Friday, October 15, 2021



In the matter of the Life Term Parole Consideration Hearing of:
CDC Number: B-37999

8:39 AM

RANDOLF GROUNDS, Presiding Commissioner
VIJAY DESAI, Deputy Commissioner

KAREN FLEMING, Inmate Attorney
DEBRA TATE, Victim's Sister
LOUIS SMALDINO, Victim's Nephew
KAY MARTLEY, Victim's Cousin
ADAM THIMMONS, Victim Support
ANTHONY DIMARIA, Victim's Nephew
STEVEN MAHONEY, Associate Chief Deputy Commissioner (observer) UNIDENTIFIED, Correctional Officer


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: On the record. On the record.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Yeah, this is a subsequent number 17 parole consideration hearing for inmate Watson, Baker number 37999. The date is 10/15/ 2021. The time is approximately 8:39 AM. He is located at RJD in San Diego, California. The sentence is 7 years to life, he's out of Los Angeles County for Case Number 82531456, crime is murder first. He has a minimum eligible parole date of 11/30/1976. Now this hearing is being recorded and for the purpose of voice identification each of us will state our first and last name, spelling our last name. Inmate Watson, after you spell your last name, will you also give us your CDC number as well. I will start with me and then we'll go around this video conference room one person at a time. My name is Randolf Grounds, G-R-O-U-N-D-S. I'm a Commissioner, Board of Parole Hearings. Uh, Deputy Commissioner, please.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Vijay Desai, D-E-S-A-I, Deputy Commissioner.


INMATE ATTORNEY FLEMING: Of course. My name is Karen Fleming, F-L-E-M-I-N-G, and I am the Attorney for Mr. Watson.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you, ma'am. And -– and Mr. Watson, please.

INMATE WATSON: Um, Charles Watson, W-A-T-S-O-N, uh, B37999.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Very good. And if I could have Ms. Debra Tate, please.



VICTIM’S SISTER DEBRA TATE: Family rep -– family representative for Sharon Tate.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. And then Louis Smaldino please, sir.

VICTIM’S NEPHEW LOUIS SMALDINO: Yes, uh, it's L-O-U- I-S Smaldino, S-M-A-L-D-I-N-O and I'm for, uh, representing the, uh, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca family.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you, sir. And Kay Martley please.

VICTIM’S COUSIN KAY MARTLEY: I'm Kay Martley, M-A-R- T-L-E-Y. I'm a representative for Debra Tate.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And then, Adam Thimmons, please.

VICTIM’S SUPPORT THIMMONS: Adam Thimmons, T-H-I-M-M- O-N-S, Victim’s support for Ms. Tate.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. And then Anthony DiMaria, please.

VICTIM’S NEPHEW ANTHONY DIMARIA: Uh, Anthony DiMaria, A-N-T-H-O-N-Y D-I-M-A-R-I-A. I'm am Jay Sebring’s nephew.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Thank you. And then Margaret DiMaria please, the mother.

VICTIM’S SISTER MARGARET DIMARIA: I am Margaret DiMaria, M-A-R-G-A-R-E-T D-I-M-A-R-I-A, Jay Sebring’s sister.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you. All right. Now, as I mentioned, this proceeding is being mand -– it's being recorded as mandated by Penal Code, Section 3042-B and will be transcribed as the official record of this hearing. No other -–



OBSERVER MAHONEY: Sorry. I didn’t, should I identify myself?


OBSERVER MAHONEY: Pardon me for asking.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Mr. Mahoney, my apology. Go ahead.

OBSERVER MAHONEY: No, I didn’t mean to interrupt you. Steven Mahoney, M-A-H-O-N-E-Y, Associate Chief Deputy Commissioner for the Board of Parole Hearing, observing only.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you very much, Mr. Mahoney and, uh, we -– we understand that you are observing only. So, I'll get back to, uh -– uh, what I was stating earlier. Um, you look like you got a question there, uh, Ms. Fleming.

INMATE ATTORNEY FLEMING: I'm a little concerned about some of the feedback. I'm wondering if possibly it's on the Donovan end, maybe the volume might be up a little too high. I'm not sure, but it's kind of con -– more consistent than it has been previous.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Is there an off -– is there an officer present -–

INMATE WATSON: Yeah, yes -–


INMATE WATSON: There is, yeah, yes there is.

INMATE ATTORNEY FLEMING: Sometimes that helps to remedy.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Uh, officer, I don't know if you can turn down the volume just a little bit, maybe it’ll stop the, uh, feedback somewhat. All right, Mr. -– Mr. Watson, can you still hear me?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And I'm not hearing any feedback whatsoever.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Well, I'm hearing a little bit, but it's not as much. So, uh, you know, I appreciate that, uh, Ms. Fleming. Thank you, Counsel, appreciate that. Now as I mentioned, this proceeding is being recorded as mandated by Penal Code, Section 3042-B and will be transcribed as the official record of this hearing. No other recordings are authorized including a recording available by video conference software. A violation of this provision may result in exclusion from this or future hearings. Right now, we’re gonna take a brief break to check the quality of the recording and ensure that each party can be heard. So, uh, thank you very much. Deputy Commissioner, check on that, uh, quality please.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: The recording is fine so far.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. So, Mr. Watson, is this hearing is being conducted by video conference, I'm gonna notify you of certain rights you have and ensure you want to continue with the hearing. First, you have the right to be present at the hearing and meet with the Board of Parole Hearing Panel. Do you accept that this video conference satisfies that, right?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You also have a right to be represented by an Attorney at your parole consideration hearing. Do you accept that your Attorney's appearance by video conference and your ability to have privileged communications with your Attorney by telephone satisfy that right?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, yes it does.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: The 1073 Form dated 9/7/2021 indicates that you have a 10.0 reading level but, uh, I would suspect that that would be higher because you're a high school graduate and you also have a bachelor's, uh, degree in business management when I looked at your record, is that correct?

INMATE WATSON: It is correct.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. The Disability and Effective Communication System reflects that you have normal cognitive function. I also see that you wear glasses. Did you bring those glasses with you for -–

INMATE WATSON: I –- I -– I did here, uh, I use them basically for reading -–


INMATE WATSON: so, I -– I will be using them I guess on and off.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Uh, you walked into the hearing room, uh, today just fine so I'm assuming that you don't have any problems with mobility, is that correct?

INMATE WATSON: Right. No, I don’t.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You don't have any problems, okay.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Uh, have you been, you know, when you're a child in school, uh, were you ever diagnosed with a -– a learning disability?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, no I was not.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Are you in the Mental Health System?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Are you taking any kind of medication for anything?

INMATE WATSON: Um, I -– I take a couple of small medications.


INMATE WATSON: Yes, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: you take some of those medicines in the morning?





INMATE WATSON: Uh, it's, all I take is a lactulose, uh, for, um, bowel movements and things like that. I didn't take any other things that would, um, hinder my cognitive, uh, skills.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Right. Did you take that medicine this morning?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, yes, I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. All right. Um, do you suffer from any other disability that would prevent you from participating in today's hearing?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, no I -– no I don’t.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. So, Counsel, uh, Ms. Fleming, have we adequately covered your client's ADA concerns, ma'am?

INMATE ATTORNEY FLEMING: Yes, you have. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you. So, we reviewed your Central file, all your prior transcripts, and you're gonna be given the opportunity Mr. Watson to correct or clarify the record as we proceed. Nothing that happens here today is going to change the court findings as we’re not here to retry your case, we accept as true the findings of the court. We’re here for the sole purpose of determining your suitability for parole. Now the format we'll use today is I’ll discuss your pre-conviction factors such as your life crimes, prior criminality, personal history, or any other pre-conviction factor that are deemed pertinent to assess suitability. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Desai, will be discussing post- conviction factors with you and, uh, he'll also talk to you about your parole plans. Um, the Comprehensive Risk Assessment will also be addressed. The District Attorney is not present from Los Angeles County per their protocol in their department, but your Attorney is present and will be allowed to participate in today's hearing. This is a non-adversarial hearing conducted to ensure public safety. So, at this time I'd like to swear you in, if you would please raise your right hand. Do you solemnly swear or affirm that the testimony you give at this hearing will be the truth and nothing but the truth?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you. All right, you can put your hand down. So, I was looking at the, uh, Comprehensive Risk Assessment that was done by Dr., uh, Miscia and that was done in August of this year, and, uh, she talks to you about your, uh, your child and adolescent development on page, uh, 2, the first portion of page 2. Uh, did you get a chance to read that, uh, two paragraphs there?

INMATE WATSON: Let me, uh, let me look real quick. That’s page 2? I -–


INMATE WATSON: I have it here.


INMATE WATSON: Let me separate my stuff here please. All right. Um, yes, uh, what particular question did you have, sir?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: I -– I didn't have really a -– a specific question, I just asked whether you had a chance to review it and -–




PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: — my subsequent -– my subsequent question is -– is it accurate, what, uh, the doctor said?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, I didn't find any thing that wasn't, uh, inaccurate in here except a couple of small details, I think, uh, -–


INMATE WATSON: One, maybe.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: in the child and adolescent portion?

INMATE WATSON: No, it was not, no.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: That's all I'm asking about right now.

INMATE WATSON: Okay. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, let's go to the adult development portion of the report. Um, it covers page 2 and page 3 and page 4 and a portion of page 5. Um, did you get a chance to look at that?

INMATE WATSON: Yes, yes, I did.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: — any, uh, is it accurate?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, yes, it's accurate.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. So, I'm going to stipulate to its accuracy, uh, per -– per your testimony, uh, today. We, uh, we have copies of this report, we know what’s contained in it, uh, and so I'm gonna move to your juvenile and adult record. Um, it looks like, you know when I was looking at the POR, uh, the Probation Officer’s Report, it looks like, uh, you were arrested for, uh, you had some contact in regards to, uh, North Texas State University, you participated in a scavenger hunt fraternity. You did something that -– that brought the attention of the, uh -– uh, the -– the law enforcement there, that you, uh, you made an entrance to the high school made by forcing open, uh, I -– I guess a window.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: What -– what happened there?

INMATE WATSON: Um, just -– just exactly that. Uh, I was in a fraternity called Pi Kappa Alpha and we were pledging, uh, you know, going through the hazing and all that and, uh, they had on the list typewriters, uh, you know, for the fraternity house and, uh, so I, and another fraternity member went to the high school and we stole those typewriters.


INMATE WATSON: And, uh, um, I ended up, uh, returning the typewriters after, uh, my conscience got the better of me and in talking with my parents and I took them back to, uh, not the high school, but to, uh, um, the Sheriff's Office in McKinney, Texas. And, uh, the District Attorney, uh, took me before a, uh, I guess like a grand jury and had me tell what I had done and, um, they, uh, consi -– they -– they made a determination where it was gonna be a no bill, that they were -– were not gonna be charging me with it and, uh, so, um, there was no charge there -–


INMATE WATSON: Uh, for what -- what I did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: About how old were you in 6, `66?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, I was, uh, let's see, I was 21, no, 20, yeah, 20, I been 21 in `66, yes.


INMATE WATSON: Uh, but that happened a little earlier than that, I believe. That happened in `64 was it, or `65?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Uh, I thought, uh, I thought it was `66, but, uh, maybe I'm not -–




PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: At least that’s what the POR says.

INMATE WATSON: It happened when I was a freshman in college, so it would have been like, uh, it would've been like `64 or `65, probably `65, early `65.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Well, the -– the documentation says `66 and then LAPD in `69 in April, there’s, uh, under the influence of drugs, a misdemeanor, no -– no disposition shown, but that's when you moved to California, is that correct?

INMATE WATSON: Um, yes, I was in California then. I had a -– a, did you want to hear about the drug incident?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: No, at this -– this point, really what I'd like to ask you is kind of what you intimated about as far as your parents involved and, you know, you talked to your parents and, uh, you made the decision to take those typewriters back to, uh, -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: law enforcement, turn them back in.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You said you, your conscious got the better of you, um -- um, why was that?

INMATE WATSON: Well, I was raised a -– a -– a law abiding young man. I -– I -– I hadn't had any, uh, antisocial type behavior, uh, during, uh, my high school. I -– I was, uh, you know an honor student really. I -– I was a lazy student, but I, uh, I got through high school, uh, very well, a star athlete, uh -– uh, track and field records that held up to 1985 matter of fact. And, uh, since I was as infamous as I was, it came out in the paper that my record had been broken, you know. But, um, I had a really good, uh, childrearing, but, um, I was more or less the disobedient child out of the three, uh, in that, um -– um, you know, I -– I had my first alcoholic beverage at, uh -– uh, 14, uh, my first sexual experience at 16. All of these were contrary to my parents because I –- I had parents that had never drank, uh, they, uh, they were pillars of the community. Uh, I had everything in my parents. They were, uh -– uh, churchgoing, uh, actually built a Methodist church from the ground up.


INMATE WATSON: Uh, yeah. And, um, and I was there every Sunday. I -– I had -– I had coping skills back then as far as going to church and, um, Boy Scouts. I, you know, I -– I've got the Boy Scout values to, you know, -–


INMATE WATSON: (inaudible)

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Well, that's -– that's Texas -– that's Texas.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: There’s church, there’s Boy Scouts and there’s football. Did you -–

INMATE WATSON: Yes. And that -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: were you at -– were you at Texas, uh, at that University over there, were you, uh, you know, Texas State University, were you on an athletic scholarship there too, or?

INMATE WATSON: No, no, I wasn’t. I was, uh, I was, uh, just, I was a regular college student going to the football games. Uh, the only athletics I did, I -– I ran the high hurdles for the fraternity, and won the high hurdles for the fraternity there. And -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, you gave me an example of when you sto -– stole the typewriters and -– and that -– that you, uh, you were having difficulty with that as in the context of your own person. And, uh, and you talked to your -– you talked to your parents and made that decision to do what you did. And were there any other examples of -– of that, uh, that installation of -– of right and wrong that happened with you? Uh, the typewriters is one example, are there any other examples that you had as a child where you understood right and wrong. You talked about the Boys Scouts, uh, what -– what rank were you in the Boy Scouts?

INMATE WATSON: I got up to a Life Scout, Life. Uh, we would start out with Tenderfoot right, then Life and then Eagle. I got up to the Life. Um, yeah, I had, uh, you know, my parents raised me to care for people. My mother's favorite song was Others Lord, Yes Others. Uh, I had all the opportunity there and it was like I was just blinded to what I had.


INMATE WATSON: Um, I had real acceptance, uh, from my parents. Uh, I didn't know it, I was blinded to that, and I was blinded just because of my, uh, lust and lust for pleasures and, uh, um, just kinda wanting to get out of the small town into college eventually, although I was kind of scared to death, uh, of going to college, you know, so -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: That’s a bigger – that’s a bigger playing field than a high school or a small -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Small town and there's a lot of small towns in Texas. But tell me, how did that do down at the typewriters? I mean, how did that progress before you started talking to your parents as far as that realization that what you did was -– was wrong?

INMATE WATSON: Um, well, um, after I -– I got them, I didn't know what I was going to do with them. And, uh -– uh, they were just sort of -– of sitting there in my apartment and I said, what have I done, you know. And, um -- um, so I told my parents about it. I said, Hey, I messed up, you know, I -– I, uh, got into this frater -–, uh, fraternity. Uh, the guys were -– were drinkers, okay, and, uh, I think that's part of my problem, it was a progressive problem from the fraternity, uh, then moving to California to Manson and then, you know, I was a approval seeking guy. I -– I had these, uh -– uh, fears going on in my heart that, uh, I just wasn't, uh, accepted for some reason, I was fearful of failure.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Well, what I'm -– what I'm asking you for Mr. Watson is, you got these typewriters sitting in your apartment.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And your, what am I gonna do with these things now. I messed up.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And then what do you do after that?

INMATE WATSON: Yeah, well, I load them in the back of my car and I take them and show them to my parents and say, Hey, I've -– I've stolen these typewriters, what are we gonna do? And they said, well, I'm gonna contact, uh, a friend of theirs named Bill Boyd and, uh, or his father and he happened to be the District Attorney and, uh, -–



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: — paved the way for you?

INMATE WATSON: Yeah, for me to come, to go and, uh, hand the typewriters back in to the Sheriff and, uh, then yeah, that's what happened.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Okay. So, you understand what, uh, what our concern is -– is today. Is, uh, how does a guy that’s raised up in probably one of the most conservative States, (inaudible) small town, parents church -– church going, pillars of the community as you say, you're a law-abiding citizen, who’s -– who's disturbed over having taken some typewriters.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: How does he make the jump of the life crimes you committed?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: That's the concern, that's been the concern with every Panel. Okay.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, uh, so I'm gonna walk you into, uh, the life crimes and, uh, so you go out to, uh, you go out to California. We -– we know about you meeting Manson and, uh, Mr. Wilson, getting introduced, and then you eventually move -– move into Spahn Ranch and, uh, what starts to happen there at Spahn Ranch?

INMATE WATSON: Well, um, when I first got there, I - – I really -– really wasn't accepted there. I -– I had kinda got to a place in my life to where, uh, I just didn't have any place to go. I had a place to go to my home, which I should have done and, uh, but my pride, um, just wouldn't let me go back a failure because I already felt like a failure when I left. Um, I think that's part of what you're asking too is how I got to Spahn Ranch, I mean, from -– from Texas, you know. And, um, uh, -–


INMATE WATSON: as a -– as a -–



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Talks about you picking up hitchhikers and meeting people.

INMATE WATSON: Right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And -– and, uh, I -– I picked up Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys, and, uh, of course, uh, and at that place in my life, at that particular time, I'd been in California for about, uh, probably 8 months or so, and I just hadn't succeeded. Um - – um, I'd managed to come out to California and drop out of college. Um, I was a hard worker. I worked, but the rig company that I was working for didn't have enough money to pay me properly, so I started my own rig company and that failed. And then I couldn’t afford my -– my rent anymore, and I should've went out and got a job and I didn't. Uh, so I was driving down Su -– Sunset Boulevard towards the beach where I was living, and I picked up Dennis Wilson and that's where I went into, uh, his residence. He invited me over and I met Charles Manson and, uh, began to be enamored by, uh, by him. He had a very deceptive, uh, charm about him. Um, and, uh, just kind of -– of, a, just kind of sucked you in, his charisma just sort of sucked you in and, uh, with his glowing smile and, um, I -– I felt for a change that I was kind of getting somewhere because I had met Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys and I was feeling accepted and, uh -– uh, I was sort of getting back on my feet, so to speak, uh, from the failure that I had been experiencing in -– in California. And, uh, so I be -–, I -– I started actually taking care of his house. He asked me if I would like to, uh, sort of manage his house when he goes out on tour. So, um, uh, so, um, that eventually ended and I didn't have a place to stay, you know -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Why do you think that -– why do you think that ended?

INMATE WATSON: Well, that ended because of -– of one of the people that were living there, uh, name Dean Morehouse, he started making advances on some of the girls that were living there, not the -– not the, uh –- uh, not the uh, Manson girls, but a couple of girls that Dennis had living at the house. And, uh, Dennis got mad at Dean and he kicked both of us out because of that. Um, so, um, -–


INMATE WATSON: I didn’t -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: He still owned the property. He just -– he just kicked you out of it.

INMATE WATSON: No, he didn’t own, he was -– he was renting the property and he actually also gave up the lease, uh, the -– the lease on the property at that same time and he -– he moved away, uh, over to the beach rather than Pacific Palisades there where his house was.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, he -– he gets you out of there.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And then you -– you eventually go into Spahn Ranch.

INMATE WATSON: Exactly, yeah. And I was trying to earn my way into Spahn, into a place to live, a place to, you know. I -– I was just lazy, you know, I didn't go get a job and I should’ve went and got a job. And I was enamored with, uh, and gullible, you know, uh, and -– and -– and even insecure. I was ins -–, I grew up an insecure individual, and I know that's hard to understand, but, uh -– uh, I -– I don't know, from an early age I was having, uh, um, problems academically to where the -– the view of from here I was as a child going forward, saving for college, I became to be very, uh -– uh, I'd say frightened or, uh, fearful of, um, of, uh, and anxious and, uh, that I just couldn't go in that direction. I just -– I just didn't feel that was the direction and I couldn't see myself sitting behind a desk. Okay. But I think more than anything it was just my, uh, my -– my laziness and –- and temptations that I had that was drawing me away from the academics if that makes sense. Um, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, what drew you to Spahn Ranch?

INMATE WATSON: Um, I think just the, uh -– uh, I felt that Manson had something that I was lacking. He, um, he had several ways of -– of getting you to listen to him. And one was to put down with your parents and, um, uh, and he -– he would put down your parents to build yourself up. So, one reason why I left Texas was I felt like I was being pushed into a direction by my parents and that they had mapped out my life in a way that was causing me all these problems. It wasn't true. I was just lazy, I was, um, lustful, I was, um, wanting to party in college instead of studying, so -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, is that part of what attracted you to Spahn Ranch?

