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.

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

  1. Silentseason says:

    Worth noting for part II: 1) I wonder why the Straight Satans were so keen to get DeCarlo out of Spahn and back to them? He was really a spineless loser, hardly biker material. 2) You can almost hear the level of interest spike in the detectives right after Springer mentioned the writing on the refrigerator. 3) The atmosphere at Spahn is almost unreal, based on Springer’s descriptions of the almost total disregard for any sort of order, law, or sanitation/health issues (other than Manson’s); it was literally a cesspool of society’s trash.

    • Rob says:

      I think they were trying to get away from Spahn was due in part to the issues of Manson spewing race war psycho babble and the conditions out there. They had Manson before and Danny was starting to miss meetings and be a liability to the club where he was starting to be inactive and Al was trying to get Danny to get away from those people because he knew they were problematic. He had another member watch after Danny that night and the next day they both got arrested in the August 16, 1969 Spahn Ranch Raid.

  2. Johnnyseattle says:

    Silentseason,
    That’s a great point. Given the atmosphere out at Spahn was so beyond the pale one wonders how it was allowed to continue as long as it did. After all, you got the general public coming out to ride horses, etc. Surely some of those Ozzie and Harriet families would have picked up the phone to call the cops. Even with the underage girls hiding out up in the bushes, the others were running around buck naked. Almost like it was being allowed to continue.

    In regards to DeCarlo, the only thing you can figure is that it was that loyalty to a brother that was behind Springer and the Club bringing him back.

    The sound quality of these 43 year old interviews continues to amaze me.

    Cielo Drive Theater is a real treat.

    • Rob says:

      Yes you got this right. Al probably feared Danny would end up being totally converted to something that was so ridiculous. Manson failed to get the Straight Satan’s to be his soldiers/bodyguards in his race war that he was hoping to happen.

  3. pvm777 says:

    I must commend you on the quality of material you offer here and thank you for the “Drama-free” comments section. Great work! The sound is amazing for it to be 40+ yrs old!

  4. cielodrive.com says:

    If anyone is interested in The Plank – the bar that Al said the Straight Satans and Satan’s Slaves went to the night before the raid at Spahn Ranch. It was on 21010 Ventura Boulevard in Woodland Hills. They and another bar were robbed in December of ’71…

    Two Taverns In Woodland Hills Hit By Thieve
    Van Nuys News, December 23, 1971

    A total of $436 in cash and other items, was taken from two Woodland Hills bars by burglars, police had reported today.

    Officers said coin boxes of vending machines and pool tables were pried open by thieves at the Plank Beer Bar, 21010 Ventura Blvd., and at the Woodland Tavern, 22710 Ventura Blvd.

    According to investigators, the Plank Beer Bar lost $125 in cash to burglars who cut a hole in the roof, then dropped inside the building.

    Thieves entered the Woodland Tavern through a rear window, police said, and took a television set, cigarets and cash valued at a total of $311. Both break-ins occurred Sunday.

    Here is a classified I found from April of ’73…

    BAR maid – full & part-time $2.25 hr. The Plank. 21010 Ventura Bl. W.H.

    The Plank today is Pickwick’s Pub

  5. steampunkgeorge says:

    I can’t beleive that you guys scored these tapes. The Springer tapes are the Holy Grail of all things Tate/Labianca. This is pure second-hand info from a first hand witness a mere three months away from the incident. Beautiful, Cielodrive.com,…beautiful.. OJ’s tape wasn’t this good. One question: Where did you come across these tapes? Awesome pics on this site as well. Nice job, Cielodrive.com!!

    CieloDrive.com….keepin’ it real!

  6. christopher says:

    Tremendous effort, can’t thank you enough. Feels like the future now for those of us interested in the Family. Why purchase a book of occasional quotes as secondary source material when your audio archives provide a thorough primary source. I congratulate you and appreciate your dedication and hard work.

  7. Louisville girl says:

    Loving the audio archives!. I just now stumbled up on Cielodrive.com and am glad I have. Keep up the great work, the site is awesome!!

  8. Kevin Desilets says:

    Al was a good friend way back then and he thought Charlie was a nut. He told Me just that !
    He just wanted Danny outta there. We usta hang at Cal’s chopper Shop over on Century Blvd and flower street just behind D&F Hydro’s in Inglewood. Al kind of dropped outta sight after that, I saw him about a year later on 99th street in Inglewood. It was good to see Me but he seemed kind of worried that being around him would cause me trouble. rushed off and I never saw him again. Always wonder where he was ! this site informed me ! Great guy, good friend and Harley Davidson with Springer front end YaHooooooooooo AL !!! Miss ya Bud !

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