“The Blue Camaro”
Nov. 16 – In our fifth and final installment of the Al Springer interviews, Al returns to the Parker Center on Wednesday, November 19, 1969 to sit down and talk with LaBianca detective, Sergeant Phillip Sartuche.
Springer tells Sartuche about one of Charlie’s friends in the valley – a man who drove a blue Camaro – and how he was trying to get Danny DeCarlo in some kind of beer commercial.
Springer also tells Sartuche that he suspects the owner of a Canoga Park bar is involved in acquiring stolen dune buggy parts for, or from the family.
Sartuche grabs his book of Manson family mugshots and attempts to have Springer give names and nicknames for those shown. Although Springer recognizes many faces, he has trouble coming up with their names. When the detective inquires if Springer had ever had sex with any of the girls, the biker says no.
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 Phillip Sartuche
Sergeant Phillip Sartuche, 30 years-old at the time of this interview, had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 9 years. Sartuche had been a 1st Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. and also received a Masters Degree in English from L.A. State.
Sartuche became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department in February of 1960. Before working on the LaBianca murders, Phillip had previously been assigned to the Robert Kennedy assassination case.
Springer’s continued expounding upon the man in the blue Camaro lessened his impact as a witness, and may be the explanation as to why Bugliosi didn’t use him in the TLB trials. This part didn’t pack the same punch as the previous four, but listening to him run down the mugshots is informative (and sometimes humorous). It confirms the fact that the Family used alias’ and nicknames all too freely, obviously to confuse outsiders and be part of the big in-joke that they played on the establishment. I’m guessing Kitty is Kitty Luetsinger. I wish during the recently held parole hearing they would have played the section where Springer noted that how tight Manson and his right hand man Bruce Davis were. I am lost as to who Mimi/Neme was.
Thanks for sharing these tapes Cielo. Looking forward to the next entry.
“…the whole place stunk.” –probably the most telling quote from Al.
This tape does help to clarify the Blue Camaro but the whole idea of the ‘beer commercial’ guy interested in Danny DeCarlo for legitimate acting work seems weird. Maybe he had other reasons to get ahold of DeCarlo and the beer commercial work was a dangle for other activities or different/underground kind of movie work.
But who knows, I guess if Lana Turner can get ‘discovered’ at Schwabs Drugstore drinking a milkshake and wearing a tight sweater then I guess Danny DeCarlo could be discovered out at Spahn Ranch and cast in a Beer Commercial. Who knows, maybe Beer Commercial work for Danny could have a lucrative career in the movies as ‘Biker Guy #2’ or ‘Dude Passed Out.’
Thank you again Cielo Drive for posting these interviews.
Yeah, I don’t think Sartuche sounds too impressed with Springer. I get the feeling Sartuche had high hopes Springer could help with the monumental task of getting everyone’s names and alases sorted out.
There is a bunch of mugshot sheets that I think Sartuche was working on. One of the pictures was of Simi Valley Sherri but with Ruth Ann’s name typed on the label. And then someone, I assume Sartuche, has crossed it out and wrote Sherry Cooper.
He was talking to Ruth Ann at one point, and he shows her his collection of mugshots – which she is really excited to look at. And he points to the picture of Sherri and tells Ruth it’s her. So Ruth tells Sartuche its not and that Sherri would always use her name.
It’s a pretty interesting exchange especially considering Ruth Ann seems to be concerned about Sherri and is under the impression that she is dead.
Yeah this shows about not being impressed but this is information he got from Danny and Danny’s side of the story probably is a little bit more clear compared to this and I hope those tapes surface.
I am lost as to who Mimi/Neme was.(end quote)
That is Gypsy. her aliases were many but one she used was Manette Manon.
It is interesting to hear this tape. Al Springer was definitely going against the “Biker Code” by talking to the cops. I agree with him totally about his reasons, not necessarily the reward but getting homicidal maniacs off the streets. I don’t believe the Straight Satans exist anymore. The Satan’s Slaves became the San Fernando Valley Chapter of The Hell’s Angels on 1 January 1978, I believe. There is a movie showing DeCarlo walking around in his Straight Satan’s colors with members of Manson’s Family ( the ones not in jail or defected ) called “Inside the Manson Gang”. It is pretty difficult to get ahold of. Very fascinating….thanks.
I know im a little behind but i’d really like to thank you for putting up all these recordings. Not Just this one but all of them. For most of us who follow yours and the other important Manson related sites/blogs/boards this stuff is gold. Really, reading it is one thing but hearing it really brings it to another level. This one, Ruth Ann, Bailey, Brooks, just all of them. So again, thanks so much! I look forward to (hopefully) there being more.
So now onto my opinion on Al’s interview. First off, i found it very, very interesting. Just his take on the family and all he saw and heard. Couldve written a list of questions just based on what he said. Like for instance, who was nimi or mimi? Anyhow, i find it very interesting how he considered himself a 1%er and yet he’s completely spilling his guts to the cops. This is one of the 1% of bikers (or people in general) who consider themselves to be complete outlaws. living totally outside the law and their own way. Just hating someone, in this case Manson and the family, makes him completely go against what he says his lifestyle is? Or his concern about Danny? He talks trash about his whole mc club! i just dont really get it. To me, as interesting as this is, and as tough as he may have been, he comes off a rat just like Susan and lots of others.
Again, thanks so much for posting this! Your site has really grown into one of the top Manson related sites.
sorry, i realized i missed a few posts up there and see that Mimi or whatever was Gypsy.
I think Springer thought that this case would not be of big importance. That’s why at the end of all this, he did not want any limelight and skipped out of his reward money, thinking now that Charlie’s people are gonna be looking for him.