INMATE WATSON: No, no, I -– I -– I -–


INMATE WATSON: I think so, yeah, -–


INMATE WATSON: Yeah, yeah, lazy and drugs and I was medicating the pain that I was experiencing, uh, from, uh, failing, uh, what I felt failing in -– in -– in Texas. And as he was putting down our parents, what he was doing was building himself up, but also in my heart what he was doing was he was, uh, causing, uh -– uh, resentments, uh, towards my parents and anger towards my parents. I was, I began blaming them for all my problems, which was just totally not true. Um, I was my own worst enemy by the foolish choices I was making. I was being disobedient to my -– my parents' core values. Everything about my parents was, it was good. I was just self deceived, um, and, uh, um, uh, serving various lust and pleasures, you know, of life and -– and it was all my, uh, lack of coping skills that was taking place here at that time, it wasn't my parents’ fault. But Manson made it feel like it was my parents' fault and that he was the solution here. And he had this song that, uh, you’d, uh, everybody would, we’d all sing, our home is, uh -– uh, where you're happy. It's not where you're not free. So, he was trying to free us from our parents, free us from our fears, free us from, uh, our -– our egos, our identity to where we would just serve him -–




INMATE WATSON: Well, he did that by -– by desensitizing us through, uh -– uh, hallucinogens. I don't blame him. I -– I -– I actually, you know, I chose to take drugs. I don't blame him for what was taking place here. I chose to be at the, I chose to give my life to Charles Manson. I chose to take the drugs. I chose his delusional beliefs but, um, uh, you know, it's just my poor judgment and, uh, self-centeredness. I -– I had a chance with the best family back in Texas that you could of, that I could have ever wanted. I had everything that I was trying to achie -–, to get, uh, in California with the Manson family.




INMATE WATSON: I -– I had everything back in Texas and -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So much so, that when you stole some typewriters -–



INMATE WATSON: Yeah. I had it all. Right. One thing I didn't do though, I -–


INMATE WATSON: I didn't communicate.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You left -– you left Manson a couple of times, didn’t you?

INMATE WATSON: I did -– I did -– I did. Um, I was, uh, I thought I was losing my mind. I, when I, the -– the first three months I was there, I was still very much, uh, connected to some very, uh -– uh, prosocial, uh, skills. I, um, the -– the man, Dean Morehouse that was actually kicked out of Dennis Wilson's house, he had a, um, a court appearance up in Ukiah, California, and, um, uh, Terry Melcher, Doris Day’s son gave, uh, loaned us his XKE, those long `66 XKE’s and gave us his credit card to, um, to take up, uh, to -– to buy gas going up to the court appearance. Well, Manson heard that we were going up there and heard that he had the XKE and, uh, the -– the credit card, he wanted to use the credit card to, uh, fill up the bus with -– with gas. I said, no, you know, so I -– I actually said no to Charles Manson -–


INMATE WATSON: You know. And -– and -– and I -– I, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And what -– and what happened -– what happened, Watson? When you told him no -–



INMATE WATSON: Well, he told me I just wasn't dead yet. In other words, he -– he wanted -– he wanted us to be so dead that we would do anything for him. He wanted to take over our identity, our ego, and any part of our life that, uh, we were connected to our parents and the way we used to feel and think -–


INMATE WATSON: And -– and believe.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, when you stood up with some kind of moral or virtuous issue to Charles -–




PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: He didn't grab you by the throat, he didn't pull out a knife and try and stick ya.



INMATE WATSON: He didn’t -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: He just said something. He didn’t try and force you violently?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You -– you stood up to him.



INMATE WATSON: Yes, I did. Right. And -– and, uh, that same month that I did that, uh, I actually left for three months. I left the ranch, uh, -–



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Where'd you go? Where’d you go?

INMATE WATSON: Well, I -– I, uh, I, uh, I had, I actually had a, uh, a, uh, Army, um, had to go to the draft. They -– they were -– they were trying, going to draft me into the Army on December 1st, 1968.


INMATE WATSON: And, uh, I knew I had to be at that, but anyway, uh, Manson and I, we -– we, uh, I -– I was trying to figure out a way to get away without him knowing it. I was trying to kind of escape from the family. So, what -– what, uh, I did, I -– I went into town, uh, with him to see one of his friends, uh, down, uh, in Topanga Canyon Lane, down close to the beach. And, uh, while he was listening to you the new album Helter Skelter, uh, he, with -– with his friend there, I called my friend David and told him that I had the Army physical, and then I needed to get away from where I was and I asked him if he could come pick me up. So, I snuck out the back door of the house and went down to a convenience store and David came about an hour later and picked me up. And, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And you were gone for three months?

INMATE WATSON: For three months, yeah, three months.


INMATE WATSON: Well, I, uh, David, he actually went to the draft the same day I did and he got drafted, so I didn't, I couldn't stay with him. So, I stayed with a girlfriend of his in, uh, in Hollywood and, uh, we kind of –-

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You got involved with her?

INMATE WATSON: Yes, and -– and began to actually participate in, uh -– uh, her, she would buy a kilo of grass and break it up into what we called the lids back then and -– and sell them like for $10 a piece. And, uh -– uh, she, that's the way she would make her living, so I got involved with that with her. And, um, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, what -– so what brought you to the ranch?

INMATE WATSON: Back to the ranch after three months?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: No, no, I said, so what brought you to the ranch, cause you said you were lazy, sex and drugs and then you backed out of the ranch, you get involved with her, so I think you got your sex going on and you got your drugs going on and you're there for three months.

INMATE WATSON: Right, for three months, yeah.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, what -– so what -– what, uh, why do you go back? I mean, you left him.

INMATE WATSON: I know -– I know. It was, um, I think, um, you know, it was like, he just had a hold on me. Like -– like, uh, it's kinda hard to explain. It's just like, he just knew everything about me it seemed like, and, uh, you know, I was so insecure, uh -– uh, and, uh, -–


INMATE WATSON: Yeah. I know, yeah.


INMATE WATSON: I -– I thought -– I thought about that.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: you might be -– you might be leeching, you know, -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You might be taking advantage of this lady,

INMATE WATSON: Well, right -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: But what you got to place to live, you got food over your head, it might be illegal as all get out, but, you know, you got it going on. You don't need Charlie Manson.

INMATE WATSON: Yeah, uh, -–


INMATE WATSON: Yeah. Um, he -– he, uh, of course he put down everything about society. Um, -–


INMATE WATSON: And I got back, I -– I, it was like I came out of society -– back into society, uh, in Hollywood there with -– with, uh, Ms. Ina or Luella, the girl, and, um, it seems like everything that I was experiencing back in society was what he was saying. And, uh, it -– it seemed like I just didn't belong there, that I belonged back with him and with the -– the cult. I -– I hate to call them my family because it's, it even gives family a bad name, but, um, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: That’s, uh, that’s true -– that’s true.

INMATE WATSON: And, uh, so, um, I -– I was just deceived, that's all I can say. I was deceived. I -– I was blind, if, you know

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: But you felt like -– you felt –- you felt like you were losing your mind, too.

INMATE WATSON: Yeah, exactly, exactly. I -– I felt like


INMATE WATSON: I felt like I was going crazy and -– and, uh, well, I just wouldn't, I wasn't at that time willing to give him what he was asking. And he was asking for my total identity, he -– he was asking for everything. He was asking for me to actually, uh, give my life to, uh, his philosophies and his way of life and I just wasn't willing to do that and, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. So, you -– you left, you got any contact with those God-fearing parents of yours during this time?

INMATE WATSON: You know, I didn't. I did not -– I did not, uh, have any contact with my parents. And, um -– um, yeah, and -– and if you really look at it, I -– I think I was looking for basically three things. I was looking for acceptance. I -– I had it with my family. I -– I didn't feel I had it with Manson. I felt I had it with my girlfriend now and -– and Hollywood, okay. Uh, I -– I had security say with -– with my family. I surely didn't have it with Manson, you know, I felt that he might have something going, you know, enough to go back to him and say, what -– what am I -– what am I missing here, you know. I had -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You went -– you went back -–



INMATE WATSON: Uh, well, when I -– when I went back, it was a completely different -– different, uh -– uh, scenario. Since he had heard the Beatles White Album, he had this whole philosophy going about Helter Skelter and that, uh, this whole delusional, um, uh, end of the world, um, black and white race war, um, he was going to lead us into, uh -– uh, a new world, you know. And, um, the only reason I think I believed that is because of the -– of the drugs and the hallucination, uh, of the hallucinogens that I was taking, uh, at the time, um, which made me so gullible and, um, uh, willing to believe, uh, what he was saying. And, uh, so on the drugs he would, uh, actually, uh, program us through his music and to his guitar music, and through (inaudible), um, uh, songs about the end of the days, the end of the world, uh -– uh, the black and white race war, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, turning to violence -–

INMATE WATSON: Yeah, turning us against society. Now, it, the -– the Manson family was not violent before then, before March of, uh, of –- of `69. So, for those five months, uh, I saw a picture of myself, someone sent me this picture of myself, um, during -– during the three months I was there, and, uh, I was in the group with the Manson family and I looked like this kid standing over in the corner, a clean-cut kid and all the rest of them were looking like cult members. And, uh, and -– and I was so out of place, okay. So, when I went back in March of 69 and those five months before the crimes, before the murders, I –- I turned (inaudible) monster through drugs and, uh, eventually amphetamines.


INMATE WATSON: And I don't blame -– I don't blame the drugs. I -– I -– I chose to take those drugs.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Right. I -– I -– I hear what you're saying there.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: When he starts talking about violence -–




PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Those months prior to the killings –-


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Prior to the -– the murders, when he starts talking about violence -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, here's a -– here's a young guy that's upset about few typewriters in his living room, in his apartment –-


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And you with a guy that's talking about killing. Explain that. How does that happen?

INMATE WATSON: Well, you -– you know, I didn't, I -– I didn't really think it was real. I didn't think that he was real, I didn't really think that anyone was going to eventually get hurt. It -– it was just so like, uh -– uh, something where slowly, kinda like -– kinda like you put a frog in cold water and begin to turn up the heat, he just sits there and -– and -–


INMATE WATSON: Cooks to the death.


INMATE WATSON: Yeah, boils to death, and that's -– that’s what happened to me. I -– I was just -– I was just, I was there taking hallucinogenic drugs, listening to what was going on, not really believing that anyone was going to ever get hurt. Uh, he was getting all of this he felt from the Beatles music and from, uh, I never saw Manson with a Bible. I never, it, there weren’t, uh, there was a bible, some were stuck in the corner somewhere, but he came up with this revelation 9 theory of -– of the Beatles and -– and, uh -– uh, the bottomless pit and, you know, it was just sort of like, uh, um, just sort of something you were playing. I think I never got into Dungeons and Dragons, but it was kinda like just playing a –- a game, you know, uh, with -– with a bunch of -– a bunch of, uh, young people that were running around, uh, being someone different every day, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Were you -– were you somebody different every day? Cause you talk about -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Meeting -– meeting in a group every night -–



INMATE WATSON: In a circle and -– and -–



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You -– you said you're lazy. You got, you said you knew how a work –-


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: But you said you, there was a laziness about you, you’d get your drugs and you get your sex. So, you’re content in your mind -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: But you feel like you're losing your mind at the same time, but not enough to say, Hey, I need to get out of here and he starts talking about violence.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And so, what would you do in the context of that circle every night? What would you -–

INMATE WATSON: Well, every night, well, he -– he would actually, uh, play his music and, uh, and, uh, begin to program us into his philosophy, uh, and -– and, uh, just sing songs that had lyrics in them that, uh, turned us against, uh -– uh, society. Uh, he'd be singing -–


INMATE WATSON: About huh? What’s that?

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Go ahead, go finish your thought, please.

INMATE WATSON: He would be singing about, uh -– uh, Piggies and, uh, you know, uh, he’d, I forget all the stuff that was, you know, he was talking about, but I don't rehearse that a lot in my mind, but, uh, you know, he was, in that circle actually was turning a -– ag -– against our parents and turning us against society, uh, and, uh, freeing us of our, uh, ego, uh, and identity, um, in that we would actually become on the -– on the hallucinogens, we would actually become something different or someone different every time we took LSD.




INMATE WATSON: And -– and there –- there -– there was a big pile of clothes that we would dress up differently and act differently and, um, it -– it was just a -– a type of brainwashing, uh, I guess you could say.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, when you in this group, how -– how would he treat people?

INMATE WATSON: Well, he would, he, Manson was either very loving and accepting, or he was very angry. He would go from one to the other and, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, he's going -– he's going back and forth.

INMATE WATSON: Back, back and forth, yeah.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, tell me about the anger.

INMATE WATSON: Well, he would -– he would get angry when you didn’t, please him and, uh, Mans -– Manson was like this. He would -– he would, um, uh, -–


INMATE WATSON: Get you, get -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: I want you to give me some examples -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Of those ang -– of those anger areas.



INMATE WATSON: Right. Well, when you didn't -– when you didn't, when you didn’t, please him or he felt like you acted with, um, that -– that you were still acting out of your ego, or actually making decisions from the way you would have with your parents, he would get angry and, uh - – uh, reject you. And, uh, and with the girls, he would often pulled their hair. Uh, I didn't see him do a lot of, uh, of, uh, of, uh, abuse to them, but my need for acceptance and my insecurity just cause me want to him not to be angry at me and not get on his bad side.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Okay. You said you didn't see a lot of abuse towards the girls, but I asked you about anger and you said immediately he would -– he would, uh, he would pull the girls’ hair.

INMATE WATSON: Right. If they didn’t -– if they didn’t -– if they -– if they acted out or didn't act the way he felt they should, yes, he would he would, uh, pull their hair and -– and, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And how often did that happen?

INMATE WATSON: Well, it happened, uh, I -– I remember him pushing, uh -– uh, pulling, Sus -–, uh, Susan Atkins’ hair, uh, quite a bit, um, uh, Leslie Van Houten’s hair.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Did you see -– did you see him sodomized Leslie Van Houten?

INMATE WATSON: No, I never saw that. I -– I didn't see any -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Cause you guys – you guys kinda out in the open, weren’t you as far as your (inaudible)

INMATE WATSON: No, no, no, not me, I was inhibited. I -– I -– I had one girlfriend there, uh -– uh, Mary Brunner, uh, I -– I was too inhibited for any kind of, uh, that was really overplayed a lot, but no, I didn't see any sodomy or anything like that, I didn't.


INMATE WATSON: I didn't know anything -– I didn't know anything about that. I didn't, we didn't know anything about each other's sex lives, um, really there, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: All right. So, you saw him pull -– pulling girls’ hair, you saw Leslie Van Houten get, uh, abused, you saw Susan Atkins get abused by Charlie Manson.

INMATE WATSON: And I -– and I saw -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And here the -– and here's the, and here’s the guy that gets upset about some typewriters being in your apartment, but you're -– you’re, and you –- and you in fact had left.



INMATE WATSON: And I came back.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: of this guy and you came back and you saw that.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, any other examples of his, that -– that anger and that, uh, violence? And you talk about his talk, he's – he’s starting to talk about killing people or of violence happening, race wars things like that. Anything else that you can point to?

INMATE WATSON: Um, well, I -– I just remembered the constant programming against society and against our parents and, uh, to where, uh, my resentment began to build up and, uh, my anger began to build up as I blamed them, I think Manson, he blamed uh -– uh, society for his problems and he blamed, um, our parents for our problems. And, uh, and -– and that's where my pent-up anger came from, uh, stemming from my childhood. Um, and, uh, you know, I just didn't have the, uh, you know, the coping skills at the time that I have now to be able to see through that stuff and to call it for what it is. Uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: But –- but my, one of our jobs here today is to see who were you then and who are you now. It's a simple paradigm, but what I'm trying to get at is who were you then and ask you about questions about that. And, uh, and that's -– and that's, that's important to us as we -– as we go through this and I know that you've been through many of these as you know the victims’ next-of-kin have been through many of these. I went through the the introductions so effortlessly it's -– it's almost surprising because of the repetition that everybody's been through. But what I meant, what I was after was what was the violence and -– and you -– you talk about violence towards women. And, uh, there -– there was also that -– that thing with your -– your -– your girlfriend previously, and drug deal gone -– gone –- gone wrong and –- and –- and, uh, what happened there?

INMATE WATSON: Well, um, Manson came to me and asked me to -– to try to, uh -– uh, ask her for money and, uh, I did, and she refused. And, uh, he said well that's not good enough. He says, you're going to have to get some money from her. And, uh -– uh, I, uh, came up with this, uh, I, uh, I let her know that -– that I could possibly get some kilos of drugs. Um, TJ, who also was at the family, he knew a drug dealer, uh, and, um, out at El Monte, I believe, that, uh, he had purchased kilos from before. And, uh, so, uh, I let her know. I said, well, I have a friend that can get, you know, 25 kilos and, uh -– uh, what I did was to rip her off for that money. And, um, uh, Manson was on this trip to get money in any way he could, not -– not necessarily, uh -– uh, to -– to do anything with other than just provide for his, uh, Helter Skelter delusional, uh, thing. So, uh, we were all expected to try to get money. So, I -– I -– I went and, uh -– uh, over to her apartment and, uh, she had arranged for, uh, these other drug dealers to actually provide the money for marijuana that -– that really didn't exist. So, uh, TJ, he, went over to the drug dealer and, uh -– uh, parked the car on the other side, around the other side of the apartment and, uh, um, my girlfriend Rozena, and, uh, those drug dealers insisted on going, so we got over to the apartment and, um, uh, I insisted that I take the money and, uh, go and get the drugs. And, um, uh, so they eventually relented and let me go get the drugs. So, I got out of the car and took off with the money and went over into TJ’s car and we drove away with the money. In other words, we scammed $2,750 from these drug dealers and, um, brought it back to Manson that -– that evening.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, he says, uh, Hey, I bailed you out of, uh, I bailed you out of that drug deal gone wrong.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: What did he do? What did he do? What were you aware of?

INMATE WATSON: Oh, yeah, he went back and the -– the drug dealer called out to Spahn Ranch. This – this was something about Manson now that -– that -– that I thought about and I've been thinking about is that he would instigate me to go and do something like that and then after I did it, he would condemn me for messing up. And it was the same way that the murders, you know. I -– I didn't do the murders right, you know, and -– and here -– here, uh, afterwards, out in the desert, after the murders, he - – he condemn me and told me that karma was going to get to me and that I was going to, you know, whatever, you know, karma was going to come at me like -– like it is now, like I'm paying the consequences for my foolish choices and, you know my bad judgements.


INMATE WATSON: And, um, so that’s what Manson did. He -– he went back into Hollywood and he, uh -– uh, to, uh, my girlfriend's apartment where the drug dealer was and he, uh, he shot the drug dealer and, uh, --


INMATE WATSON: Came back, no, no, he didn't kill him. Uh, at first everybody thought he did, but, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Why would you think that? Why would you think -–

INMATE WATSON: Well, I -– I, someone had heard on the news that a Black Panther had, uh, body had been, uh, dumped at the UCLA campus and everybody thought that was him. Just some wild thought that it was him. But it turned out he wasn’t. Uh, kinda of a side store. This guy’s name was Liza Poppin, and he ended up coming to prison in, uh, the early `80s and got saved. He gave his life to Christ and ended up at CMC and we ended up taking communion together and he ended up forgiving me for stealing his money. And, uh, that’s karma for sure.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, so he got shot, then it, you know, and I -– and I realized that things happen -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And, uh, that are -– that are wrong and -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Convoluted and -– and things like that happen as far as forgiveness is concerned. But -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: But the thing I'm -– I'm trying to get out with you is -– is, uh, so he comes back and he says, I bailed you out and you didn't do that right. And, so walk us into the murders –-


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Tell us -– tell us what you do.

INMATE WATSON: Yeah, well, what I did, I actually, two nights I went in and slaughtered seven people. And, uh, I, 30 -– 30 days before the crime, uh, I had began taking methamphetamine, speed and, uh, sniffing it, and, um -- um, Manson came to me like you noted and – and said, I -– I want you to do me a favor. And by this time, I was totally -– I was totally in to, I totally believed that the world was coming to an end and there weren’t gonna be any consequences to what I was doing. And, uh, that -– that actually would kinda go in and out because sometimes I did think that there would be consequences and sometimes I didn’t, you know, so that would, that was kind of what the drug would do and, um, the way -– the way my conscious was being altered by the drug itself. Um, Charlie said, I want you to go up to where Terry Melcher, uh, lives, he doesn’t live there anymore and I want you to kill everybody in the house. And, uh, I was just sort of stunned and I said, okay, Charlie, whatever. I -– I was hoping that there wouldn't be anybody in the house really. And, uh -– uh, he says, I've already told the girls what to do and, uh, he says, they’re -– they’re getting some weapons and, uh -– uh, they -– they brought weapons to the car, the gun, the knives. And, uh, Susan Atkins and I, we went over to where I, we had, I had the stash of methamphetamine and, uh, we snorted the methamphetamine before we left the ranch. Only Susan and I, there wasn’t anyone else that did that. And, uh, -–


INMATE WATSON: I knew that I couldn't do what I was being asked to do by him unless I did that and it just (inaudible) me, you know. I was totally -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, we -– so we got the guy -– we got the guy that's bothered by some typewriters and (inaudible) -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: With that kind of sensitivity.

