In 1968, Charlie and the family were looking for a new home. They learned that family member Catherine Gillies' grandmother, Arlene Barker, owned a ranch in Death Valley. The Barker Ranch was located in the valley of the Panamint Mountain Range. The ranch was built by a retired police officer, whom Jim and Arlene Barker purchased it from in the mid 1950's. In Charlie's eyes, the Barker Ranch, and the neighboring Myers Ranch, seemed to be the perfect places to call home. In November of 1968, Manson gave Mrs. Barker a Beach Boys gold record in exchange for permission for the family to stay at the ranches. Various family members would live on-and-off at Barker and Myers Ranch throughout 1968 and 1969.
Shorty after the Tate-LaBianca murders, the Manson family fled to Death Valley. In October of 1969 local officials arrested the family for arson of a Michigan Loader. The arrest were made in two separate raids on the Barker and Myers Ranches two days apart.