Audio Archives: Al Springer LAPD Parker Center Interviews, November, 1969 – Tape Four

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

“I don’t claim to be no angel”

Nov. 15 – In part four of the November 12, 1969 Al Springer interview, Tate detective Mike McGann begins questioning Springer about the supposed murder of Bernard “Lotsapoppa” Crowe.

McGann asks Springer if he connected Manson’s claim of knocking off five people with any particular crime. Springer answers yes, the Sharon Tate murders.

The rest of conversation covers a man in a blue Camaro, the Tate reward money, Danny DeCarlo coming in to talk, and how Tex almost drove Springer off a cliff in a dune buggy.

For the purpose of voice identification, the detective that says “Anything you want to get in on this..?” is Sergeant Frank Patchett. The detective who says “yeah, I want to ask about this – when he kills this colored – the Panther…” is Sergeant Mike McGann. The detective who says “when can you get Danny down?” is Sergeant Manuel “Chick” Gutierrez.

Al Springer

Al Springer, 26 years-old at the time of this interview, was a member of the Straight Satans motorcycle club. Springer, who was originally from Alam, Michigan, lived in Torrance, California with his wife and kids.

Springer had first met Charles Manson a few days after the Tate-LaBianca murders, when he went to Spahn Ranch to talk his fellow club brother, Danny DeCarlo, into leaving. According to Springer, Manson attempted to impress him by bragging about the murders, saying, “we knocked off five of them, just the other night”

Deputy District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi didn’t end up using Springer as a trial witness. However, Springer did testify before the Los Angeles County Grand Jury that eventually indicted Charles Manson for the murder of Gary Hinman.

Although he was entitled to a share, Springer never collected his portion of the $25,000 reward put up by actors Peter Sellers, Warren Beatty and Yul Brynner.

Al Springer worked as a millwright for Lease Finance Corp. Co-Generation Plant in Yuba City, California. He passed away at the age of 56, at Rideout Memorial Hospital on Sunday, May 21, 2000.

He was survived by his wife, 6 sons, and 9 grandchildren.

Sergeant Michael McGann

Sergeant Michael J. McGann, 33 years-old at the time of this interview, had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 10 years. He had spent 2 years in college studying Police Administration, and was a 1st Lieutenant in the 185th Armored Squadron.

McGann became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department in May of 1959. In August of 1969, McGann was assigned to case number 69-059-593, the Tate murders.

McGann had previously been assigned to the Robert Kennedy assassination case, personally investigating the activities of Sirhan Sirhan at the Pasadena and San Gabriel gun clubs. As well as Sirhan’s alleged attendance at Peace and Freedom Party meetings.

Sergeant Frank Patchett

Sergeant Frank J. Patchett, 38 years-old at the time of this interview, had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 12 years. He had studied Psychology and Sociology at L.A. State College.

Patchett spent 4 years as a communications officer in the Navy, specializing in Cryptography.

Patchett became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department in August of 1957, where he attended Polygraph school. Before working on the LaBianca murders, Frank had previously been assigned to the Robert Kennedy assassination case.

Sergeant Manuel “Chick” Gutierrez

Sergeant Manuel “Chick” Gutierrez, 43 years-old at the time of this interview, had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 16 years. He had previously spent 3 years studying Police Science at Cal State.

Chick became a weapons expert in the USMC, serving in Iwo Jima and Korea. His military career earned him a Silver Star, 2 Purple Hearts, 2 Presidential Citations and 6 Battle Stars.

Gutierrez became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department in May of 1953. Before working on the LaBianca murders, Chick had previously been assigned to the Robert Kennedy assassination case.

Chick suffered a heart attack and passed away in his home on the morning of Saturday, December 9, 1972. The 46-year-old officer was survived by his wife, 3 sons and 3 daughters.

5 Comments

Audio Archives: Al Springer LAPD Parker Center Interviews, November, 1969 – Tape Three

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

“Did you come here with an empty gun on me?”

Nov. 14 – In part three of the November 12, 1969 Al Springer interview, Springer tells Sergeants Frank Patchett and Manuel “Chick” Gutierrez about guns he saw, and heard about, up at Spahn Ranch. This included a Buntline styled revolver that Charlie used in, what he thought was the murder of Bernard “Lotsapoppa” Crowe.

Springer tells the detectives that Danny DeCarlo is afraid for his life, and how thinks Bruce Davis and another guy, attempted to come “off” him down in Venice.

Perhaps satisfied they were onto something, Chick Gutierrez leaves the room and comes back with one of the Tate detectives, Sergeant Mike McGann.