INMATE WATSON: Yeah, to -– to do this.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And you got a guy that -– that says, I'm gonna ask you to go slaughter a whole lot of people in a house and even then, you're having difficulties, right, so you -– so you load up on meth.



INMATE WATSON: I -– I had -–


INMATE WATSON: Uh, so we started driving a, uh, before we left the ranch, uh, I, he was saying something about writing on the walls of the houses, and I couldn't understand what he was saying. I said, what, you know, what are you talking about? He said, oh, that's okay, he said I've already told the girls how, what to do there and they’re -– they’re the ones that were in charge of that. And, um, he, um, he, the last thing he said was do something witchy, you know. Um, I don't know how much you realize that when you -– when you take methamphetamines, and we can talk more on this, but what happens is that you begin to, and I don't want to get out of place here, but you begin to take on a lot of evil and demonic oppression, okay, and not, I would never say the devil made to do anything, I was choosing this one step at a time. But I felt -– I felt like I had become evil, you know, over that, just that little period right there before the crimes. I, uh, that's the only way I can expl -–





PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You knew what it would do and that’s the reason why you took it, okay, (inaudible)

INMATE WATSON: Well, I, yeah, yeah -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And so, my question to you is what did you do?

INMATE WATSON: Yeah, well, I -– I went to the house, okay, with the girls. It took us about an hour to get there. Uh, because again, I really didn't want to do what I was being asked to do, didn’t want to do it. I don't, the girls didn't want to do it, none -– none of us wanted to do it. Um, we were fighting with out, betw -– between one another and our -– our conscience would actually flip in and flip out. And, uh, um, we finally got there, we got lost, we could've, I could've got there probably in 30 minutes but it took me an hour to get there, I was driving all the way around through Santa Monica. And it was like I was stalling, whether I could do this or not do this. And, uh, I eventually got to the house and we parked the car down at the bottom of the hill and started walking up the hill. Um, I climbed a telephone pole and we, uh, the car, we could’ve, should’ve, could’ve had the car, I think we had the car up at the top at first and then, uh, one of the girls drove it back down to the bottom, uh, Linda Kasabian, she drove it back down to the bottom. So, we drove up and was let off up there I believe, and then, uh, I climbed the telephone pole, uh, with these bolt cutters, big bolt cutters and I cut the wires, uh, not really knowing which ones were telephone, electric. I think I just cut the lowest wires on the pole thinking that they were the telephone wires. I climbed back down and, uh, I think I put the bolt cutters back in the car, and then she drove the car down at the bottom of the hill. And, uh, then I went over the fence and as soon as I came down off the hill, um, went kinda up over the fence and down, uh, it kinda of an embankment there where I climbed the embankment, went over the fence and, then all of a sudden, a car light showed up, that’s Steven Parent. Of course, I didn't know anybody's name so when I mention their names here, um, I didn’t know their names. But, um, the car started coming towards me and the car window was down, I went up to the window and, uh, I shot Steven Parent in the head or in the upper body, I -– I think it was possibly the head. Um, and I think I stabbed him at the same time.




INMATE WATSON: No, I -– I -– I did. I -– I, when I read the report that I just shot him, I don't want to be wrong here, but I stabbed him also, uh, through the car window. Um, so that's why I didn't say stab, but, um, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: How many times you stab him?

INMATE WATSON: I, it -– it could’ve been, I think it was probably two or three times I believe.


INMATE WATSON: Um-hum, and stabbed him.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Stabbed him two or three times.

INMATE WATSON: Yes., that’s right.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, you’re -– you’re –- you’re right up on him.

INMATE WATSON: I'm right up on him, right at the window.





PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And, uh, and he's probably looking right at you.

INMATE WATSON: Yes, he's begging for his life. Don't hurt me, I won't tell anybody, yeah.


INMATE WATSON: 18-year-old kid. He was heading to college I later found out and, um, -–


INMATE WATSON: 18-year-old. Working two jobs.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: He's begging for his life.

INMATE WATSON: Begging for his life. And here I was there not having any feeling.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: No threat -– no threat to you.

INMATE WATSON: No threat to me at all and, uh, -–


INMATE WATSON: And I killed him. And, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You were having argu -–, you said you were having arguments with the girls back then.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You had so many opportunities just to take that car and head to Texas.

INMATE WATSON: I did. I did.


INMATE WATSON: I had so many opportunities -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And the guy that was upset with the typewriters is looking eyeball-to-eyeball, he was pleading for his life –-

INMATE WATSON: Um-hum, yeah.


INMATE WATSON: Yeah, yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Go on. What do you do next?

INMATE WATSON: Um, then, um, we pushed the car back, he was in it, back a little bit from the driveway and we started into the house. Um, when, uh, we got to the house, I actually went through the -– through the window, I cut the window and I went in through the window. And, um, I, um, then the girls though walked straight in to the door, so I went through the window, they walked right into the door, the door was open and we met right there. And the first person I saw was, uh, Wojciech Frykowski. I kicked him when he woke up and I told him, I said, I'm the devil and I'm here to do the devil’s work. It just came out of my mouth, I don’t know what came out of my mouth, I was just, uh, like I was possessed, you know. And, uh, um, I told Susan, I said tie his hands up and she used a towel to tie his hands up. And, uh, I told, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You got the gun at his head when you’re telling them what to do?

INMATE WATSON: I -– I got, I've got the gun, yes, I do -– yes, I did. I had a hold of the gun. I told, um, Patricia Krenwinkel to go back into the rest of the house and bring -– to see if there was anybody else there and to bring them out, and she did. She brought out Jay Sebring, um, Abigail Folger, and, um, Sharon Tate.


INMATE WATSON: She just, I -– I -– I think she had a knife and she was threatening them, uh, to come out and they came out.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: What kind of a knife do you think she had?

INMATE WATSON: I'm -– I'm -– I'm not for sure. She may have not had a knife. I'm not for sure but I think she was -– she was, I think she was threatening them with a knife, I'm not for sure about that. Um, then everybody got into the living room and, um, the first thing Jay Sebring said, she sai -– he said, um, she's pregnant, don’t -– don’t -– don’t hurt her, you know, or something like that. He told me that he said, I know karate and he was about four feet in front of me. And when he told me that, um, I got scared and I shot him. And then he went to the ground and he was still moving, I went over and stabbed him.


INMATE WATSON: I, where did I stab him?


INMATE WATSON: I think I stabbed him at abdomen or chest area I believe, I'm not for certain, but it was in that area there.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: How many -– how many times did you stab him?

INMATE WATSON: I'm -– I'm not for certain, probably maybe 5 or 6 times I would say, possibly.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, he's down, he's shot -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And you go over and you stab him 5 or 6, I mean he's out of the, he's no threat to you, he's out of the picture.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: But you go over there and stab him 5 or 6 more times.

INMATE WATSON: But he was still, he was -– he was still moving around, you know, so, that’s why I did that. And then, uh, Wojceich Frykowski, he got -– he got loose and, um, uh, started running out the door and Susan Atkins start of chasing him down, and, um, he had -– he had her by the hair and was pulling her hair and she was trying to tackle him to the ground and, uh, she had a Buck knife, that was part of what was brought and, um, she was trying to stab him with it. And, uh, so, she yelled for me, uh, to help her and, uh, I started helping her bring down Wojceich going out the door. And, Patricia Krenwinkel she had already started chasing, uh, Abigail out the door and, uh, -–


INMATE WATSON: Yes, she had a knife too. And, uh, she had Abigail, uh -– uh, as I was helping, uh, Susan and –- and –- and began, I actually shot, um, uh, Wojceich one time and was out of –- out of bullets. And then I started hitting him with the, uh, with the butt of the gun (inaudible) and, cause Susan was, Susan was actually screaming by then. And, uh, then, uh, I went over and started stabbing Wojceich, uh, to get him away from Susan and I just continued to stab and stab and stab.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: How many times do you think you stabbed him?

INMATE WATSON: Gosh, probably 20 or 25 times probably, just I was just a monster, just a wild man. And, uh, then, uh, um, Patricia was, um, hollering and, uh, over with Abigail and she had stabbed Abigail and so I went over to see what was going on there.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And you said she was screaming and yelling. What was that about?

INMATE WATSON: I don’t know. I guess maybe needing help or something, uh, that's what I depicted was happening. So, I went over and also stabbed, um -- um, Abigail.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Did you think Abigail might be screaming?

INMATE WATSON: It could have been Abigail too. I -– I didn’t know what I was hearing. Uh, yeah, sure she would have been screaming, uh, Wojciech was screaming, everybody was screaming. You know it was just -– it was just madness, it was just, uh, total, uh, just total, uh, madness you know going on at that particular time.


INMATE WATSON: So, I went, so, uh, I went back over and, uh, Wojciech was still moving and, uh, so I stabbed him more times and, uh, then Linda Kasabian showed up, uh, from down at the car, she had come up and, uh, started screaming herself. What’s going on, you know, just total, uh, totally frightened out of her mind, you know, as she should have been. And, um, so I told her to go back down to the car and she did and then Susan, uh, by this time was back in the house and was holding down Sharon. And um, uh, I went over and she was asking to let her have her baby and I had no mercy on her and I started stabbing her and I killed her. And, um, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Where did you start stabbing her, Watson?

INMATE WATSON: I -– I first slashed her across the face –-


INMATE WATSON: And then -–


INMATE WATSON: I was, I don’t really know -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Why’d you slash -– why’d you slash Sharon Tate across the face.

INMATE WATSON: I don’t know that. I -– I -– I was just, I don’t know, I just -– just all -– all that anger or whatever was coming out of me, just wanting her to be quiet I guess, you know. Um, I was where -–


INMATE WATSON: I was where -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Be quiet. Be quite or be disfigured?

INMATE WATSON: No, not be disfigured, I didn’t want to disfigure her, but I -– I wanted to -– I wanted to kill her because that’s what I was there for, that’s what I was instructed to do.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And Sharon’s probably in the vicinity where all these murders are happening, is that correct? Because there was the other -–

INMATE WATSON: She was back -– back -– back in the living room of the house.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: The question, was she around where all the murders are going on? She was aware of what’s going on, is that correct?

INMATE WATSON: I think so. I think so, yes. She’s -– she’s aware of what’s going on. At some time there, I had, um -- um, I had, I don’t recall this to a big extent, at one time I even thought that Manson and TJ went back over to the house and did this, but at some point, I actually believed that I -– I tied up a rope around, uh -– uh, Jay Sebring’s neck and then threw it over a beam and tied it to Sharon. Uh, I don’t know exactly what point I did this because I kinda get confused in that after I shot Jay Sebring, um, then everything went into such motion that I wouldn’t have had, I didn’t have time to tie him, them up at that particular time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. So, we’ll -– we’ll get to that in a second. Let’s go back to Sharon.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: How many times you stab her?

INMATE WATSON: I think probably –- I think probably 10 or 15 times –-


INMATE WATSON: In the chest area –- the chest area, yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: She talked about, as well as other people talked about her being pregnant, she wanted to have her baby, she like, um, like Steve Parent, pleading -– pleading for their life. You know I don’t know what I'm hearing there, but there’s feedback. If -– if everybody’s muted, I’d appreciate it. I -– I don’t want anybody hearing what we’re going through right now other than the people who are approved to be on this site. Did you stab her in the stomach?

INMATE WATSON: No, I did not. That was, even though I slashed her across the face, that was the hardest thing, um, to do. It was very difficult. Susan didn’t want to stab her and I really didn’t want to either. I don’t know why I slashed her across the face, I -– I really don’t, I just, I gue –- I guess just to get started what I knew that I was hav -– hav -– that I had to do, you know. Um, no I did not stab her in the stomach.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Then you were talking about, um, taking a rope and throw it over a beam and –- and, uh, it sounds like you were, uh, you tied the rope around, was it Jay Sebring’s neck, was that, you tied his neck -–

INMATE WATSON: Yes, and, I -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And then you tied it around Sharon Tate’s neck too, is that –-

INMATE WATSON: I'm not for sure when I did this. I'm not denying it at all. I'm not for sure -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You know, I'm just asking -–



INMATE WATSON: I'm not -– I'm not for sure exactly when in the crime that I did it. Uh, early on in my dealing with this, I actually thought that Manson and TJ had done that when they went back to the scene of the crime that night when they went back to the scene of the crime that night. I can't imagine them doing that, but, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Do you remember tying those ropes, that rope around their necks?

INMATE WATSON: I don't remember tying that rope around their neck, but I -– I -– I'm not saying that I didn't do that though.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Were they, were there, were they still alive at that time?

INMATE WATSON: Um, I don't know. That's what I don't know. I -– I can't figure out when I did that. Uh, I -– I -– I can't figure out exactly when, because everything happened so fast. I can't figure out when I had the time to do that. Uh, I may, I, um, I think -– I think -– I think when I did it. Okay, let me say this again. I think when I did it, was when they first came out of the, out, no, I didn't do that because that's when I got threatened so that I shot Jay Sebring. So, so I know Jay Sebring was –- was dead when I did that.


INMATE WATSON: And then I think, I don't know when I had time before the, uh, everybody started running out the door to get away, because that's when -– when I shot Jay Sebring everybody knew that what was happening. So, they tried getting away, so I don't know when I threw the rope over the beam and tied it to Sharon, I can't put that together. Okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: What -– when you tied that rope around their necks, were their bodies suspended off the ground?

INMATE WATSON: No, they, no they were not, no. They were not suspended off the ground.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Then what happens after the this, go ahead.

INMATE WATSON: Um, after that, um, the girls began to write, uh, different things on the walls, okay. Uh, like Rise, um, uh, like, Hel -– Helter-Skelter I believe in that -– in that house, I know in the other house it did -– they did. But, uh, Manson, he -– he, the -– the, going back just a little bit, he was wanting to start a black and white race war and he wanted the blacks to be blamed for what was taking place. So that's why he wrote Rise. And he got that from the Helter-Skelter album or the White Album of the Beatles.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Well, how did they write those words?

INMATE WATSON: I think they dipped blood in, on a towel and -– and wrote those words on, with a towel.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: There must have been blood all over that place.

INMATE WATSON: There -– there was, yes there was, sir.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Did anybody carve anything in anybody's stomach, chest with a knife?

INMATE WATSON: The second night, the next night, yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: That was with -– that was with, uh, that was with Len – Leno?

INMATE WATSON: Leno LaBianca, yes, sir, yes.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. Um, did you carve, so nobody carved anything other than all the slashing that was going on the first night.

INMATE WATSON: First night, no, they didn’t.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, so what were the things that were -– go ahead, you looked like you were gonna say something.

INMATE WATSON: No, I –- I wasn’t, go ahead.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. So, so, uh, what were the words that were written on the walls or on the door or wherever it was written out of blood and who was writing that?

INMATE WATSON: Um, oh, Susan Atkins and, I can't really remember seeing them doing that, but I –- I -– I assume that both the girls were, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel were writing on the walls. And, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. So, what happened after all the writing on the walls and all the words that were put up with the victims’ blood? What -– what happened? What'd you guys do?

INMATE WATSON: Well, well we left. We, uh, went down and push the button on the gate and walked out down to the car and, um, uh, drove down the street and took a side street and got to a place where there was a hose and began to wash our self off. And, uh, there was a guy coming out of the house, wanted to know why we were using the hose, he started chasing us down to the car and, uh, we, he tried stopping us by reaching into the window and getting the keys and, um, so we just sped off and got away and went, uh, started across the top of, I think Mulholland Drive. Uh, before we got there, we threw out the clothing, the bloody clothing, we changed clothing and, uh, threw out the bloody clothing, uh, over the side and threw the, uh, the, uh, gun and knives and everything off the side of the, uh, of the hill there, on the side of the highway. And, uh, then (inaudible) down to I guess we went to the bathroom so we could see ourselves and clean off a little bit more. Um, then, uh, drove back out to the ranch where Charlie was waiting for us out there.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, what’s -– what’s the conversation like as you guys are traveling back to the ranch?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, you know, I don’t recall. I -– I -– I think things were rather quiet, uh -– uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Any demeaning kind of talk?

INMATE WATSON: No, no, no no. We were -– were were shock, we were in shock, you know, I think we were in shock. Um, I know I was. I was just totally, uh, depleted, uh -– uh, after that, you know.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You know, I -– I remember, you know, like not everybody, but I -– I was certainly alive when you -– when you did this and, uh, it had an effect on a lot of people. Uh, I remember the arrogance in the -– the court room. You know, when -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You didn’t have any of that arrogance going back?

INMATE WATSON: You know, that -– that, I was in that court room.


INMATE WATSON: I -– I had a separate trial.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Usually arrogance stays with somebody, you know, it -– it usually happens.

INMATE WATSON: Well, I didn’t have any arro -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: That’s the reason why I asked -– that’s the reason why I asked the question. I mean, you know -–

INMATE WATSON: No, I don’t, I didn’t have any -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: I've -– I've done a couple thousand of these hearing and -– and, uh, usually, you know, when I'm dealing with gang people, um, after they do a killing there’s some high-fiving and accolades going on.

INMATE WATSON: No, there wasn’t any of that. We were -– we were saddened, we were just, um, you know, I had just done something that was so horrible, and, um, you know, I was really saddened by what had taken place, um, you know.


INMATE WATSON: I hit, you know, I -– I, uh, I got one -– I got one thing I would like to bring in right now if I could. I -– I got this, uh -– uh, article that came out in the, uh, in the, uh, `80s. Uh, you know, I've tried to figure out how, I've tried to figure out the same thing that you’re trying to figure out here –-





PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Go in, I know this is your hearing, but -–

INMATE WATSON: Right. No, no -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: I am -– I am the Chairman and I want to -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Let you know what I want to do is I want to walk through, okay, you’re back at the ranch.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Charlie meets you, and then what happens?

INMATE WATSON: Okay. He meets us there and, uh, he, uh, the girls began to, uh -– uh, tell him what had happened. And, uh, I think there was arrogance there some, from Susan Atkins, she was arrogant about what had happened. She -– she was, uh, kind of, uh -– uh, a real outgoing boastful type person, always trying to be seen, always trying to, uh, prove herself or, you know, be out of the crowd sort of, you know, in –- in -– in the, uh, in the cult. And, um, so she was, and -– and so she was explaining it to Manson and Manson said, oh, it was really Helter-Skelter and she -– and she said, yeah, yeah. I was -– I was quiet and, um, then he asked, he says do you guys, do you have any remorse, and of course to please him we all said no. But I was totally, um -- um, I was totally depleted, um, just stunned by what I’d done at that -– at that crime scene, um, and I just wanted -– I just wanted it to end. And um, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You could’ve drove right back to Texas, but you didn’t.

INMATE WATSON: I know. I could’ve drove.


INMATE WATSON: You mean what happened after that? After -–


INMATE WATSON: Um, you cut out there for a little while. But, um, uh, I went to -–



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Watson, hang on one second.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Watson, if I blank out as far as this computer’s concerned -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Just raise your hand so that we’ll know the communication has now been, uh, you know, so just give me a hand sign or something like that, okay? Go ahead, continue on.

INMATE WATSON: Um, I went to bed and woke up the next morning with the news of what had happened and all the, everybody was talking about it. And, uh, finding out who had been murdered and, uh, it was all over the news. And, uh, I didn’t -– I didn’t watch it. I didn’t watch any of it, I was scared from what was being said. There was no TV on the ranch, it was in a –- it was in a trailer and we didn’t really, it wasn’t out trailer. I didn’t know exactly who was in that trailer, but it wasn’t one of the Manson family members, but they would go in there and watch TV, uh, now and then and they were watching it on TV. And, um, so I was just kinda of a –- a think depressed with, all the day long, and I then I was beginning to hear that Manson wanted to go out and do it right this time, that it was –- that it was too messy. And, um, I was dreading that happening. And, um, so, finally, and he was gonna -– he was gonna show us how to do it without it being messy. So, um, he, uh, we all got in the car. Before we did, I -– I, Susan and I we had, uh -– uh, sniffed some more methamphetamine that -– that hit me before we left. And I was -– I was pretty much addicted on it, uh, myself. I, that’s the only thing I can say I was every addicted to. Not that I couldn’t do without it, eventually I -– I did, I didn’t have any withdrawals or anything, but I was addicted to that drug. And, uh, so we got in the car and started driving around and, uh, I think it was, uh, that's, uh, Linda Kasabian that was driving the car. She was the only one that had a driver’s license. I had thrown all my identity away when I gave my identity to Manson and, um, just kinda became his slave, so to speak. Uh, I - – threw my, identi -– my, uh, my identification away, uh, my driver’s license. And, uh, so we started driving around and looking for some place to, um, carry out, uh, another murder. And, uh, he came to a church and checked that place out and he decided that that wasn't the right place. And I didn't know where he was going or where, what we were looking for but eventually I think he knew, uh, of an area, uh, where someone lived, uh, that he had once known. I think the name of the person was True or something like, Howard -– Howard True or something like that. And, uh, so he had us go, we, she drove us there, had her drive there and we pulled up to the curb and he got out of the car and he was gone for about probably 3 to 5 minutes and came back and he got me. He said, okay, let's go, so I got out of the car and, uh, went with him and he was gonna show us how to do it only I was the only one there at the time. And so, we went -– we went into the house and Leno was laying on the couch and Manson had these, uh -– uh, leather strips, I forget what you call them, but they were ties and, uh, he told me to wake him up cause he was asleep with the paper laying over his face. So, I woke him up and, uh, while Manson, uh -– uh, held the knife on him, I tied his hands behind his back and laid him back on the couch. And then, uh, we went back into the back and tied up Rosemary. And, uh, I think put a -– put a pillowcase over her head and tied a, uh, a lampshade cord around her neck. Um, -–


INMATE WATSON: Uh, I think I did that, yes, I did -– I did that.


