Trailer at Spahn Ranch Destroyed
Wednesday, December 17th, 1969
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 17 – Fire destroyed a trailer Tuesday at the Spahn Ranch, where Charles Manson and other defendants in the Sharon Tate murder case once lived. Authorities said arson was suspected.
A sheriff’s spokesman said a young woman who fled the flames reported the trailer’s door had been unlatched and she had received threats.
“This is sufficient to start an investigation any place,” said Deputy Charles Lemke. “It appears apparent someone could have jimmied it (the latch) and got in there.”
Lemke said Sharon G. Rayfield, 18, was awakened by smoke at 2 a.m., saw flames at the foot of her bed, tried to put the fire out and then called George C. Spahn, blind owner of the ranch 20 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
The trailer was engulfed in flames when some firemen arrived. Damage was estimated at $750 to the aluminum trailer and $250 to an adjacent building.
Lemke said Miss Rayfield had been helping the owners of the trailer, Michael G. Armstrong, 24, and his wife, Denise, 22, transfer some horses from a nearby ranch to the Spahn Ranch.