For the purpose of voice identification, the first detective to speak is Sergeant Frank Patchett. The detective who says “is that a long barrel job?” is Sergeant Manuel “Chick” Gutierrez. Aside from his initial introduction, Sergeant Michael McGann does not speak in this portion of the interview.

Al Springer

Al Springer, 26 years-old at the time of this interview, was a member of the Straight Satans motorcycle club. Springer, who was originally from Alam, Michigan, lived in Torrance, California with his wife and kids.

Springer had first met Charles Manson a few days after the Tate-LaBianca murders, when he went to Spahn Ranch to talk his fellow club brother, Danny DeCarlo, into leaving. According to Springer, Manson attempted to impress him by bragging about the murders, saying, “we knocked off five of them, just the other night”

Deputy District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi didn’t end up using Springer as a trial witness. However, Springer did testify before the Los Angeles County Grand Jury that eventually indicted Charles Manson for the murder of Gary Hinman.

Although he was entitled to a share, Springer never collected his portion of the $25,000 reward put up by actors Peter Sellers, Warren Beatty and Yul Brynner.

Al Springer worked as a millwright for Lease Finance Corp. Co-Generation Plant in Yuba City, California. He passed away at the age of 56, at Rideout Memorial Hospital on Sunday, May 21, 2000.

He was survived by his wife, 6 sons, and 9 grandchildren.

Sergeant Michael McGann

Sergeant Michael J. McGann, 33 years-old at the time of this interview, had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 10 years. He had spent 2 years in college studying Police Administration, and was a 1st Lieutenant in the 185th Armored Squadron.

McGann became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department in May of 1959. In August of 1969, McGann was assigned to case number 69-059-593, the Tate murders.

McGann had previously been assigned to the Robert Kennedy assassination case, personally investigating the activities of Sirhan Sirhan at the Pasadena and San Gabriel gun clubs. As well as Sirhan’s alleged attendance at Peace and Freedom Party meetings.

Sergeant Frank Patchett

Sergeant Frank J. Patchett, 38 years-old at the time of this interview, had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 12 years. He had studied Psychology and Sociology at L.A. State College.

Patchett spent 4 years as a communications officer in the Navy, specializing in Cryptography.

Patchett became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department in August of 1957, where he attended Polygraph school. Before working on the LaBianca murders, Frank had previously been assigned to the Robert Kennedy assassination case.

Sergeant Manuel “Chick” Gutierrez

Sergeant Manuel “Chick” Gutierrez, 43 years-old at the time of this interview, had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 16 years. He had previously spent 3 years studying Police Science at Cal State.

Chick became a weapons expert in the USMC, serving in Iwo Jima and Korea. His military career earned him a Silver Star, 2 Purple Hearts, 2 Presidential Citations and 6 Battle Stars.

Gutierrez became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department in May of 1953. Before working on the LaBianca murders, Chick had previously been assigned to the Robert Kennedy assassination case.

Chick suffered a heart attack and passed away in his home on the morning of Saturday, December 9, 1972. The 46-year-old officer was survived by his wife, 3 sons and 3 daughters.

15 Comments

Audio Archives: Al Springer LAPD Parker Center Interviews, November, 1969 – Tape Two

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

“Now, did anybody have their refrigerator wrote on?”

Nov. 13 – In part two of the November 12, 1969 Al Springer interview, Springer tells Sergeants Frank Patchett and Manuel “Chick” Gutierrez how Charlie Manson tried to “con” him into staying at Spahn Ranch by offering him things, such as his own dune buggy.

“Charlie and Tex are the ones that are suppose to have the brains up there,” said Springer, “because they’re the cons.”

Springer tells the detectives about going for a ride in a dune buggy with Tex Watson just days after the Tate-LaBianca murders, and seeing an undercover cop taking photos of Spahn Ranch with a telephoto lens. Springer also covers the night before the Spahn Ranch raid, the Hinman murder and Charlie’s cutlass.

For the purpose of voice identification, the first detective to speak is Sergeant Frank Patchett. The detective who says “good ol’ Charlie” is Sergeant Manuel “Chick” Gutierrez.

Al Springer

Al Springer, 26 years-old at the time of this interview, was a member of the Straight Satans motorcycle club. Springer, who was originally from Alam, Michigan, lived in Torrance, California with his wife and kids.

Springer had first met Charles Manson a few days after the Tate-LaBianca murders, when he went to Spahn Ranch to talk his fellow club brother, Danny DeCarlo, into leaving. According to Springer, Manson attempted to impress him by bragging about the murders, saying, “we knocked off five of them, just the other night”

Deputy District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi didn’t end up using Springer as a trial witness. However, Springer did testify before the Los Angeles County Grand Jury that eventually indicted Charles Manson for the murder of Gary Hinman.