INMATE WATSON: No, she wasn’t there yet. I don’t -– I don’t think it was her, I hope I'm not taking more responsibility than I should, but if she says it was her, I guess it was her, but I -– I thought I did that. But, uh -– uh, don't get me -– don't get me wrong, I don’t think I could take any more responsibility than I should, I'm totally responsible. But, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: I was -– I was surprised at that statement.

INMATE WATSON: Yeah, yeah. Uh, I, uh, then Manson left. He left me there with the two and I was just waiting. He said he was gonna go get the girls. And, uh -– uh, so he went and, uh, got the girls and they came in the house and I said, did he say to kill them? And they said, yes. And, so I went over and, um, I stabbed Leno LaBianca in the throat and then I stabbed him –-

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: What kind of knife did you have?

INMATE WATSON: It was actually a bayo -– a bayonet.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So that's something that's about a foot or foot and a half long.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, when you stabbed him in the throat, did you just run him through?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: All right. So, you probably got all kinds of noise, he's probably pleading for his life, he's probably gurgling because of all the blood in that area. What do you do after that?

INMATE WATSON: I, uh, then the girls were back in the back, uh -– uh, stabbing, uh, Rosemary and they start hollering and she's hollering and, um, I go back and I help them, I stab Rosemary with the bayonet. And then, hum?


INMATE WATSON: And, uh, then she's on the floor and Manson had said before he left, he says, make sure the girls do something. And so, I told, uh, Leslie to stab, um, Rosemary. Rosemary was laying on her stomach and Leslie stabbed Rosemary down across the back, down by the buttocks, across the back and think she stabbed him, her, um, 20 times or so with a kitchen utensil. And, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Kitchen, a kitchen utensil?

INMATE WATSON: Yeah. I think a knife from the kitchen I believe.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You didn't give her the -– the bayonet that you were holding?

INMATE WATSON: No, no I didn’t, no I didn’t, no. They had got -– they had got both gotten knives from the kitchen. I think the only knife there was the bayonet.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, what -– what size knife do you think that was? Was it -–, was it a small steak knife or was it a, kind of a –-

INMATE WATSON: I think it was a small, small knife, yeah, yes, sir.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And she -– she started to, uh, stab Rosemary repetitively.

INMATE WATSON: Yes, she did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Was Rosemary dead when she started, uh, stabbing her.

INMATE WATSON: I think so -– I think so.


INMATE WATSON: Because I stabbed her.


INMATE WATSON: Probably about 15 I would say, I don’t remember exactly how many times.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So then what do you do after that, Mr. Watson?

INMATE WATSON: Well, I go -– I go back into the dining, the, uh, the, uh, area where, uh, Leon was, and he was actually laying on the floor by that time. Uh, I guess he had rolled off the couch and was laying on the floor. And, um, Patricia was there and, uh, I carved War on his abdomen and she actually took a fork from the kitchen, uh, kind of a steak fork or some kind of fork with prongs on it and stabbed him with it, after he was dead.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Anything else going on there?

INMATE WATSON: Nothing is going on there. Um, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And you stabbed, you –- you carved that –-


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Carved that, uh, in his stomach with, uh, was that with the bayonet that you were -–

INMATE WATSON: With the bayonet, yes, sir. I, you know, I absolutely don’t know why I did those things. I mean as War in there, other than just the -– the, I guess the -– the race war that we were programmed with, you know, over that 5-month period of time there it was going to happen and actually, Manson, I -– I -– I, well, I can share some more here. He -– he had left and, uh, before he left, he, uh, -– he, uh, took a wallet from the house and had, uh, I thought they were still gonna be outside waiting for us, but when we got outside, we were, they weren't there -– they weren't there.


INMATE WATSON: I heard they had left and drove, driven all over town and down in the Watts area or somewhere and or Compton and put the wallet in a bathroom so that it would look like the blacks had committed the murders -–


INMATE WATSON: To start Helter Skelter.


INMATE WATSON: And that's what the whole two nights was about, Helter Skelter hadn't started so Manson and us were going to have to start it. So, uh, we -– we walked, we, uh, we -– we had to walk away from the house there after we had gotten some food out of the refrigerator and we showered off in their bathroom.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Did -– did you guys, did you guys write anything in blood on the walls?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, yes, uh, the girls did. I did not write anything. I wasn't -– I wasn't told to do the writing, the girls were told to do the writing, and I think, uh, she wrote (inaudible), they wrote Helter Skelter and they -– they misspelled it on the wall that I recall. I didn't know they misspelled it.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: They write -– they write Pigs or anything like that?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, I think they did on that wall. I think that, they did, you're right, they did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And then you guys stopped for a bite -– you guys stopped for a bite to eat - –



INMATE WATSON: Yeah, we did. Got, took some food with us and -– and took a bag of coins that they had and with us, and, um, started hitchhiking back to, uh, Spahn’s Ranch.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. And then you - – you get back there on you guys end up taking off, is that correct?

INMATE WATSON: Um, got back there and I told Manson that, um, my friend had, David, actually called the ranch and I was supposed to call him, but I really didn't call him, I just made up a lie to Manson that I had called and that my mother had called him, my mother had called him looking for me and, uh, -–


INMATE WATSON: Had called David looking for me and, uh, wanted to know what was happening with me. And, uh, I didn't call David back, but what I did, I told Manson that I had, and that I had, that the FBI had called my house and they were looking for me in Texas for murder. And because of that, he, uh -– uh, sent me and, um, trying to think of her name right now, one of the girls out to the - – to the desert to get us out of town.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. So that was -– was that Krenwinkel? Was that, uh, -–

INMATE WATSON: No, it was, uh, oh, Dianne Lake, it was Dianne Lake.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. You’re out in the desert and, uh, and at -– at your lowest point, your mom is calling.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, you’re out in the desert for how long?

INMATE WATSON: Well, I thought that, uh, I thought that he was going to ask us to kill someone else or somebody else. And, uh, so I didn't, or to go to another house the next night, so I wanted to actually stop what was going on. So, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. So, you were eventually taken into custody, is that correct and arrested?

INMATE WATSON: Right. Yes, I was, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: How much longer (inaudible)

INMATE WATSON: Well, it was actually, um, on November 30th, November 30th, so it was like three and a half months I think, or something like that.


INMATE WATSON: I was arrest, uh, I actually, uh, was, uh, at home in Texas and, um, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You finally drove back there.

INMATE WATSON: No, no I flew back. I -– I escaped from Mason again, and out in the desert, I actually, uh, he wanted me to kill a couple of Rangers out there and had me waiting for them, and I knew I wasn’t gonna do that, so I got in a -– a Dodge Powerwagon and drove out of the desert down into the Southside and walked out to the highway where I caught a ride to, uh -– uh, San Bernardino. Called my parents for money to fly back to Texas and I flew back to Texas and while I was in Texas there, uh, I even -– I even left Texas again and tried to get back to Manson and then before I got back to him, I decided if I got back to him, he would’ve killed me, so I went back to Texas again. My parents, they said, when I called them, said, well are you gonna stay this time and I said yes, I'm gonna stay. So, I stayed and, uh, then there was a warrant issued for my arrest and the Sheriff, uh, who was a cousin came to the house. I wasn't there, but when I came home, my dad told me that they were looking for me for murder and asked me if I knew anything about it and I lied and said no. But I went over with them to the County jail and turned myself in, um, and I've been locked up ever since November 30th, 1969.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Now you, uh, you left the people that truly loved you.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You were a kid with a lot going, uh, Manson, you -– you could’ve -– you could’ve squashed him. You could have left anytime.



INMATE WATSON: But I did leave several times, but that -– that draw -– drawing me back, the -– the, uh, the need –- the need for acceptance. I -– I -– I just had a -– a need for acceptance like nobody else. I -– I didn't feel I was accepted back in Texas. I -– I felt rejection and fear of failure and I was running and looking for acceptance and -– and -– and was blind to the fact that my parents had it right there for me, but I had made them into sort of a monster and blaming them for all my problems. And when I got with Manson, it just made it that much worse because his whole philosophy was for us to get rid of our parents, get out of our parents, and be totally, uh, for him to take over our parents, you know, and -– and I believed his -– his lies and his philosophy while on hallucinogens and amphetamines. And no excuse, uh, I chose every step of the way and I -– I regret it deeply.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Mr. Watson, uh, you left a couple of times, two or three times it sounds like.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And, uh, you know, the, for good reasons, you left for good reasons the first time, you feel like you were losing your mind, wanted to be away, you were separated. Um, you sound like at -– at one point you had a -– a sensitivity to what you'd done when you were a younger man. It was pretty acute if you can be, uh, disturbed over stealing some typewriters so much so that you would go back to your parents and talk about, Hey, this is what I did. Uh, and, uh, but you made decisions to leave, you ma -– made decisions to go back, so I would ask you the overarching question, what are the causative factors. Why do you do what you do?

INMATE WATSON: Well, uh, the -– the -– the poor judgment that I had at that particular time, I was just totally self-centered in making those choices. And, um, you know, the, uh, the -– the peer pressure of, uh, of, uh, the group that -– that -– that I was in, I was -– I was in there and –- and so need of acceptance within the group that, uh -– uh, it wasn’t only Manson that I was trying to gain acceptance from, I was trying to gain accep -– acceptance from the whole group, not just him. I -– I was trying to gain acceptance from the girls and, uh, to prove that, uh, that I was dead, that I was dead to myself, that my, that -– that my ego was dead. I was just as dead as Manson was, you know. And, uh, the, another causative factor would be, uh, uh, just my delusional beliefs that -– that the end of the world was coming, uh, that there was not gonna be any consequences, uh, for the sin or for the, uh, for the, uh -– uh, crimes that I'd committed. Uh, and then I think at the same time, the, uh, the, uh, hallucinogens that I was taking was, uh, making me gullible to the philosophy and I think Manson knew that. I think Manson had the LSD and the availability to it, to the LSD to give it to us to make us more gullible into believing his Helter Skelter, uh, philosophy that he had of the whole black and white race war, and that he was going to end up being a leader and that we were gonna be out in the desert in a bottomless hole, uh -– uh, eventually running society. He was gonna eventually be writing society because the blacks wouldn't be able to. I mean as crazy as that sounds, that it -– it on LSD, it -– it -– it just seemed reasonable with everything that was going on in society at the time. The -– the Vietnam war, the -– the race wars and -– and, uh, and the Watts, uh -– uh, just, uh, the whole rebellion of the -– of the age there that was going on, it just seemed like what he was coming forth with was feasible. And, uh -– uh, and the amphetamines, I -– I, uh, and I want to bring in my anger too, I think. My unjust anger at my parents, uh, that, uh, you know, the -– the -– the fear of failure, I -– I -– I felt they were mapping out my life and they should've been mapping out my life, somebody needed to map out my life, I wasn't doing a good job with it. I didn't have, uh, the Boy Scouts and going to church, uh, I just never -– I just never, uh, found the power of God like I have today in my life to do what I've been able to do since I repented and turned my life over to Christ. I didn't have that power of God in my life back then. I was separated from God. I was allowing every type of evil thing to, uh, rule my life and to just flow through my life and, um, uh, just in total disobedience to all of the values that my parents had. I - – I’d just become a -– a slave to -– to sin if -– if you can understand that. And -– and -– and my laziness, these are all -– all contributing factors. And -– and, uh, when I got with Manson, again, he put down our parents to build himself up. He was just an insecure person himself. Uh, some people called him a -– a -– a wolf in sheep’s clothing, uh, but Manson was nothing more than a con artist, he was just -– just a con artist. And -– and, uh - – uh, he knew that we were lacking in acceptance, uh, we needed, uh, looks like we needed security and significance and he kind of gave us that through radicalizing us with this whole, uh, race war, him taking over the world, uh, scenario. Uh, and -– and, uh, that -– that sort of provided something that we could even see into the future, uh, a bleak future but, uh, so with -– with the resentments that I began to build up and the, uh, anger towards my parents, which was totally unjust, you can see that. I -– I didn't have the coping skills to fight all my character defects, all of my, uh, my, uh, anxiety and fear and, uh, the failure that I seem to be experiencing and fleeing to California, I didn't have anything to combat that, uh, the lie that was coming at me. So, um, and then I think nothing -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You -– you did -– you did leave a few times.

INMATE WATSON: Yeah, I did -– I did, well –-

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You did stand up to him one time with a credit card.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So, you did, you, uh, you know, it's, you know, I -– I can remember watching the, I -– I grew up on -– on Hoover Street. I can remember watching the Watts riots when I was 10 years old on the top of my roof watching.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Uh, you know, it is incredible -– incredible tension. But this guy is saying, he's gonna to rule the world?


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: He's gonna rule the world and the blacks are gonna win and all this stuff -–

INMATE WATSON: I know, he's crazy, yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: That would fly in your face compared to a group of typewriters.

INMATE WATSON: Yeah, yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You know that -– that, uh, that to me is, uh, I mean he shot a black guy and you guys were looking at him as far as, and you -– you met him later on at CMC.

INMATE WATSON: Yeah, in prison, yeah.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Uh, you know, the duplicity was all around you.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: He talked about love but he's throwing women around by the hair and taking whoever, he wants and -–



INMATE WATSON: I was too –-

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Right there -– right there, right in front of you. Any other causative factors that you can think of.

INMATE WATSON: Well, I -– I -– I think what really released all the demons in me, if I could be so blunt, was the methamphetamine. And the, and that’s where I was gonna bring in this little article that I have here, that it’s a little article that I have here that I -– I, and I'm not excusing what I did with this, okay –-


INMATE WATSON: But, I -– I -– I see where you’re coming from and I -– I've already understood where you're coming from as far as how did this kid, I mean I was a kid, I mean, and, uh, I saw that picture of me and, um, uh, Nov -– November, um, `68 -–


INMATE WATSON: When I saw that -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Watson, I see some - – I see some emotion on you.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: What’s that emotion about? What -– what –-

INMATE WATSON: It's just, basically it's just about, you know I just slaughtered those people and, uh, it's just so hard. I mean I went from that kid (inaudible) out there with the Manson family (inaudible) coming back and giving myself to this. It's just such a, so hard to be older understand how something like that can happen. You know, it's just, it's terrible. It's just awful. I live it every day. There’s not a day that I don't go by I don’t think about what I did. And the only way I can handle it to get through this, just by my faith in God now and thanking God’s grace and what he's made me into. And, so it's just a terrible thing like. I, but this article, it really spoke to me and that’s why I wanted to share it with you. It's on the violence producing drug may become more popular authorities fear and it's this article here. And, um, and I -– I'm just gonna, I'm not gonna read the whole article, I'm just going to speed, and it's got in here it says, Crank, also known as speed, and that’s what I was on, I was on speed. It, the next paragraph he talks about it being inhaled through the nose. This came out in like 1980. And, um, uh, it says here that, um, it's possible it might take off said Roger Sager, Director of the Drug Enforcement administration's lab in San Francisco, quote, “can't tell what what happened until we see how users react”.


INMATE WATSON: Down at another paragraph here it says crystal meth was blamed by One Nation magazine with ending San Francisco psychedelic scene, uh, excuse me. I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Just one second, please. Crystal meth was blame by One National Magazine with ending San Francisco psychedelic scene in 1969, by turning a hate from weeds and beads to crystals and pistols. That’s the quote.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: That's true. That's true and you see it over and over again. Methamphetamine – -

INMATE WATSON: (inaudible)

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: methamphetamine, violence, drugs, you know, meth, and sex, it goes together. It -– it repetitively goes together. You don’t need to read the rest of the article for me, I'm not after that. What I -– what I do want to know is, how did you feel when Manson died?

INMATE WATSON: A number people have asked me that and, you know, I've had a hard time blaming Manson for what took place. I had a hard time because I've always said I chose to do this, I took -– I took the responsibility for the choices. So, it wasn't like I was glad that he had died, you know. I -– I -– I wanted to see the guy really, I wanted to see him saved, I wanted to see him changed. I wanted to see him, uh, received Christ like I received Christ and -– and repent of what he did, but he never did.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: So how did you -– how did you feel when he died?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, I felt, I -– I felt that he left all the responsibility to us, who he had manipulated to do what he had wanted us to do. And I felt that I -– I -– I kind of felt a release that he was gone too, that he was actually dead and wouldn't -– wouldn't be with us anymore. I was -– I was relieved that -– that it happened. I -– I - – I really feel that he had too much -– he had too much, uh, he had too much hold on society still. Um, Marilyn Manson, the group, Marilyn Manson taken Marilyn Monroe and Charles Manson, that group has just completely wrecked. I don’t how popular it is today, I haven't kept up with it, but in its hey-day, it -– it was promoting Charles Manson and Charles Manson should never be promoted. He should never be, uh -– uh, this thing, this -– this whole Manson madness just took over society, and its took over, um, the minds of so many people in -– in -– in no good way. Every –- every, like I’ll do it later in sharing my closing statement, people felt that Manson was going to get to them like a disease was going to get to them. It, uh, he – - he was not any good for society and, uh, -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: I'm glad you -– I'm glad you made that statement because -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Because the, those repercussions –-


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Are -– are still current, they are.

INMATE WATSON: They’re still current, yeah. They’re still current.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And uh, and I, uh, I'm glad you see that. You know, um, there was one last question I wanted to ask you before I go to the Deputy Commissioner. Actually, I'm gonna take a quick break after this, uh, after this, uh, portion, right after this question. Uh, looking back on your life, Mr. Watson, what would you do different had you had the opportunity? I know that's just an allegorical question, it's –- it's make believe, but looking back on your life what decisions would you make differently?

INMATE WATSON: I would, uh, I would’ve stayed in Texas with my parents and I, would've not got involved in alcohol, although I -– I don't believe I every -– ever became a, um, an alcoholic, but I would've never gotten alcohol. I would have -– I would have been more attentative to my studies and not be such a lazy student growing up so that I wouldn't have experienced all the fear as I went on in my education. Cause it was my own fault that, uh, I rebelled against my parents, blaming them for mapping out my life. That was my fault, it wasn't their fault. They had -– they had good accolades for me and my two, my -– my older brother and my older sister. I was following in their steps, but because of my own laziness, because of my drinking at 14, having sex, medicating the pain of my fear of failure and my laziness, I just didn't succeed. I, and I would’ve -– I would've paid more attention to my Christian values that my parents had.


INMATE WATSON: I had -– I had the seeds planted in my heart, but like the parable says, all the pleasures of life and the cares of this world was just not allowing me to understand. It was like I was blinded by all the pleasures of this world that was going on that I couldn't really see the true value of Christianity. My – my -– my parents roots, and what I was raised -– I was raised in it. Even when I was in college, my date and I would go to church. We would go to church on Sunday or my girlfriend, I should say. We'd go to church on Sunday and after church go down to a Mexican restaurant and have dinner with another couple, you know.


INMATE WATSON: So, uh, but when I failed three classes in college, I just got scared. I thought I had to complete it in four years. I just needed to take a break and say, Hey, Charles, get it in gear and listen to your parents. I rebelled agai -–, I would not have rebelled against my parents. I stood to my parents' face when I was 21 years old, them begging me in the living room, I'll forg -– never forget it, Charles stay, don't go. And I said, I'm 21 and I'm going. It was the first time I outright rebelled against my parents.


