippie.
“But he was never really one of us,” the author said. “We’re against guns, against killing.
“Apparently he wasn’t part of the establishment, either.
“He just didn’t fit.”
By ERIC MALNIC