Although he was entitled to a share, Springer never collected his portion of the $25,000 reward put up by actors Peter Sellers, Warren Beatty and Yul Brynner.

Al Springer worked as a millwright for Lease Finance Corp. Co-Generation Plant in Yuba City, California. He passed away at the age of 56, at Rideout Memorial Hospital on Sunday, May 21, 2000.

He was survived by his wife, 6 sons, and 9 grandchildren.

Sergeant Frank Patchett

Sergeant Frank J. Patchett, 38 years-old at the time of this interview, had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 12 years. He had studied Psychology and Sociology at L.A. State College.

Patchett spent 4 years as a communications officer in the Navy, specializing in Cryptography.

Patchett became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department in August of 1957, where he attended Polygraph school. Before working on the LaBianca murders, Frank had previously been assigned to the Robert Kennedy assassination case.

Sergeant Manuel “Chick” Gutierrez

Sergeant Manuel “Chick” Gutierrez, 43 years-old at the time of this interview, had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 16 years. He had previously spent 3 years studying Police Science at Cal State.

Chick became a weapons expert in the USMC, serving in Iwo Jima and Korea. His military career earned him a Silver Star, 2 Purple Hearts, 2 Presidential Citations and 6 Battle Stars.

Gutierrez became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department in May of 1953. Before working on the LaBianca murders, Chick had previously been assigned to the Robert Kennedy assassination case.

Chick suffered a heart attack and passed away in his home on the morning of Saturday, December 9, 1972. The 46-year-old officer was survived by his wife, 3 sons and 3 daughters.

10 Comments

Audio Archives: Al Springer LAPD Parker Center Interviews, November, 1969 – Tape One

Monday, November 12th, 2012

“Well, we knocked off five of them, just the other night”

Nov. 12 – On Wednesday, November 12, 1969 an officer from the Venice Police Department placed a phone call to the Parker Center and asked if homicide detectives wanted to talk to Al Springer. Springer, a member of the Straight Satans motorcycle club – and friend of Danny DeCarlo – had some interesting information about a guy named Charlie and the Tate / LaBianca murder.

Sergeants Frank Patchett and Manuel “Chick” Gutierrez brought Springer to the Parker Center, sat him down in an interrogation cubicle and hit the record button.

In this portion of the interview, made at Parker Center in downtown Los Angeles, Springer tells Patchett and Gutierrez about the 1 percenters, his visits to Spahn Ranch and Devil’s Canyon, and how Manson bragged to him about killing rich people.

For the purpose of voice identification, the first detective to speak is Sergeant Frank Patchett. The detective who leaves to “go see the skipper” is Sergeant Manuel “Chick” Gutierrez.

Al Springer

Al Springer, 26 years-old at the time of this interview, was a member of the Straight Satans motorcycle club. Springer, who was originally from Alam, Michigan, lived in Torrance, California with his wife and kids.

Springer had first met Charles Manson a few days after the Tate-LaBianca murders, when he went to Spahn Ranch to talk his fellow club brother, Danny DeCarlo, into leaving. According to Springer, Manson attempted to impress him by bragging about the murders, saying, “we knocked off five of them, just the other night”

Deputy District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi didn’t end up using Springer as a trial witness. However, Springer did testify before the Los Angeles County Grand Jury that eventually indicted Charles Manson for the murder of Gary Hinman.

Although he was entitled to a share, Springer never collected his portion of the $25,000 reward put up by actors Peter Sellers, Warren Beatty and Yul Brynner.

Al Springer worked as a millwright for Lease Finance Corp. Co-Generation Plant in Yuba City, California. He passed away at the age of 56, at Rideout Memorial Hospital on Sunday, May 21, 2000.

He was survived by his wife, 6 sons, and 9 grandchildren.

Sergeant Frank Patchett

Sergeant Frank J. Patchett, 38 years-old at the time of this interview, had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 12 years. He had studied Psychology and Sociology at L.A. State College.

Patchett spent 4 years as a communications officer in the Navy, specializing in Cryptography.

Patchett became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department in August of 1957, where he attended Polygraph school. Before working on the LaBianca murders, Frank had previously been assigned to the Robert Kennedy assassination case.

Sergeant Manuel “Chick” Gutierrez

Sergeant Manuel “Chick” Gutierrez, 43 years-old at the time of this interview, had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 16 years. He had previously spent 3 years studying Police Science at Cal State.

Chick became a weapons expert in the USMC, serving in Iwo Jima and Korea. His military career earned him a Silver Star, 2 Purple Hearts, 2 Presidential Citations and 6 Battle Stars.

Gutierrez became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department in May of 1953. Before working on the LaBianca murders, Chick had previously been assigned to the Robert Kennedy assassination case.