INMATE WATSON: I would not have rebelled against my parents. I –- I –-



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you for that, Mr. Watson, I appreciate that. Listen, the time is 10:51. We're gonna take a break for about 10 minutes. I’ll see you back everybody, stay attached please.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay. The time is 11:05 AM. We're back on the record with Mr. Watson, Baker number 37999 in his, uh, subsequent number 17 parole consideration hearing. Um, and we've got everybody else attached I see as far as the victims’ next-of-kin, Counsel and observer. Um, so, Mr. Watson, uh, I wanted to talk to you. You were, we were talking about what you’d do different. Um, before I go to the Commissioner for follow- up questions, I wanted to talk to you about a follow-up question to that is I was thinking. Um, how do you think you impacted the victims?

INMATE WATSON: Well, I, uh, I completely devastated their lives. Uh, the primary victims, uh, you know, I took everything. I, uh, I, uh, took their dreams, uh, their visions for life, uh, all the experiences, uh, that they would’ve had, uh, their marriages and –- and children of course, uh, for instance with Steve Parent, I'm sure he would’ve gotten married, he would’ve graduated from college, gotten married, had children, be a grandfather now, possibly. Uh, he's lost -– he's lost 52 years of his live, he’d have been 70 years old now. And, uh, his -– his parents for instance, they, uh, I remember the first time I, uh, read something about them in 1975, uh, the Parent family, um, they all got in bed together and cried themselves, uh, to sleep, or –- or just all cried together, uh, after hearing that Steven was killed. Um, it -– it was just a total, uh -– uh, devastation in the family, uh, traumatized them. Uh, they didn't get a lot of, uh -– uh, Steve didn't get a lot of publicity since he was kind of, uh, one of the, uh, victims that wasn't as, uh, noti -–, uh, notoriety of him wasn't there, so he was just kind of left in the or they was just kind of left alone, uh, you know, without really having a lot of help to even deal with the -– the situation, uh, the Parent. Um, I mean, I, uh, Jay for instance, Jay, he had everything going for himself. I mean, he was a -– a celebrity in the hair salon business with them, um, a salon in Los Angeles and San Francisco, uh, just a great guy, wonderful family back East. Uh, it just totally devastated them and rock them to the core of their faith, uh, I understand they’re –- they’re Christian people and, uh, just a hard time hanging on to -– to God, thinking that something like this can happen to their –- to their, uh, brother, uh, their son, uh, just totally, uh -– uh, replaced everything that, uh, they had with their funeral, three days later. I thought of that when I was out there running around, trying to figure out where I was going to go or where I was going to hide, here they were having funerals in -– in Los Angeles and -– and in different places. Uh, just totally devastated them. Uh, Wojciech, uh, I, uh, his people were back in Poland, uh, the (inaudible) that he was so much searching for with -– with –- with Polanski, with actually just totally, uh, um, destroyed. There was no more of that. Uh, his son was only 10 years old, uh, Barket, he, uh, I heard that, um, through, uh, correspondence that he cried himself to, uh, sleep, uh -– uh, just cried his eyes out after he heard that his dad had died. Um, Abigail, uh, she was just a sweetheart, uh, had so much to offer for -– for society, was a social worker, um, uh, a coffee heiress, uh -– uh, just heartbroken, uh, what I -– I did to her and what I took from the family and, uh, her parents, wonderful parents, uh, they were, uh -– uh, socialites, and they just kind of went into depression and just kind of went into isolation from what I understand, completely devastating. Uh, with the Tate family, it -– it, uh, it -– it just took the very center of their -– their life, the center of their family away from them. And, um, uh -– uh, just took their -– their grandson, uh, um, who would be 52 years old now, (inaudible), uh, took his life completely away from him, took Sharon's actress, uh, career away from her, uh, took her motherhood, just took everything that she had to offer to society. And, um, so horrific and traumatizing to all these families and actually shocking. Uh, you see, uh, with, uh, LaBiancas, with Leon LaBianca. Uh, this is his second marriage. Um, his family, his original family, uh, were just totally, um, devastated, uh, both families were just, uh -– uh, so angry about what had taken place, uh, -– uh, rightfully so and just, uh, shocked and -– and confusion, all the families were. But LaBianca, he lost a, Leno, lost a -– a –- a, his whole career that he had been building for -– for, uh, for many years actually, uh, I think he was, uh, (inaudible) and he had, uh, risen up in the grocery store business and he lost everything, and, uh, and -– and just left all them with, uh, so much heartbreak. Uh, Rosemary for instance, she, uh, she had children, uh, an ex-husband that was devastated, her -– her children, uh -– uh, actually I –- I able to meet Rosemary’s daughter, Susan and, uh, I learned a whole lot about what took place after the crime and, uh -– uh, what they went through then was able to really, uh, empathize with, uh, everything that I took from her and -– and -– and also Rosemary's grandchildren that she didn’t even know, she didn't even get to know. And -– and the pain and suffering that even causes them, uh -– uh, by not having a grandmother and just, uh -– uh, even to this day, they’re, uh, isolated and just totally, um, uh, um, uh, shocked by, uh, what took place, uh, now 52 years ago, just -– just heartbreaking. Uh, also, um, other -– other 100 victims other than them were of course, the, um -– um, people that found the bodies the next day, I mean, that -– that is horrifying. Uh, the police, the coroners, the, uh, detectives, uh, this was, it had to be a traumatic experience for them to wake up that morning and to be called to that address and, uh, to find what they found. And then for the news to go out into Los Angeles County. I mean -– I mean, it -– it shook the very consciousness of Los Angeles. Uh, um, people were horrified and began to go into hiding and –- and get guard dogs. At that time, I don't know how much burglar alarms were -– were used at that particular time, but, uh, they started securing their property in every way they could. And, um, uh, and -– and, uh, the -– the, of course the -– the taxpayers were even, uh, victims in that, uh, they -– they were the ones paying for all this and, uh, um, the property owners of -– of the homes, I understand the house that was rented by the –- by the Tate’s or the Polanski’s was totally torn down, and, uh, so the cost to that property owner and, uh, um, this crime, uh, it -– it just went out throughout the entire world. It just, uh, shocked the consciousness of not only Los Angeles County, but, uh, went throughout the nation, went around the world. Of course, news didn't travel quite as fast back then, but still, it was, uh, the news of the day and people just couldn't imagine who would have done such a crime as this. And of course, they, no one found out until three and a half months later so everybody was living with the fear that it could happen to them, uh, they could be the next people to get, uh -– uh, murdered. And, uh, it just sent the whole area, at least the area there into, um, hiding, uh, in -– in fear of their lives. So, it -– it had a great effect on, uh, to say the least, on everybody that heard about it, and there was not many people that didn't hear about it.


INMATE WATSON: By the way I can't see -– I can't see your face on the, uh, TV screen so that's why I'm not looking directly at you.


INMATE WATSON: Your -– your face, oh, okay.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: That's okay. I don't know if you can see me now or not. I tried to -–

INMATE WATSON: I –- I can’t, that’s why (inaudible) looking at you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Okay, um, let me see. I'm -– I'm worried that I'm gonna press a -– a button that's gonna put my face across the entire screen. So -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Please, if I do that, uh, I'm -– I'm afraid I'm gonna do that, so I'm not even gonna go there.

INMATE WATSON: That’s okay, I can image being -–

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Um, you're just gonna have -– you’re just -– you’re just gonna have to listen up. Um, let me ask you this, um, in light of the horrendous -– horrendous and vol -– voluminous, uh, worldwide effect that these crimes had on people, um, how do you make amends to that?

INMATE WATSON: Well, I've tried. I've tried to be as public as I could. I, first thing I did, uh, when I got to, and I'll be sharing this a little later in my closing statement, but the first thing I did was, uh, repent at the Texas County jail.


INMATE WATSON: Uh, the, uh, the, uh, one that the attor -– the Attorney that I had was actually the District Attorney that was to prosecute the typewriter (inaudible). He -– he ended up being my Attorney, Bill Boyd, and he was a real strong Christian brother. I wasn't a Christian at the time, but he really was someone like a priest that I could just confess my whole heart to. And I did. I -– I told the truth, absolute truth and nothing but the truth to my Texas Attorney and 8 hours of a video tape, not video tape, audio tape. This was while all the other Manson family members were still worshiping him and -– and, uh, going to trial, and the circus trial in LA that - – that I was trying to not be part of, and that he was trying to keep me from being part of, because he didn't feel that I should be part of that for my best interest. Uh, cause he felt really, I, that my capacity from where I was to where, what I did was so, it was such a, I guess you could say a nexus between that -– that he didn't feel I was in my right mind, so he thought I should have a different defense than Manson was having. So anyway, I know that's not completely answering your question, but what I did was be honest and I, uh, came to Christ 3 years later, or 4 years later, no 5 years, 5½ years later and I began to tell the truth to people that would listen of the crime and how I had made such terrible mistakes, hoping that I could help somebody like young people to not make the same mistake that I did. I really wanted to do that. I -– I began seeing, uh, psychiatrists and psychologists until I -– I came to Christ and then I -– I put out the book at (inaudible) and I really went into the reason why I so often in the past have referred people to the book because the book, which is very hard for me to read about the crime and I don't read it very often, it's more detailed than I went into even here today. And, uh, I -– I told the complete truth and I -– I think that was, uh, I think that was, uh, the most I could do to be able to make amends. And then I, with the book, I was able to go public, more public, and begin a ministry to where I completely gave my life to serving people and trying to help anyone that would, that was having the same fears, the same hurts, the same frustrations, the same insecurities, uh, I see you now, than I was, uh, I -– I began to have a real empathy and a real burden for them and -– and at the same time, coming to grips with what I had done. It was a slow process of really understanding the magnitude of -– of my crime, even though it was so horrible, yet again I was in so much denial in the beginning of the magnitude of what I had done. And to talking to psychiatrists and actually, uh, coming to Christ, uh, I was able to come out of that denial and, uh, be able to admit exactly, uh, all my wrongs. And I -– I also got into something similar to the 12-step pro -– process to where I, uh, admitted, uh, my -– my powerless over what I'd done and -– and I came to believe in the power greater than myself and I began to take those steps and I took them all the way out to the fullest of where I began to reach out to other people with those steps. And I feel that my life has become one big amend through the ministry that was developed and through, uh, the website that I have now to, uh, to help people. And I feel that, I -– I am a living amend to use that word, uh, to, uh, society now. And I'm want to be that example of someone that can fall as deep as I have, and then be able to testify that -– that there's hope for you too. There's hope for me. And I believe that for the last 50 years, ever since I started recovery in the Texas County jail. I feel even though I hadn't found Christ, I got together with my parents and -– and began to let them know what a mistake I had made and that how I blamed them for my problems when it was really all me that had, uh, had messed up. And, uh, so I first made amends to my parents and -– and then I began making amends to others. Uh, and that’s how I've done it. I'll share more on that in my closing statement, but that's -– that's basically how I was able to do it.


INMATE WATSON: Does that answer your question?


INMATE WATSON: I'm curious.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: You -– you were addressing, I was asking about how do you make amends personally -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: How do -– how do you do that and, uh, you -– you went off a -– a little, but but you got back on the track -–


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: And started answering the question. I appreciate the statements. Uh, Deputy Commissioner any -– any follow up questions related to the life crimes or anything else for that matter.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Uh, yes, Commissioner, (inaudible). Uh, Mr. Watson –-


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Um, when you spoke to Commissioner Grounds, and -– and I think even at the last hearing, you talked about that incident about the credit card, and at the last hearing you described it as having a moral compass and to say no to Mr., uh -– uh, Mr. Manson. Can you, uh, tell me other examples of when you, um, defied, uh, Manson openly?

INMATE WATSON: Well, that, uh, that was the only time I can recall, sadly to say. Um, I -– I -– I might be able to come up with some more if I think real hard, but I can't think of any other time right now. Um, well I defied him when I, uh, ran off from him without him knowing it, I just left him, uh -– uh, there, uh, after being with him for three months thinking I was losing my mind, I defied him there. Uh, and, um, that was about the only other time other than, let’s see, um, well other than what I, after the murders when I, um, wasn't going to go to another house and do the same thing, uh, I lied to him and told him that the FBI had come to the house, that was another time I think I defied him in that I really feel that he would've wanted to go further. And, uh, I feel in some way that lie actually stopped him from doing what I feared that might happen.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: When you ran off, uh, from the ranch, uh, were you still in contact with members of the ranch or Mr. Manson?

INMATE WATSON: No. No. For three months I -– I stayed completely, uh, away from them. And, uh, -–

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: So, when -– when you came back, uh, without, so you -– you ran off without telling him, so when you came back, um, he let you back in?

INMATE WATSON: Yeah, he let me back in. Yeah, I had came back like a Hollywood, uh -– uh slickster you know, like with my boots and silk shirt and Levi pants and, uh, it was like, I don't go by that name anymore, but it was like Tex is back, you know. Uh, that was my name that -– that was my new identity name that I only went with for nine months, but the press picked that up and, uh, that's what I became known as during the Manson family.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: And also, um, you talked about, um, your -– your meth use and you started about 30 days, uh, before the -– the night of the murders. Um, why did you start taking meth?

INMATE WATSON: Well, there was a guy living, uh, up on the hill across from the ranch, a young man that had a house up there, his -– his parents or someone owned it and he was living there. And I would go up there and take a -– a shower. At the ranch we only had like cold showers and, uh -– uh, horrible living conditions. How I could have been there, I still amazed because I was always very clean, but I could go up there and take a shower at his place. And, uh, I've often wondered if he realizes him giving me a baggie of methamphetamine, which was a -– a baggie, uh, with powder about an inch high in it round, quite a bit of methamphetamine, if he ever realized what that was instrumental in doing in my life. I've often wondered that, but that's where I got it, 30 -–.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: So, what did the meth do for you?

INMATE WATSON: Well, it -– it, uh, it -– it definitely cau -–, uh -– uh, it definitely caused my fear to go away, that I had so much fear about, uh, my past, my failures, uh, it make me feel fearless, yet, it made me paranoid. Okay. Now I didn't -– I didn't really know, I, like as indicated before, I -– I didn't really know that the meth made me violent, I didn't know that. I had never experienced any violence on methamphetamine during those 30 days at all. I had just experienced like a euphoria. Uh, meth sorta makes you not care, just lack of care. You –- you just don't have any care for yourself or for anybody else and I think that's why we see people that take it for a long period of time that have no teeth after a few years, they have sores all over their body. Um, it just makes you totally, uh -– uh, during the murders, it may be totally mechanical. It was like a mechanical man. Um, like explaining the amount of stab wounds for instance. I heard of a man that was on meth, he was changing the muffler on his car and he was beating it off, and he beated that muffler so much that it flattened the muffler out. That story was told in a testimony book that I read of what the effects of meth are. It -– it -– it just gives you the inability to make, uh, it gives you the abili -– inability to make, uh, rational decisions and I, uh, I didn't know that at the time. I just thought that I was escaping my pain, uh, I, uh, I was escaping my feelings, um, it made me more focused, more energized, but in –- in -– in reality, it -– it made me more dangerous and I became a very dangerous person. Uh, high adrenaline on meth, uh, confusion, hallu -– hallucinations, hearing voices, I thought I could hear the voice of Manson in my - – in my mind as I was committing the crimes. Um, it just -– it just totally takes you out of -– of reality, alters your consciousness, conscience, uh, so that you -– you do things that you wouldn't normally do, uh, on meth.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Okay. And did Manson encourage your meth use? I -– I understand the LSD was promoted by him and -– and -– and he encouraged that, um, to his, to the members of the cult, but what about the meth? Did he pu -–, uh, push on -–

INMATE WATSON: No, he didn’t -– he didn't want us take meth. I -– I took meth because I got it from that guy. Susan Atkins took meth and, um, I was doing that without him knowing it.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: So, in a sense that was an act of defiance too.

INMATE WATSON: That was an act of defiance too.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: The other, uh, question I had, um, there was a mention that, um, when you spoke to Commissioner Grounds that everyone had to earn their keep or obtain money for, uh, for, uh, for the cult. Um, so other than that botched, um, drug deal, what other things did you do for the cult to obtain money?

INMATE WATSON: Well, the only -– the only other thing that I did was to obtain money was, uh, there was a girl that came to the ranch named Linda Kasabian. And she said that she knew where she could get $5,000 from, a friend of hers had it, and I encouraged her to get it. And, uh, that was before the, uh, the, uh, drug, uh, botched drug deal or the -– the sca -– scam, it was before that. And that was the only other thing that I did to obtain money.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: And on the first night of the –- the -– the Tate murders, um, you didn't plan them, is that correct?

INMATE WATSON: No, I didn't. I didn't know anybody was gonn -– I didn't even know anybody was going to be in the house and, uh, Manson planned everything. He planned everything the family did. We -– we weren't to plan anything on our own. If it wasn't -– if it wasn't sanctioned by him, the family was not to do anything. We were totally controlled by -– by, uh, Manson, uh, as far as what we were to do and -– and -– and where we could go. We -– we -– we didn’t have, we were isolated and it was for the purpose of him just being able to, uh, now -– now I see this, of him being able to have complete input into our lives. He didn't want us having any other input into our lives, except him.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Did he tell you to, um, be the on-site leader of the murders?

INMATE WATSON: He didn't tell me that, but that was -– that was concluded me being the male figure there. He told me to go with the girls and kill everybody in the house, that was his words.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Okay. Um, cause in most of your writings and then when you speak to the clinician, um, you say you were the -– the leader or you direct people to do things, that seems out of your pers -–


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: that seems out of your -–

INMATE WATSON: I did do things -–

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: I'm -– I'm sorry, go -– go ahead, finish your thought.

INMATE WATSON: I did -– I did direct the girls, yes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: But that seems out of your personality. The way you describe yourself at certain points is you were, uh, on the periphery of all of this stuff and you were kind of like an outsider. So why did you take that leadership role?

INMATE WATSON: Well, that was gradual. When I first got there, I was an outsider, uh, in the first three months I was outsider. I started off living in a tent. Manson wouldn't let me live with the family, I had to earn my way into the family, but that was a gradual process of -– of, uh, of taking on the new identity that he was giving us all. Uh, I was, you know, that -– that -– that was a gradual process of me taking on, uh, more, um, uh, leadership ability I guess you would say within the family, it was a gradual process.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: And after the first night, um, you described it as being, uh, depleted and saddened, uh, after the event. Um, is that some form of remorse that you were feeling at that moment around the time?

INMATE WATSON: Well, I don't think -– I don't think any of us that were there, uh, well, I know -– I know that none of us wanted to be there. We didn't, we chose to do it out of allegiance and obedience to Manson, but it was the hardest thing that I could possibly ever have done of course. And, um, so after -– after the first night I was - – I was just hoping and begging not, and -– and within myself, that no other house would be found as we drove around, and I guess we drove around probably for 90 minutes probably. Uh, but to answer your question, I -– I think it was -– it was -– it was, sure it was -– it was a remorse, a type of remorse that I was feeling because of what I had done. Um, and -– and -– and, uh -– uh, not wanting to do it again, not wanting to be involved in that again. Just like after the second night, me making up the lie to get away -– get away from there so that Manson wouldn’t insti -– instigate it again.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: So why weren't those feelings, um, enough to prevent you from doing the, uh, the murders the second night?

INMATE WATSON: I think the methamphetamine. I think when I took meth, kept taking methamphetamine I think it - – I think it overrides any feeling that, uh, you have about people, about other people. You, I became like an animal, uh, you know, I -– I say I was fearless, yet I was paranoid. Uh, it -– it, you -– you, I just became like an animal on -– on -– on methamphetamine. Again, I don’t blame it, I think I -– I -– I chose every step of the (inaudible) take it because I liked the feel that it gave me, um, the euphoric feel that it gave me at the -– at the time.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: And you also mentioned to, uh, Commissioner Grounds that you, um, there's some audio tapes, and I think at the last hearing there was a mention of that too, audio tapes with, um, uh, your first Attorney. Um, would these tapes be at all helpful to law enforcement?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, yes, law enforcement has those tapes.


INMATE WATSON: Uh, my Attorney passed away around 2010 and they were in his safe and, uh, the –- the Bankruptcy Court, uh, awarded them to, uh, the LAPD, the LAPD has these tapes. Uh, they’re -– they're not, they don't want to release the tapes. um, uh, I didn't want the tapes released myself. Not that I had anything to hide on it because the tapes were actually used to write my book, Will You Die For Me, uh, and -– and everything that I did that was in Will You Die For Me is also on those tapes, and there's nothing on those tapes that I did that, uh -– uh, it's not known. So, um, I don't know -– I don't know if they would be available to you or not. I -– I felt they would probably already be available to you. Uh, they were available to the District Attorney, uh, that was here at the last hearing, she said that there was nothing new on those tapes.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Okay. No, I was just seeing if you had made any efforts to try to, um, bring some closure to, um, other possible victims of the cult and -– and that's why I was asking the question.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Commissioner, I believe those are all the questions I have in the pre-conviction area.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: All right. Thank you, sir. Let's go on into, uh, post-conviction please.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: So, after your last hearing, um, just so the record, uh, can reflect this, um, I see that you've been participating in more rehabilitation programs. Um, you've done Family Relationships. You've been involved in the Substance Abuse Disorder Program. You've done Criminal Thinking, Victim’s Impact. Um, you don't have any rule violations in quite a long time, I think the last one was, or your only one was in 1973 and your counseling chrono was in 1983. Um, there is though, um, there's this vague reference to, um, an argument in 2017. What is that about?

INMATE WATSON: You know, it's confidential. I can only presume, uh, that it could be somebody, uh, that was verbally attacking me as far as my crime was concerned possibly.


INMATE WATSON: And then also, I -– I thought that, uh, it could have been, uh, in the Chapel’s, uh, and I was an elder in the chapel at Mule Creek. Uh, we were put in the position a lot of times of, um, uh, pol -– policing or ushering the Chapel and making sure that no, uh, elicit behavior takes place in the Chapel. And I'm thinking that this may be an incident that may have, uh -– uh, got out on the yard with a group of people that the person that was causing or trying to do the elicit behavior was in contact with, and I think there might've been some threats made upon me or something because of them. Uh, I'm not the type of person that will be, uh, if I yell anything back, I'll yell a scripture back sometimes to someone, you know. If they're condemning me by my crime, I'll -– I'll yell back to them how God has demonstrated his love towards me in that, while I was a sinner, he died for me. I'll, I might be quoting some scripture to this person, but I sure don't think I would be defending myself in some sort of a argument or something like that. I can't see myself, I -– I was stabbed 13 times in 2013 and I didn't defend myself then. I can't see myself, uh, doing anything that I can think of in that incident. I heard about that, uh, through a memo that I got, uh, recently.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Uh, you -– you mentioned to the clinician and you talked about this as well, um, with Commissioner Grounds, um, you talked about anger, uh, being a sort of causative factor. The clinician states this, um, and I -– I sort of, um, was wondering the same, this idea of your anger doesn't seem to be well articulated, um, I don't see a connection. Can you explain this a little bit more?

INMATE WATSON: Okay. Yeah. The only, uh -– uh, she said, uh, in that interview that she could ask me more questions on that, but she was going to leave it up to you to ask me those questions and I -– I -– I was sort of prepared to let you kind of know how, and I hope I already have in some way, how my anger, uh, from, uh, my misplaced anger, uh, was taking place from my failures in Texas and -– and my resentment that was, uh -– uh, towards my parents of unjustly blaming them for, uh, what I had done. And, uh, I, uh -– uh, had, uh, I think I had pent up or stored up, uh, anger in my heart against them that could have been, uh -– uh, misplaced upon my victims. Um, that, I'm just trying to get, in my inside I'm just trying to get to the very depth of what took place here. I remember that when I first took an hallucinogen, in 1968, I lost control and I punched a door, I think this is in the record. Uh, and the door was a hollow door, but it just cracked the door. And, uh, so I feel that there was some anger, uh, in my heart that was taking place at the time of the crime, uh, possibly. I'm not -– I'm not for sure, but, uh, I do feel that -– that, uh, the, uh, the, uh, anger can, uh -– uh, be brought out when you’re on methamphetamines, um, when your own speed, but, uh, that's just one of my theories that, uh, there could have been some misplaced anger there. Uh, I didn't feel angry at my victims, I will say that. Um, I felt I was there just to do what I had to do, uh, to cause the race war that Manson was saying that needed to come down, you know, that's, uh, about as much as I can explain there on that.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Okay. Um, you’ve written, um, based off of the writings, you've written some books. Um, when did you write your first book?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, well, I didn't actually write it myself. I, uh -– uh, the -– the book was taken from the tapes, the 8 hours of tapes, plus a minister named Chaplain Ray, he, uh, recorded about 15 more hours with me, um, to be able to put the book out. Uh, so, uh, it was, it's a book as told to Chaplain Ray.


INMATE WATSON: So, there's some things in there that I'd say maybe 5% that's not completely accurate as I read -– read through it, but, um, that was my first book, uh, in 1978 that came out.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: And what was the name of that book, uh, when it originally -–

INMATE WATSON: Will You Die -– Will You Die For Me.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: And was it retitled after that?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, yes, it was. I didn't retitle it myself, but I have a friend that, uh -– uh, I've known for years, uh, that wanted to write a screenplay. And, uh, so he and his wife wrote a screenplay, uh, called Ceased To Exist. Um, this book, it had an effect on his life and he wanted to tell the whole story, including my conversion as the book had told, uh -– uh, whereas many people that make, write screenplays or make movies, they just want to tell the sensational part and not tell the -– the part of the transformation and the changed life. Um, so I gave him permission to, uh, do the, uh, screenplay on, uh -– uh, Cease To Exist, and, uh, he, uh, really couldn't find a lot of interest in it, so he wanted to actually retitle the book and -– and put the book out as a request for print, uh, book, not -– not actually have physical copies of it on bookstore shelves and things like that, but if people wanted to order a book, uh, they would, they could get the book, uh, so that he would have easy access to be able to, uh -– uh, make known the screenplay or publicize the screenplay in hopes of getting someone to do a -– a movie on the – on the actual story. For me, I didn't really care because my whole ministry is about, uh, the testimony and giving out books, uh, on the website. Uh, we have eBooks that people can actually download as an eBook free. And, uh, so my whole thing is ministry and sharing the message of Christ with others. And so, I didn't really care for that book, uh, coming out and being available, uh -– uh, as people desired it.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: And then there's the –- the second book or the -– there series of interview questions.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: And the title of that book at the last hearing they -– had some issue with that. What -–

INMATE WATSON: Yeah, I had a, yeah, go ahead.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: No, no. Go, finish your thought.

INMATE WATSON: Uh, no, I, uh, I had a Cellie, I won't say his name, but back in, uh -– uh, when I was writing in 2003 and I was trying to come up with a title of it, you know, and he says, Hey, it should be Manson’s Right-Hand Man Speaks Out. So, I stuck with that, but I think as I mentioned at the, uh, at the, uh, at the other hearing, I mentioned that -– that title is like a hook to get people to read it, to get the message it's in the end, which is the salvation message, um, so that's why I named that book that. And then the question in the last hearing was, were you Manson’s right-hand man, and I said that I felt I was at the crime. But he had a lot of other right- hand men during the, um, the family. TJ was a right-hand man, uh, Bobby Beausoleil was a right-hand man, so he had several right-hand men, uh, you know, at -– at his disposal, you know, so.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: After the last hearing, did you consider maybe changing the title of that book?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, what I did, Commissioner Newman, she asked me to -– to remove the picture of Manson out of it and I did that. Uh, she also had a problem with, I had a, uh, a critique of a Helter Skelter movie, a new Helter Skelter movie that came out. I had critiqued it as far as, uh, what was right and what was wrong in the dictations and I kind of, uh, did a, uh, a review on it and she didn't -– she didn't like that, so I took that down. Uh, she felt that, um, uh, she felt that, uh, my website, um, you know, needed to be a little bit more, uh, in those two areas, needed to, uh -– uh, be less connected I guess, to having Manson’s picture or any of the movie things on there and I agreed with that and I took those down. Um, but no, I, the book is published and I -– I did, never did think about changing that title and, uh, I wouldn't have changed the Will You Die For Me title, because that's the question that Manson asked me, that I would die for him with a knife to my throat after the murders and I said, I would. At the same time, he was telling me that karma was going to get me and, uh, you know -– you know, so.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Why -– why do you think the prior Panel had an issue with that title? Uh, the Manson’s Right-hand Man.

INMATE WATSON: Uh, I -– I think, uh, you know, I'm - – I'm really not for sure. I'm sorry. I -– I -– I explained it that it was a hook to get people to read it, um, I'm not really for sure, uh, maybe I'm lacking there or something. I don't, you know, I was trying to get people to read the book and be interested in the book so that it was hooked them into reading the gospel message that is in the book. That was my whole intention, it wasn't any other intention, um, there.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: So, um, I, uh, cause in the documents you submitted, um, you actually have a link to your website, um, the Love Abound With Charles Manson. So, I'm looking at the, uh, the picture -–

INMATE WATSON: I believe it was Charles -– Charles Watson, not Manson.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: I -– I apolo -–, I -– I apologize, um, uh, I -– I do not mean to, um, uh, use -– use your last name in place of his. Um, but the -– the picture, yes, you're -– you're right, uh, Manson's not there anymore, um, but the -– the title is still there and then it says a riveting 200 plus question interview with X, uh, and Manson is misspelled I think, it's S-I-O-N on the website family member. Why did you put the, uh, why did you put the letter X and not E-X? Is, are you hearkening to some sort of imagery at the time of the trial?

INMATE WATSON: No, no, no, not at all. I just thought -– I just thought it looked better, uh, in print that, I didn't know Manson's name was misspelled, is that on the book?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Well, it's on the website, I don't know if it's on the book.



INMATE WATSON: We'll have to check that, but, uh, no, it was only, that only intention was that I don't want anything to do with the Manson family, you know, and I think I make that quite clear –-


INMATE WATSON: In saying former, but I do use that to get people to listen to the testimony, uh, and possibly give their life to Christ. That's my whole, uh -– uh, life, uh -– uh, amends now, I guess I would say.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: But, uh, I guess the problem that -– that I'm having here is, um, instead of saying, uh, E-X Manson, uh, family member, you put just the letter X and -– and to me, I -– I wasn't alive when, um, when these crimes happened, but I do know, I -– I grew up in California, I do know about the X's on the forehead.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: To me it -– it seems a little insensitive to use just the letter X because it harkens some imagery.

INMATE WATSON: Right, I, uh, that had nothing in my mind for that -– that had nothing there. Uh, I can try to change that, but, uh -– uh, that was no intent in my mind. Uh, they later changed that X, I think when they carved or, that was them going on doing their thing. They put a swastika, changed it to a swastika, uh, but no, I -– I didn't have any intention on that. Uh, noth -– nothing in my heart would have connected those two.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: So, you, um, you talked about this with the Commissioner a little bit and -– and your website talks about it, where you've devoted your life now, um, to outreach, uh, and -– and I may be misstating the -– the term, but to helping others. So, what are some of the red flags, um, for someone that's going down a similar path as you?

INMATE WATSON: Well, I -– I -– I think a – a -– a red flag is that if they begin to, uh, get into, uh, experimenting with drugs for instance. Uh -– uh, I even, on my website, it, uh, there's some frequently asked questions on there, I -– I'm -– I'm not even for legalizing marijuana. I think that's a gateway to, uh, to drugs. I -– I realize the, uh, justification that some people, uh, make, but making it more widely available, uh, I think it's a gateway into, uh, more abusive drugs. Um, and I think it causes, uh -– uh, people to be lazy. I think that was part of my laziness was when you take marijuana it -– it completely makes you not want to do anything, but lay back and -– and, uh, and rest. So, and - – and I think also, uh -– uh, my antidrug mess -– message would be that if -– if you get into illegal drugs that you're -– you’re beginning to rebel, that you're, that's the, uh, that's the simple act of rebellion right there. And, uh, I'd also I think talk to them about peer pressure, uh, that was a big thing with me, uh, from my first drink of alcohol, I took that with, uh, a, uh, high school football player named Mike, uh, that introduced me to, uh -– uh, Pearl beer. Uh, so I think I would talk about the -– the, uh, the peer pressure that, uh -– uh, is there, uh, in that particular setting. Um, also, um, uh, the, uh, the way that when you get into say, uh, the –- the wrong, uh, the peer pressure and getting into the, um, the drugs, uh, you sort of begin a downward spiral, you know, there's other things that -– that connect to that, you know, other drugs, uh, notably, but, uh -– uh, other peers that are into, uh, criminal activity. Uh, in my first -– first three months I was with the Manson family, there was no criminal activity. The criminal activity started the last four or five months with him and I think that -– that that was sort of part of the deception too in that -– that frog that I mentions, you know, you begin to boil yourself before you even -– before you realize it. But, uh -– uh, the -– the red flags also would be that, uh -– uh, it -– it can gradually, uh, become a habit that, uh, once you begin to feel the euphoric effect of the drugs, uh, you begin to, uh, build habits that, uh -– uh, go from the weekend with -– with friends to all week, or when you get up in the morning, uh, you take your drugs. So, uh, and, uh, that people need to find other, uh, coping mechanisms or other coping skills rather than mechanisms to, uh, deal with, uh, their fears and deal with their, uh, emotions, uh, rather than just by using, uh, using drugs. And, uh, and, uh, especially that when you're using drugs or alcohol that you shouldn't be driving, uh, in a car and, uh -– uh, or, uh, um, ending up like I did, uh, abusing drugs. Uh, it's just a gradual, uh, process of moving from experimenting like myself to -– to, uh -– uh, getting a habit going to, uh, begin to abuse it like I've abused, uh -– uh, methamphetamine in the end. Uh, they all started with – with marijuana, just -– just, uh, getting stoned and, uh, that if you do that -– that I've always said drugs is death. If you, uh, start abusing drugs, you're going to start effecting other people and, uh -– uh, and that's what we don't want to do. We don't want any more victims of -– of, uh, of crime and I think drugs can easily cause victims because you're -– you’re put in a different state of mind and you do things that you wouldn't normally do, uh, on drugs. So, uh, that's basically my message there and that, uh, -– uh, when people see those red flags, they need to quickly go and get in a 12 step program and, uh, I led Christian program, uh, Christian 12 steps for, uh, 25 plus years and, uh, I have seen it really work where people recognize their problem, the red flag, uh, recognize it -– it's affecting their lives and that they don't have any power over it and begin to find a coping skill such as turning their life over to the care of God and -– and, uh, beginning to admit their mista -–, their -– their, uh, their character defects, begin to, uh -– uh, apologize to the victims that they have caused and begin to, uh, stay in conscious contact with God and spread the message like I have for all these years. I have a lot, I -– I get over a hundred letters a month from people that have all kinds of red flags and that want help and I've really, uh, one thing that has really happened in my life that I've become, uh, I have, I don't mean to boast, but I have a lot of empathy for people, uh, in my dealings on a daily basis and also in my dealings with -– with people that write me. And I, uh, that's why my coping skills now actually is -– is writing people, uh, letters and helping them, uh, with their lives. That’s basically it. I -– I hope I covered your answer there.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: No, you answered it to the best of your ability.

INMATE WATSON: The question, yeah.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Um, a related question I have is, uh, what would make you more, uh, still vulnerable to engaging in criminal behavior?

INMATE WATSON: What would make me what?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: More vulnerable or -– or still vulnerable to engaging in criminal behavior?

INMATE WATSON: Oh, well, I -– I seriously don't think I would ever engage in criminal behavior, but if I were to, uh, say for instance, uh, go back to using drugs or something, uh, and dull my conscience, uh -– uh, I don't see how that could be a possibility. I -– I think I've learned my lesson for sure with this. Uh, see I -– I've got a completely different lifestyle now. I don't even hang around people that, uh, that aren't in the recovery, uh, community. I -– I don't hang around with those people. Uh, in -– in crossing, I will try to, uh, witness to them I would say, or -– or, uh, give them one of my brochures that, I have many brochures that I -– I give out to people, uh, that will change their lives if they will, uh, have a change of heart and a change of mind, but I've been on this so long, this path so long now, that I can't see of anything that would ever, uh, take me into criminal behavior. Uh, but I would also be very, uh, on parole, I would be very cautious of -– of even going to a party with, uh, with any alcohol or anything, because I -– I wouldn't even want to be around it. Not that I think it would be tempting, but I wouldn't want to even put myself in that, uh, situation.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: So, what, um, other than going to parties, um, what other situations would you need to, uh, avoid out there?

INMATE WATSON: Well, I would avoid, uh, I wouldn't be going to clubs. I wouldn't be going to; I wouldn't even be going to concerts. Um, I'm -– I'm 76 years old. I -– I'm -– I'm fairly, uh, a homebody. Uh, I -– I wouldn't be getting involved in any sort of, uh, of, uh, curricular activities unless they were Christian to begin with, unless they were prayer meetings, uh, AA groups, uh -– uh, I might go to a Christian concert as far as if there was a Christian, uh, band at a church or something like that -– that would go to that, but, uh, I wouldn't be caught in any sort of situation that, uh -– uh, would even, uh, um, even look like. I -– I've -– I've got a testimony to preserve also, so I wouldn't be caught in places that didn't, uh, put out a good testimony about my life.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: So, um, this -– this has got a bit of a long wind up, so I apologize for this, but, um, there -– there aren't that many, uh, cults out there, uh, now.

INMATE WATSON: (inaudible) hear, I can't quite hear you, you're cutting out.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Yeah, um, there aren't that many cults out there right now. Um, but what -– what has taken its place is basically the internet and conspiracy theories.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: I mean, uh, the internet has given everyone a platform to speak to all kinds of things.


DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Um, they attract all kinds of people, uh, they, um, and people are willing to advance those causes for all kinds of reasons. I mean, uh, for example there's even a -– a flat earth society as mundane as –- as weird as it say, right, but you -– you were willing to kill for, uh, for Manson for -– for an idea or a belief, and that was farfetched and bizarre as well, too. So, have you considered that vulnerability? Uh, the internet and conspiracy theories?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, you're -– you're cutting out just a little bit, but I don't get in -– I don't -– I don't get involved in any of those, uh, conspiracy theories. I have really, uh, steered clear of any of that. If somebody writes me about one, I'll let them know that that's not what, uh, I'm all about, you know, so I -– I, uh, I don't get involved in any of those and I sure don't want my testimony that right now is -– is right on. I stick to the simple salvation message of Christ. That's -– that's what I stick to. I make it very simple. I don't go off into, uh, I may have one thing on my web site about, uh, the rapture or, uh, or, uh, the last days maybe, but other than that, uh, you know, I just use straight Bible scripture and if it's not in the Bible, I don't, uh, I don't, uh, I don't put out all these theories. I'm not into all that. I got all my COVID shots, you know, and, uh, I don't get into all that, uh, conspiracy theories.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: And, um, one last question. Have you explored the concept of remorse through a Restorative Justice model?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, yes, I have. I, uh, in my -– in my, uh -– uh, chronos, I've been through the Restorative Justice, uh -– uh, phase of, uh -– uh, Victim Awareness at Mule Creek. Uh, matter of fact, I actually facilitated that group. Um, and I -– I do appreciate the concept, uh, without a doubt, I think that there are other ways to, uh -– uh, handle, uh, relationships, uh -– uh, in society, uh, with, uh, the criminal element. I -– I believe that we need to be more merciful and helpful and be more, um, uh, rehabilit -–, uh, rehabilitated then, uh -– uh, just locking them up and throwing away the key. So, I -– I appreciate some of the things that have been taking place as far as, uh -– uh, really caring and having concern and doing more recovery work with the inmates, uh, before sending them to prison. I'm -– I'm into Restorative Justice and also the victim and the, uh -– uh, perpetrator’s, uh, uh -– uh, crime and getting them back together to try to heal, uh, amend, uh, the things that have gone wrong. I've experienced some of that myself.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Thank you, uh, Mr. Watson. Um, those were all the questions I had Commissioner.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: All right. Thank you, Deputy Commissioner. Um, I'm gonna take you through the Comprehensive Risk Assessment that was done by Dr., uh, Miscia. Uh, she, uh, she talks to you about, uh, Dr. Weiss’, uh, Comprehensive Risk Assessment in 2016. Uh, she mentions also, um, different, uh, perceptions including different psychologist, Dr. Martin Opine, the hallucinogenic induced psychotic disorder, back, I think that was back in `77. Uh, she says that, um, evaluators have offered diagnostic impressions to include the presence of personality disorder, these include but are not limited necessarily to any social personality with characteristics of narcissistic and histrionic personality disorders, psychiatric counsel evaluation in 1982 is where that came from. Also mixed personality disorder with narcissistic histrionic and borderline features back in `82 as well. And then personality disorder with passive dependent, passive aggressive, and antisocial features back in `90. And then Dr. Martin in `95, uh, noted adult antisocial behavior by his group, but also noted, uh, in full remission Dr. Rostin in 2001. Most previous evaluators have opined the presence of one or more substance use disorders. Dr. Corley, uh, noted diagnostic impressions to include, uh, and I believe this was in 2011, Watson, that, uh, polysubstance dependence was physiology -– physiological dependence in a controlled setting, adult antisocial hist -– history by history, and that was Dr. -– Dr. Weiss. And, uh, diagnostic impressions which include alcohol use disorder, hallucinogen use disorder and (inaudible) use disorder. Dr. Weiss noted the absence of personality disorder, now that's a change. And then, uh, your mental status goes over that substance abuse history. She gives you a diagnosis of cannabis, hallucinogen and amphetamine use disorder in a controlled environment. Discusses, she also discusses, uh, major mental disorder, a personality disorder, and, uh, and -– and looks at it from the historical perspective. She states that no indication that Mr. Watson meets criteria for DSM-5 major mental disorder currently. And then she also states that the absence of such behaviors as it relates to personality over the past 52 years further supports the absence of personality disorder diagnosis at this time. Then she goes over your institutional behavior and parole plans, and the Deputy Commissioner covered that extensively with you. Then she covers the assessment of risk for violence, and she looks, she utilizes a psychological tool that's called an HCR-20, and that's kind of a broad range approach to looking at your life in total. She notes the violence, uh, the life crimes, multiple murders over a two-day period were exceedingly violent. There has been no known violent behavior since which has lowered the relevance of this item. And then she says also your own social behavior had previously exhibited some antisocial behavior, well known instance of theft, attempting to defraud a drug dealer for money as well as involvement with drugs, but this does not appear to have been a pervasive pattern for you. Then she looks at relationships and she says, although Mr. Watson does not appear to have exhibited significant problems with intimate relationships, his relationship and antisocial peers, particularly Charles Manson and the Manson family, was directly related to his past commission of violence. He does not appear to have had occasions with antisocial, uh, excuse me, associations with antisocial peers for many years. She also looks at employment and, uh, notes that your history, uh, you had several jobs. After losing your last stable employment position, you did not seek or secure additional employment and subsequently joined the Manson family who sought to support themselves via illegal means. You developed a stable employment history in prison. Then she looks at, uh, Dr. Miscia looks at, uh, substance use and states that your past history of substance use was directly related, his past history of violent and antisocial behavior. And then your violent attitude she looked at. She said, Mr. Watson’s past violent behavior suggest at least a tolerance of such attitudes in the past. And then she looks at, uh, the analytical approach, she looks at the life crime over, (inaudible) spends a lot of time discussing that with you. We've covered that today. Then she also looks at the fact that, uh, you, uh, your health record reveals a medical history, absence significant acute concerns. She also notes that you are a youthful offender, I believe you were 23 years old at the time you committed these offenses and as such, the laws requires us to give great weight to that. She also notes that you're -– you are also eligible for elder parole, and she concludes that particular paragraph by saying, although he does not appear to be significantly impacted by ongoing health concerns currently, as he continues to age it is likely that his general health and mobility will be impacted. And then she culminates her -– her report, Mr. Watson, by saying that you represent a low risk for violence. And you had a chance to, uh, look at this report, read it. What are your thoughts about the report of Dr. Miscia? Do you agree with it? Do you disagree with it? What’s you're thinking?