Chick suffered a heart attack and passed away in his home on the morning of Saturday, December 9, 1972. The 46-year-old officer was survived by his wife, 3 sons and 3 daughters.

25 Comments

The Guesthouse House Guests

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Oct. 29 – In June of 1968, Dean Moorehouse and Brooks Poston left Ukiah, California, driving south on Highway 1, heading for a place called the Spiral Staircase house in Topanga Canyon.

When the pair arrived in Los Angeles, they drove up to a semi-abandoned house on Topanga Lane, where they were greeted by redheaded girl named Lynn Fromme.

“Dean said he was looking for Charlie and she said, ‘Okay,’ and she jumped in the car and she took us to Dennis Wilson’s,” said Poston.

Charlie had become a regular at Dennis Wilson’s Sunset Blvd house ever since the Beach Boys drummer had picked up Manson family members Ella Jo Bailey and Patricia Krenwinkel hitch-hiking.

“There were a number of people in and out of the house,” said talent scout and music publisher, Gregg Jakobson. “I was living there. A couple of girls were living there. Dennis was living there on and off. [Charlie] wasn’t living there; he would come by, swim, visit.”

Moorehouse and Poston eventually move into one of the back houses, taking on the landscaping duties around the property.

“Moorehouse was an ordained minister. He had a great working knowledge of the bible,” said Jakobson. “So Dean could interpret and lend the bible to support Charlie’s philosophy, which he did at all times, because Dean Moorehouse was really a student of the bible.”

Later that June, Dennis Wilson himself was hitch-hiking down Sunset when he was picked up by Charles “Tex” Watson.

“When we got to his house in Pacific Palisades he invited me in,” said Watson. “Rolling up the long driveway to what had once been Will Rogers’s mansion, I played with the idea of what it would be like to tell my brother about the time one of the Beach Boys had me in for coffee.”

Throughout that summer, Watson became a fixture at Wilson’s house, and by August he had moved in.

“[Tex] was like a friendly puppy dog,” said Jakobson. “In the sense that there is nothing a dog wouldn’t do for you, you know; you throw the stick, he’ll go get it. He tried to please.”

At Wilson’s house, Watson became friends with Charlie and the girls. As well as spending a lot of time with Dean Moorehouse, even though the balding minister was twice his age.

“Moorehouse took me on my first acid trip,” remembered Watson. “Now it wasn’t just the external world I saw differently. It seemed the LSD opened me up to what was inside me as well.”

Through Wilson and Jakobson, Tex met Doris Day’s son, television and record producer, Terry Melcher. At the time, Terry was living at 10050 Cielo Drive, a secluded hilltop home in Benedict Canyon. Melcher could remember at least six times Watson had been to his Cielo Drive home that summer.

“Watson was a friend of Wilson’s and Jakobson’s and was often tagging around with either or both of those men,” remembered Melcher, “so often when they would drop by he would be with them.”

By summers end, the party at Dennis Wilson’s Will Rogers house was over. Dennis was going back out on tour and the lease on the house was set to expire. Dennis’ manager told everyone to leave.

In late August, Dean Moorehouse borrowed Terry Melcher’s Jaguar XKE and drove to Ukiah to go on trial for a LSD arrest back in May. Tex had nowhere to go, so he accompanied Moorehouse for the trip up the coast. The trial lasted two days and resulted in a hung jury. Despite objections from the District Attorney, Moorehouse – who showed up to court barefoot – was released on his own recognizance. Tex and Moorehouse spent a few weeks in Mendocino before returning to Los Angeles, showing up at the Spahn Ranch.

“[Charlie] gave us a tent and told us we could stay down by a creek below the ranch itself,” said Watson. “The Family let us eat with them occasionally, and once or twice Charlie and the girls came down to our tent in the evenings and sang.”

After New Years of 1969, Terry Melcher and his girlfriend, actress Candice Bergen, moved out of the house at 10050 Cielo Drive. The property was vacant for a month-and-a-half before Roman Polanski signed the extended lease on February 12th.

For years, many have said Gregg Jakobson arranged for Dean Moorehouse to live in the guesthouse of 10050 Cielo Drive between the time Melcher and the Polanski’s live there. Supposedly, Tex Watson was to have spent much time at Cielo Drive during this time.

But according to Jakobson, it never happened.

But not only did it never happen. It never could’ve. On Tuesday, December 17, 1968, a Mendocino Superior Court jury found the 48-year-old Moorehouse guilty of selling $50 worth of LSD out of his trailer in Redwood Valley. Two weeks later, on Thursday, January 2, 1969 – the day after Melcher moved out of 10050 Cielo Drive – Dean Moorehouse was sent to a California state prison to begin serving his time.

9 Comments