INMATE WATSON: No, I -– I agree with it. I was actually, I was very, um -- um, I was very happy to see it, um, -–


INMATE WATSON: I -– I agree with it. I agree with her assessment. Uh, I was, you know, I bring you back to that picture again of me that’s circulating out on the internet, I don’t even know how the guy found it, me as that young kid, um, the three months that I was there first. Uh, I was almost, I just, my hair was just a little long and I was just clean shaven and smiling like a little kid while all the others were kind of had their heads dropped and -– and, uh, they were just, yeah, I don't know how to describe them, they were just out of it, you know, as far as being slaves to the one that was kind of off on the side, Manson. And then to see what I did in committing that horrible crime, um, I kind of -– I kind of see that she saw it. I believe -– I believe she saw that, uh, that was basically it, that was -– that was my, I hate to say it like this, but that was my thorn in the flesh, you know, that I'll never be able to even think about getting rid of it. It will always be there. Uh, I will always be depending upon God's grace to take me through that weakness there in my life. And I looked up the, uh, definition of insecure recently. All of it, alw -– alw –- I always call it (inaudible) wimp, W-I-M (inaudible). I didn't find that in my little electronic dictionary, but I did find the word weak. I was a weak person and I let Manson take my forte as a man who used it, he used me, and, uh, that is what is hard to deal with, you know. It's not that, uh, I don't have victory over this, I do. I know that God has forgiven me. I know that I have been made right with God and I know that I have a future hope of heaven, I know that. It may not be far, I'm not, I’m 50, uh, I might live 15, 20 more years then I'll be out -– out of time, okay. But I -– I have peace with myself. Um, but back to your question, I think she hit the nail right on the head.



PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you. All right. Um, Deputy Commissioner, any questions relative to the CRA or anything else for that matter before I go to, uh, Counsel for clarifying questions? I

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Do not have any other, uh, questions,

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Very good. All right, sir. Counsel, Ms. Fleming, any clarifying questions for your client?

INMATE ATTORNEY FLEMING: Just a few, please. Thank you. Mr. Watson, you said that you, -–

INMATE WATSON: Excuse me, go ahead.

INMATE ATTORNEY FLEMING: All right. Go ahead. Take a minute.


INMATE ATTORNEY FLEMING: Was part of the anger and the rage that was fueled by Charlie Manson's ideals not only at your parents, (inaudible), let's say he started there because it was personal, but did he not extend it out to society and the establishment?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, yes, he did. I've written about that. Matter of fact, uh, Charlie Manson was a very angry man and, uh, he blamed society for everything that, uh, that happened to him. And, um, uh, he also had tried to get recording deals to where, uh, his music would be put out. His music wasn't good enough to be put out, but he blamed the, uh -– uh, the industry and, uh, for, um, the fact that he wasn't getting his music out and then other people were stealing his music. And through his many years in prison, I think he came out of prison, a -– a very, um, angry man at society because I think he -– he blamed them for all of it -– all of his ills and I think that, uh, that was part of it. I -– I think part of me, I -– I remember I -– I did scan my book recently and I just read the beginning of one chapter of, um, when I went back to Manson in March of `69. I remember reading in there where I said that Manson was saying that all the people, um, in society were, um, were just, uh, materialistic and, uh, and -- and everything for themselves. He was running down society too. I can't remember all the things that he was saying about it, but, uh, in my book I was saying I was agreeing with that and that was one of the reasons I was going back to there, because I, because of -– of the anger that I felt that he felt against society. Uh, does that make sense? I was kind of understanding that in some way. So, to answer your question, I would have to say yes.

INMATE ATTORNEY FLEMING: Okay. Since the last hearing, have you made a concerted effort as just articulated to look at this crime with even more eyes wide open, willing to see whatever comes?

INMATE WATSON: Uh, yes, I have. Uh, I think that's been one of the problems in the past. You know, I would refer to my book because I completely, uh, tell the story in there. Okay. I tell it verbatim. And -– and that – that -– that when I first was locked up, that was, that wasn't that hard for me to tell that story to all the psychiatrists. I've had psychiatrists coming over and to a Panel of 20 interns and me telling my story of the crime. I would go through it play-by-play. But also, the psychiatrists would tell me that I needed to work on my denial and I took that to heart, and I've not only worked on my deni -– denial since the last hearing, but I've worked on my denial for years, for the last 50 years. But since the last hearing, I've –- I -– I've understood what you actually want, but it's been hard for me to actually as a -– as a -– as a changed man to just, not admit, I've -– I've admitted it for since the beginning, but just to look at the depravity of my life, of –- of -– of what I did to look at the harm that I -– that I did to so many, um, look at the magnitude of -– of the crime and, uh -– uh, yes, I've, it's -– it's -– it's been, the -– the more I, the older I've gotten, the worst it has become. And, uh -– uh, for me to actually see myself back there in such a –- a horrific, uh, horrific stated, that hadn't been easy to, uh, to look at, you know. I -– I hope that answers what you're saying there.

INMATE ATTORNEY FLEMING: You said something earlier when, uh, Commissioner Grounds asked you a question. You were talking about the crime, trying to remember what you did, what you didn't do and you said something about, I shouldn't take responsibility. Is it, did you -– did you mean you didn't want to lie to the Panel?

INMATE WATSON: No, no, I don’t. I don't want to lie, but also, don’t want to say something that is contradictory to what Leslie Van Houten in that case had said, if she has admitted to, uh, tying Rosemary LaBianca up. I -– I thought I'd done it and I have admitted that I've done it, but she is contradicting what I said and I don't want to have a contradictory statement there. I -– I want to admit to everything that I've done and be honest and be transparent. That's my desire. I don't want to -– I don't want to appear that I am lying about something because I wouldn't. I want to be transparent as I possibly can.

INMATE ATTORNEY FLEMING: Thank you. How are you gonna handle, if you are given the honor and grant, should you ever walk amongst people in free society, how are you going to handle the impact that that will have on close victims, the City of Los Angeles, the country, and the literally close to 200,000 people that object and would not understand. How are you going to be able, how do you see yourself living and a -– a life doing the least amount of harm?

INMATE WATSON: Well, um, I'm -– I'm not gonna, uh, well, I know that would -– that would appear to be very harmful to people. Um -– um, I'm going to live a quiet and peaceful life. I -– I’d love to live out my life with my children. And, um, uh, I can't change what I've done, it's -– it's -– it's done, and, uh, but -– but I know I've changed what I'm going to do in the future, and that is be, have empathy of all their feelings and to be able to understand exactly what they went through. Because the crime has been a horrible event for the whole world, the whole nation and, uh, for me to be able to go out there and live a life that's crime-free, there’s not going to be any, uh, difficult at all for me. Uh, I'm going to be able to, uh -– uh, be very understanding. Uh, if I were put in their shoes, uh, I would be the same way. If -– if something like this were to happen to my family, I would - – I would be the same, I would feel the same way as they do. But I do believe that every person deserves a second chance. I do believe that, I believe they do. And, uh, that doesn’t mean that I'm not undeserving, I'm very undeserving, but, uh, I believe that I would be able to go out there and -– and, uh, live a life that would be productive and, uh -– uh, in a very, uh, controlled setting with my children. Uh, I'm not planning on, uh, doing any revival meetings or doing any talks or -– or doing any interviews. Uh, I'm not going to flaunt anything in front of people's face, because I know that I don't deserve to be out there, but I do deserve, I do believe people deserve a second chance and I would hope to get that someday and I would hope that people would understand that. I, there -– there's also people that desire and think that I should get out one day and, uh, I hope, especially people from other countries because their country is not quite as, uh, affected by this crime and they have less stringent laws, I believe. But, uh, I would hope that people would understand, uh, if this was a one- time thing in my life or a two-night thing in my life and that, uh, that's not, that wasn't really who I am, was then not now. So, I hope that answers your question. I'm not for sure, but, uh, that's what I would like to say.

INMATE ATTORNEY FLEMING: All right. Thank you. Commissioner, I don't have any more questions.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: All right. Thank you, ma'am. Um, we’re gonna move on into closing statements at this time. Uh, Ms. Fleming, uh, please.

INMATE ATTORNEY FLEMING: Okay. It won't be too long. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Uh, don’t, take your -– take your time, ma'am.

INMATE ATTORNEY FLEMING: All right. Thank you, sir. I'm going to stop with, start with, the purpose of a parole suitability hearing is to determine whether an inmate here, Mr. Charles Watson currently poses an unreasonable risk of danger to society if released from prison. Mr. Watson has been in CDCR now for 50 years, been in prisons for 52 years, he's 74 years old –-


INMATE ATTORNEY FLEMING: 75, pardon me. The last three Comprehensive -– Comprehensive Risk Assessments have found a low risk and I'll go into detail a little bit further along with regards to the most recent one. His last 115 was in 1973. I'm going to recap just quickly, I want to note as it wasn't quite noted, that Mr. Watson has adequate solid parole plan. He has relationships with his family, with supportive people on the outside, he has an extensive support network. He has a place to go. He has all the components of a solid parole plan. He has relapse prevention plan; he's been very articulate today speaking about all of that. The big question here is the why, the why, how a wholesome Texas kid who felt guilty about stealing typewriters could perpetrate a massacre, a slaughter that shook not only Los Angeles, it shook California and it shook this country. This crime changed the direction of the security of people feeling safe in their homes. Not just that, what it did to the families directly, but it oozed out like toxic waste throughout the country. It is -– it is a crime that has stood on its own. And so, in an effort to explore this and to be able to answer this big question, all the other components are there. The rehabilitation, the behavior, the prosocial relationships, there, those factors are all mitigating. The question before the Panel, is there an understanding sufficient and is Mr. Watson a danger? Does he, would his release pose a danger to society? It would cause mental anguish, it will -– will cause people to be some, many groups of people to be afraid, but it will also be an example –- an example of redemption, an example of the Board doing its job, adhering to the legal standards. The concept of radicalization, coupled with massive using drugs, particularly hallucinogens, grounded in a -– a vulnerable person with weaknesses, fear, unresolved anger and mani -– all being manipulated in this bizarre concept of Helter Skelter. Is this impossible? It's difficult to believe, but how do -– how does the Panel come to terms with something so horrific that was the one-time, this one-time incident, has no indication of violence forward and none before. Some drug use, some -– some smoking pot, but as the wheel turned from meeting Brian Wilson, meeting Manson, fueled with hallucinogens that do wipe out the ego, that do wipe out the self and make the participants particularly susceptible to suggestion, ideals and if they are not grounded in who they are, oftentimes there is a bad result. That is what happened here. A horrible result. He talked about his resentment. He talked about anger, the codependency, and that codependency is a word meaning a desperate need to judge himself by the outsides, to judge himself by how the others perceive him and getting all accolades, all support. He, in an essence, Mr. Watson gave himself to Charles Manson. Was Charles Manson, the epitome of evil, yea. He didn't ever find redemption. He did not ever come to terms. It didn't happen. Sometimes there are individuals that are born into this life that are just plain not redemptionable and that's the case with that. So, did he take all he knew and use it on the Manson cult? It was a cult, it wasn’t a family, that’s a cult. Did he use it on that cult to -– to weave in his bizarre delusions and to make them real? He did it through constant music of the same. He did it through the power of drug use, particularly I'm going back to the hallucinogens, and then with then, the methamphetamine is added, the psych, there is a condition called methamphetamine psychosis. All of these things were a -– were a culmination of a perfect storm to create (inaudible). Mr. Watson himself became, he said, as quoting from him, I was demonic. I became a monster. Did he see? He had moments where he would flip back and forth as he spoke about it, but he was in. He's talked about –- talked about hearing Manson's voice in his mind, telling him what to do. He's, so therefore he talked about the group thing, what happened to him. It began with blaming something personal, his parents, and then Manson began to make it society. There was a huge belief back in the late sixties about us and them, us and the society, us and them, the establishment, anti-establishment, it was very prevalent. However now, Mr. Watson comes to us, comes to the Panel with a clear demo -– demonstration of consciousness of values and honesty fueled now by the knowledge of right and wrong. There's no doubt that he knows right and wrong now. I’d like also to mention with regards to this cult, and Mr. Manson is not, I mean, excuse me, Mr. Watson is not putting it all on the mind control. He was there. He was responsible. He went back, left the Manson cult, he left there, and came back. The draw was too much, just the, all of it, and he came back. He had lost, he in essence, could not stop it. Does that sound bizarre? Yes, it does. I’d like to remind the Panel that in 1997 in Heaven’s Gate, in Rancho, Santa Fe, right here in San Diego, 39 people committed suicide in group think. Jonestown, March, 1969, 900 people laid down and -– and drank poison and killed themselves, their children, their families. Was -– were those slaughters? In essence, yes, but were the fueled by a cult? Yes, they were. Were they fueled by group think? Yes, they were. It can happen. But in the end, Mr. Watson is the one that gets to live with this, what he has done, because he knows that there were steps that he took of his own volition that placed him in that position to commit this horrible, heartbreaking crimes. I almost feel the word crime and we; he and I spoke about it. The word even crime does not describe this, so I try to choose my words lightly, correctly. Another highlight of this hearing is that Mr. Watson has gone deeper into the crimes and has done his very best to remember. He made comments, I think, probably. That’s not his deflection, that's pure honesty. I think meaning it was so, he was in such a rage-like, awful state, psychotic state that he doesn't remember how many times he punched that knife through, but his numbers were very close. He described, I climbed the telephone pole, I cut the wires, I went in through the window, I slashed her face. He has been more forthcoming as far as I can tell from transcripts that he has before, because he has continued to go further to help figure out why. I know he has said to himself, how, dear God, how could I have done this over and over and over, five decades. In the beginning he was able to give testimony, talk, he would do the tapes and talk about it. It was in a denial state, there was no connection. And slowly through coming into a spiritual way of life and understanding and through multiple -– multiple facets of self-help, prayer, guidance, he began to merge with what has happened, what he did and who he was. I use the word was. He was a monster fueled by demonic rage. It was disgusting. It was horrible. And he has now taken that and has integrated and understands that -– that is who he was and what his responsibility was there. But he has taking steps for 50 years, let's say not 50, the first 10 were a little blurry, then as he became, he entered his relationship with Christ, therefore God, and it began the 40 year -– 40 years of spiritual development, of rehabilitation, of asking the why's and asking the hard questions. I think one moment, please. He was able to speak about victim awareness, damage. He's spent the time over the years, to get to know all of his victims and to understand and to see. (inaudible) understands the magnitude of what has occurred here and what he has done, the sorrow, the devastation, the terror. He has been able to articulate what he (inaudible), not just what he did in action, but the impact -– the impact on, as I said, the toxic waste that oozed out and will continue, that hasn't stopped. He spoke about the Mar -– the Marilyn Manson and the -– the glorification that came with those murders that people began to follow Charles Manson and -– and how wrong that is. Mr. Watson separated himself from them. He was not carving X’s in his -– his forehead and marching in defiance and sitting out the court and cheering those women on. And the multitudes of people that followed it, the morbid curiosity and oftentimes the devotion that rattles the conscious of anyone grounded in morals and values. He chose not to be tho -– that person. There was - – there is some, there is consciousness of, uh, morals and values and spirituality that is still alive in him. And that has been borne, and that has, are the, founda -– that are the foundational stones of a transformed man. He has engaged in transformation. He has been articulate. He's been able to do it with specificity in that really having a clear discussion with the Panel, doing his best to answer the questions because he too has wanted to know what are the answers to these questions. He spoke about red flags for others. Those are red flags for him, drugs, rebellion, peer pressure, criminal activity. Those are the stepping stones that led to the demise of his character, of his moral values, of his compass. His compass was gone, it wasn't broken. He didn't have one. He has a compass now; the point of rehabilitation is just that. He has engaged in rehabilitation to become a transformed man. One of the reasons for a lengthy sentence is the premise that once a killer, they will kill again. Is this belief true? In this case, it's not true. The issue before the Panel is based in the crimes. The crime of the century, many of us remember. In re Lawrence states evidence of an inmate, Mr. Watson's rehabilitation, suitability for parole can override the gravity of the commitment offense by indicating to crime (inaudible) unlikely to recur. This horrible crime is on one side of the scales with 52 years of rehabilitation, self-seeking, swimming in the deep end, making amends on a daily basis, trying to bring the word of redemption and kindness and goodness to others, seeing someone else wake up to the fact that they can be another person, they can have a right life. Mr. Watson learned that he can live a good life in prison. And he did that early on, he started to begin to find that and find his way. Is he likely to, is there going to be violence if he's released? Well, teeny tiny percentage, cause I don't like absolutes, but is there a chance for that? The evidence does not show that. The evidence does not support a reasonable likelihood of dangerousness, let alone violence. Are the questions answered as to the why's. They may never be fully answered and that's part of the devastation and the horror of this crime, why, the exact why. But it is a -– a culmination of multiple factors that brought this forth, they were already talked about it. I’d like to read something from, on page 11 of the 20, this 2021 Comprehensive Risk Assessment. She found that Mr. Watson displayed several risk factors for violent recidivism within the historic meaning, domain of (inaudible) at least to a partial degree. She said this section is based on the lifetime history of the individual. However, I added the however, given the significant length of time that has passed since many of these factors have represented problem or functional impairment for Mr. Watson, most, if not all items found to be present represent a low risk to future violence. They had a very lengthy conversation. Page 17 at the bottom, she indicates within this environment, he used increasing amounts of hallucinogenic and other drugs and adopted the philosophy of Mr. Manson which included that there was going to be an impending race war, which would ultimately bring the end of civili -– civilization. She concludes this philosophy was a motivating factor in the commission of the life crimes. Is Mr. Watson blaming all of this? No, he's just telling the truth and seeking out how could something this horrible happened and what happened to him. He's not presented a supervision problem. He's maintained positive programming. I'm not going to go through the itemized list. He has submitted multiple documents, insights into behavioral change, a relapse, a very solid relapse prevention plan noting self-help. There are multiple -– multiple letters in support of his release of people who know him, who have shared his journey and have come to know him as a man of God and one who has sought redemption and found it. Who is, Mr. Watson is an example of rehabilitation and therefore based on all of the fourth that I just said and all of, and the evidence presented at this hearing more than my closing statement, we respectfully request that the Panel adhere to the presumption of suitability and find that Mr. Watson no longer poses a dangerousness to society if released and give him the grace and the honor and privilege of a parole grant. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you, ma'am. Mr. Watson, now is your opportunity to address the Panel with a closing statement, please.

INMATE WATSON: Okay. Uh, I've got three pages here, so, you know, it's going to end, okay. Okay. First of all, I want to thank you, uh, for your unbiased consideration for parole suitability. I shared, uh, the victim's impact and my insight statement, uh, to you so I won't repeat it here, but, um, I do want to sincerely apologize for my choices and decisions, uh, that led me to commit these senseless murders and for the grave costs to the victims, which we have spoken about here today. Plus, for traumatizing their families, especially, uh, those that are represented here today. These murders are haunting for us all to recall and humiliating for me as a changed man. Though Manson is deceased for years, it was said that people worry about him somehow getting to them like they worry about getting a disease. These murders took on a life of their own. The horror of these crimes made it easy to take them personally. One newscaster said the murders ended the decade of love and changed the hearts of America. Truly the barbaric fashion of which I carried out the slaughters shook the consciousness of America, not only California, even the world. I don't know many people who haven't heard of the crimes. It brought home the belief that nobody is safe from slaughter if Hollywood stars are susceptible. They were deemed untouchable until then. The safety of the people's mental security was rocked to the core. These crimes were strange and bizarre to say the least and -– and these are the pictures that have affected the minds of the people. I deeply and deeply apologize for the agony that I've caused so many. I understand. I -– I may be sentenced to death here. I may die here, or at one of the other prisons. My lifetime I understand, measured against the public's disbelief of the horrific brutality is of minimal importance. The community will be shaken if I'm released. Nevertheless, I believe the law states that there needs to be a nexus between my current dangerousness. By August 69, the month of the murders, I had exchanged my wonderful family in Texas for a group of cult members who lost their way in life or had rebelled at home. Two years prior while experiencing hurt, frustrations and failures, I had left my family as a disobedient insecure young man in rebellion against my parents' wishes that I not move to California. I was fearing failure and rejection if I had stayed in Texas. In Los Angeles, I made all the wrong choices ending up with the wrong crowd, misusing sex and medicating my emotional pain of guilt and shame with illegal drugs while spiraling downward. I was passive, never communicating my needs to my parents. Slowly, I came to believe that everything was my parents' fault, blaming them for mapping out my life, causing fears, resentments, and pent-up anger. To the contrary, I was deceived. I had become prideful and selfish, having turned from my parents’ Christian values of right and wrong. At the same time, I chose to believe a delusional worldview, a lie that the world as we knew it was coming to an end through hallucinogens and amphetamines in order to carry out Manson's manifesto of slaughter or whatever he required of me. Need for acceptance within the group drove me to do things that I wouldn't otherwise done. Some of the diagnosed (inaudible) we've read today as a drug induced shared psychosis, but regardless, I made the foolish choices, one step after the other. Through my own going participation and whatever deemed necessary, I became a murderer and a wimp by yielding my soul and body to a madman. The man who committed those crimes is not the man who came to California two years prior, nor the man who is sitting before you today. The man, that man that committed those crimes was a monster who gave himself to a dark evil world of death and destruction. Today I'm appalled by these horrific crimes, knowing that it was my poor judgment, insecurities and drug use that caused an evil to grow in me that was horrible beyond belief. Am I that man today? No, I am not. In December 1969, just four months after the murders, I recorded eight hours of tape with my Texas Attorney confessing my crimes while other cult members were still following Manson. Also, I been, began recovery to resolving my unjust anger towards my parents while in Texas for nine months fighting extradition. My California Attorney made a diminished capacity defense, but I was found guilty and put on death row in 1971. After the death penalty was abolished in `72, I was sent to CMC where I got a job with the psychiatric department, a hobby and therapy, plus my parents and I had our first family visit in January `73. That year I received my only RVR for contraband food. On May 23rd, 1975, I received Christ as my Lord and savior filling the void in my heart. I began (inaudible) fellow group therapy and began to teach a new Christian class entering the ministry. In `77 I was denied a year at my first Parole Board hearing. My book, Will you Die for Me was released in `78 and my future wife read it, got saved, and we were married in `79. At last, I found acceptance, security and significance. In `80, 1980, we found Abounding Love Ministries and I was ordained in `81. In `82, we had our first child and our second in `83. That year I received my first three-year denial due to a BPH rule change. I took college classes and at the Board’s request, I completed 18 psychological groups, including Cognitive Behavioral Modification, Anger and Stress Management, Substance Abuse, Communication Skills, and more, while ministering in the Chapel throughout the decade. In 1989 we had our third child, that year I attended my first AA group. In `90, I was voted the most valuable participant in a 90-hour Vital Issue Project and in `92 I completed a six-month Marriage and Family course. I was transferred to Mule Creek in `93 after 21 years, successful years at CMC, plus in `93, my dad passed away. In `95, we had our first child and I founded an ILTAG Christian Trust Help Group at Mule Creek. Family visits were taken away from lifers by CDC in `96 and the film, Forgiven, the Charles Watson story produced by Viola Students in `97, won an Angel’s award in Hollywood. The Abounding Love Ministries website was created in `97 and I received another three-year denial in `98. After receiving a four-year denial in 2002, my mom passed away in December of `02. A month later, in January `03, my wife filed for divorce. With all that stress, life in ministry continued in prison and on the website. I completed Manson’s Right- Hand Man Speaks Out in `03 and over the 4 years, I held classes -– I held classes based on 15 different books, such as Deadly Emotions, Overcoming Emotions That Destroy. In 2004, I wrote the book Christianity For Fools while overseeing the Christian 12 step ministry. In 2006, I was denied five years, but before the next hearing I finished my BS in Business Management, became a facilitator in Victim’s Impact and was handpicked by the assignment Lieutenant to be the B Facility Haz -– Hazmat janitor, working with custody to clean up after fights, attempted suicides, stabbings, and even murders. This job lasted until I left Mule Creek nine years later in 2017. After receiving a five-year denial in 2011, I was asked to help facilitate a new Self-awareness Recovery Group and did so until I left Mule Creek. In 2013, I wrote a book called Our Identity Spirit, Soul and Body. Also, in `13, I was stabbed 13 times in front of my cell making me more aware of my safety concerns at Mule Creek. After another five- year denial in 2016, I felt the need to leave Mule Creek due to safety concerns. I was transferred to RJD in September `17 to find the same safety concerns, especially now that the yards are non-designated prison facilities. But I got a job, I finished the LTOP Program and got into AA helping to facilitate. These are just a few highlights of how the Lord has used me in prison. In 2021, all my children are successful, the website is thriving and I'm ready to be found suitable. Over the past half-century, I've had my priorities in order as a loving, caring, and compassionate individual. I -– I've humbled myself to God, the importance of family and the work of recovery serving others, yet I am so undeserving. However, I'm a new man. That old man has passed away. The secure, the new secure man, has risen with Christ who loves and accepts me unconditionally. I am a spiritual man today having a holistic relationship with God, spirit, soul, and body, a constant contact for power and success. I am a fulfilled man with my core filled with power, love and a sound mind, spiritual values, wholesome desires, and valuable coping skills. I am a (inaudible) wise man, knowing the schemes, the trickery and the deceptions of those who would try to deceive me. I am a Christian 12 step man, keeping my soul, my mind, my will, and my emotions at peace with God, myself and others by practicing these steps daily. I am a family man, maintaining strong family ties with my children by communicating through letters, phone calls and quarterly package, quarterly family visits, I mean. I am a friendly man, maintaining a support, a strong support system as my support letters testify, many being sponsors and accountability partners. I am a serving man, reaching out to the world with compassion, (inaudible) person through letters and with the help of other spreading the word. Long ago I learned I couldn't change my past, but I could change my future and how I affect others. That is why I do what I do, reaching out to others in hope that they will recover too. The prophet Jeremiah wrote, for I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. If granted parole, I would continue to do what I've been doing for decades, for almost a half-century, that is being true to my recovery testimony and accountable to my sponsors, including my parole agent. I would be a benefit to the halfway house with my years of recovery work and a blessing to my family and friends while living a quiet and peace of the life. Again, I thank you for your consideration for suitability, I will not let you down nor those who have been such a blessing to my life. God bless you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you Mr. Watson. Now we're gonna go to, uh, victim's next-of-kin to give them a chance to, uh, speak. Uh, Ms. -– Ms. Debra Tate, I have you at the top of the list. Uh, did you want to go first or did you want to go last?

VICTIM’S SISTER DEBRA TATE: Uh, (inaudible), sir, if you don't mind, I'm trying to compile my information, so, the new information, so I'm not quite ready. Uh, if -–


VICTIM’S SISTER DEBRA TATE: — somebody else would like to go forward, that will be better for me. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you. Uh, Mr. Louis Smaldino, would you like to go forward at this time, sir?

VICTIM’S NEPHEW LOUIS SMALDINO: Um, surely, I'd be happy to. Um, okay, uh, I'm Louis Smaldino. Um, I'm the oldest nephew of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Uh, this is my first attendance of the hearing for Mr. Watson, uh, as I never thought I would have to attend a parole hearing for this man due to the nature of his crime. However, due to the times we live in and the policies being implemented by the State, I believe it has become necessary to speak out personally. Mr. Watson is a serial killer. He killed innocent and loving people in the prime of their lives with savage brutality. He had no good reason to do so except for his own weak character and a yearning for the approval of psychopaths. I have read the transcript of the most recent parole hearing, uh, for Mr. Watson and he categorically states he had many opportunities to say no and walk away. He committed coldblooded, premeditated mur -– murder of people, uh, he knew nothing about. People like Leno and Rosemary who were loving members of our family. They had five children. Let me say that again, they had five children. They were in the prime of their lives, owners of a family grocery business my grandfather had started which subse -– subsequently failed due to the, uh, Leno’s demise and the lack of leadership. The children to this day cannot deal directly with this trauma and its aftermath. My mother, Leno’s older sister was never the same, joyless to the end is the best word, uh, to describe her demeanor. Being the oldest of the grandchildren and nephews, I have assumed this role to speak for my family. I have attended, uh, over 20 parole hearings for Ms. Van Houten. I know the burden the State has put on our family, but my love for Leno and Rosemary demands that I speak up on their behalf. I want to say today that you cannot allow this inmate back onto the streets of the City, any City in America, he is a dangerous man filled with addictions, ready to resurface in an uncontrolled environment. I am happy for his newfound faith in God and wish him well, but that does not qualify him for release into the public square. He has killed seven innocent people and he is still alive. Justice demands his live, albeit incarceration. His personality set and its deficiencies require he live his life in a controlled, in confinement to protect other innocent people. We must remember that this crime was over, is one of the most heinous attacks in California or national history. What has always hurt me the most is how this inmate used a knife that was used in holiday gatherings to stab and carve into Leno's chest. It was a bone handled carving knife I remember vividly at our family gatherings. Five years before the murders, when I got married, I lived on this property, which was, uh, my grandparents' home, this could have been my wife and me. By what met -– metric does the inmate believe he deserves parole? His parole is that he is still alive and taken care of by the taxpayers of California. I find an affront that a man would seek freedom after committing such despicable and barbaric murders. If he truly has remorse and found God, accept your punishment and live out your days praying for forgiveness instead of playing the parole game. For once in his life, he should stand up and accept his punishment. One last thought. Reading the prior transcript, I did not see or observe any reference to the asking any of the victim's family for forgiveness. It was all egocentric about why he did what he did, imagining my, I imagined myself in the same situation. My focus would be on making amends to those I have harmed. There is none of that, only that he suffered from one malady or another psychologically. It shows that the inmate is profoundly has no empathy for anyone but himself. Keep Mr. Watson incarcerated. He murdered seven people. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you, sir. Okay, Ms. Kay, uh, Hinman Martley, did you want to say something? Or, no actually, you’re, uh, you’re, uh, yeah, you’re a representative, you can speak. Please go ahead if you would like to.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: I can’t hear you ma’am; I think you’re muted. There you go. Kay Martley, go ahead. Yeah, I think you’re -– I think you’re okay.

VICTIM’S COUSIN KAY MARTLEY: Okay, now I've got it, I'm sorry. Technical things. Um, I am Kay Hinman Martley. My cousin, Gary Hinman was one of the victims of the Manson family. Charles Manson was a member of this family. The five members of the Manson family who are incarcerated in California prisons continue to ask for parole. I continue to ask for denial of parole. Their personalities have not changed because they are psycho-sociopaths. They are chameleon in nature. They are amoral and antisocial and have no empathy. Years of psychotherapy and medications have proven unsuccessful in changing the personality of a psycho-sociopath. This is who Charles Manson is. They will always be a danger to society. The murders they committed were horrendous and done with lack of conscience. As a victim’s family member, I continue to attend parole hearings to remind the Parole Board of the victims and their families. The victims’ family are denied the opportunity to have any legal representative to ask questions or to clarify details in these proceedings, yet the prisoner has legal representation. This is unfair, and I believe the Parole Board needs to change this setup at parole hearings. My questions would be what could possibly create the anger that Watson says he has. Can it happen again? Watson seems so matter of fact in describing his role. Can Watson find another Manson if released? A common theme with the Manson five is that they found God which they feel resolves their crimes. Why do they have websites? (inaudible) the content. Let him remain in prison to continue his redemption. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you. ma'am. All right. Uh, at this time Anthony DiMaria, would you like to speak please?

VICTIM’S NEPHEW ANTHONY DIMARIA: Uh, yes. Uh, thank you, Commissioner. Uh -– uh, my name is Anthony DiMaria, nephew of Jay Sebring. Uh, I thank you Commissioners Ground and Desai for your service. Commissioner Ground, I thank you for your, uh, just prudence in allowing our family to express our impact statement in its entirety. As I've stated before, I feel profound sadness for all -– all of us impacted by these crimes. I feel also genuine sorrow for Charles Watson. Excuse me. To be clear, our family's involvement in these hearings have nothing to do with anger, hatred, or vengeance towards the killers of our loved ones. Rather, we speak of love for those who remain voiceless in their graves. (inaudible) what continues to impact my family and me are these parole hearings and what is said in these hearings. I probably, I -– I don't know why, having a tougher time right now. For decades we've been reminded of the tremendous focus, care, attention and resources spent for the inmate Watson and the so-called family. Not only in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, but in society at large. While our California, while our, I'm sorry, while, uh, I'm sorry, I got lost, uh, while our flesh and blood are treated as incidental footnotes of their own slaughters. I am humbled to address the victim's perspective. For the record I feel compelled to add Mr. Watson's third night of violence when he murdered his victim, Donald Shea. In re Lawrence was mentioned earlier. It states quote, “in rare circumstances, the aggravated nature of the crime alone can provide a valid basis for denying parole, even when there is a strong evidence of rehabilitation and no other evidence of current dangerousness” unquote. Charles Watson is the single most lethal killer of the entire Manson crime family, arguably one of the most natu -– most notorious killing gangs in the United States history. The inmate fired every gunshot, stab nearly or over 100 times, bludgeoned defenseless, dying victims dozens of times as they lied bleeding to death. Then he mutilated his victims, staged the crime scenes to spread terror in attempts to frame African-Americans and create societal anarchy. Crucial to this note, Mr. Watson's drug burn of Bernard Crowe was the exact catalyst that set off all Manson family violent crimes in the days ahea -– in the days ahead and throughout the years. Charles Watson's crimes definitively defined the rare aggravated circumstances as defined by in re Lawrence. Regarding drug influences, I point you to a statement from Dr. Barbara Freeze, MD, senior exam -– examiner of the Board of Neurology and Psychiatry quote, “it is not defensible to say Charles Watson was influenced immediately or chronically changed by psychedelics and/or speed. No drug has ever produced a sustained psychotic state that would cause a person to carry out organized activity. For example, as in these murders, with regard to the planning, the targeting, murdering, painting messages in blood, wiping the crime scene free of fingerprints, not to mention escaping capture and hiding from authorities. Psychedelic drugs do not make people do psychotic deeds.” While the CDCR is focused on the inmates’ current threat to society, the scars Mr. Charles Watson has dealt our families infects beyond our losses with cultural and historical impact. These realities are, have been and are pervasive and pernicious throughout the decades and even today in main street media and much, much worse. It is devastating to know that our families’ personal gain and loss has become a -– a cultural cash cow for more than 50 years, that our beloved have been relegated as principle pawns in the mass pedaling of their own slaughter. Charles Watson's crimes have spawned a massive cottage industry. Mr. Watson has written several books while incarcerated. As I speak, countless parasites write books, do articles and strike movie deals with no regard for human dimension or the truth, perversely exploiting these tragedies for self-promotion and profit. In 1976, filmmaker John Waters explicitly endorsed quote, “Free Tex Watson” end quote, in his cult film, Pink Flamingos. Manson murder memo -– memorabilia is rampant on the internet for sale. Just a few years ago, my sister Michelle DiMaria describes a recent traumatizing experience quote, “I was out at a concert having an amazing time enjoying life. The first opening band had just finished playing and I was looking forward to seeing the next band as they were well-known -– as they were a well-known band that I had supported for a while now. The only way I can describe how it felt when the lead singer came out wearing a Manson shirt was, is that I got kicked in the gut. My happiness ripped right out of me and filled with pain. Then came the nausea to know that I had supported someone who supports the killers of my uncle, Jay. It made me physically ill. My personal pain aside, I was then filled with anger as I excused myself, knowing that this was an auditorium filled with thousands, many being kids who look up to this band greatly and are now going to think that these crimes are something cool, something to look up to. God forbid, something to recreate. These heinous crimes are a part of American history. Part of history that people are either horrified and frightened of, or much worse, inspired and excited by. These killers are celebrated as serial rockstar, serial killer rockstars” end quote. Several years ago, four teenagers killed 16-year-old Jason Sweeney. The murderers revealed during the trial that they listen to the song Helter Skelter for several hours to psych themselves up before butchering Jason with a hatchet, a hammer, and a large brick. The murder was so cruel and heinous, the teens were sentenced to life without possibility of parole. Jim Convoy, the deciding prosecutor states quote, “it is really amazing that teenagers in Philadelphia, Memorial Day weekend, in contemplating an incredibly violent and brutal murder is attuned to the whole Helter Skelter and Manson mythology. It's a sad testament to the twisted brutal legacy the Manson murders have left behind such that it attracts 15, 16, 17-year-olds, 40 years later, 3000 miles across the country, it's a powerful legacy. It disturbs me when I hear people refer to the so-called family as a cult. The extensive crimes of the Manson family defines them from late 1967, all the way through 1974, as a very violent crime organization with racist terroristic ideologies. From my mother, Margaret DiMaria’s impact statement November 11th, 2011, quote, “there are still young people lost who will be influenced and we have to protect them from this. We have to shield other people from any such heinous crime or behavior and protect our public from being inf -– influence from people like this” end quote. Sorry, excuse me. It disturbs me, well, also, when people refer to the Manson killers as followers, this was not a cult, this was a crime organization. These were not followers, these are killers. Years ago -– years ago, I reached out to Mr. Watson, as I was compelled to know what Jay did in the last moments of his life. Eventually I learned of Jay's final actions from the actual testimony of Susan Atkins and Charles Watson and forensic records. From the actual testimony quote, this is from Mr. Watson’s trial, quote “what happened when the group was in the room? Mr. Watson's answer, A man, a guy started toward me and I was kind of running back and forth jumping up and down behind the couch and making funny noises when Sadie said watch out and I turned around and I emptied the gun on this man.” Mr. Watson further describes Jay as a man quote, “as a man coming, running at me and I shot him” end quote. I cannot overstate the pain that more is not known about Jay's final actions. Mr. Watson's own words define Jay as aggressively charging when Mr. Watson had his back turned before he, before Mr. Watson turned around and shot him. Jay received subsequent wounds, defensive wounds to his left hand. Forensic doctor defines this, confirms this as throwing a punch and additional kicks to the face and stabs to his back as he struggled to get back up on his feet. The last thing Jay did to defend himself and those dear to him was to stand up against an unspeakable, evil, an unspeakable fate against all odds. In the letters exchanged with Mr. Watson, Mr. Watson expressed words of prayer and remorse for my family and me. While I genuinely appreciate these sentiments, Charles Watson's direct victims are the only individuals to properly address and rectify these crimes. Any coin -– any cons -– consideration from my perspective in this regard from where I stand is moot and self-serving. A couple of biblical expressions. First, one may forgive the individual, but not the crime. And that punishment must suit the crime. On suitable -– on suitability of parole, I remind you that as you consider the transformation of Charles Tex Watson convicted killer of nine, I include his victims, Donald Shea and Sharon's unborn child into a reformed rehabilitated individual, I remind you Commissioners that Steven Parent, Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, Sharon Tate, her unborn son, Donald Shea, Leno LaBianca, Rosemary LaBianca and Jay Sebring remain unchanged, unreformed, unparoled, unredeemed. To echo -– to echo my mother quote, “he's as dead, he's, Mr. Watson is as much a murderer today as he was 52 years ago. My brother is just as dead today as he was, as he -– as he was 52 years ago.” So as the Board asks and considers, who were you then? Who are you today? I am tormented by several other questions. Uncle Jay, who were you on the night of August 8th, 1969? Who are you today? I wish we could ask -– we could ask each one of the victims this very question. Commissioner -– Commissioner Grounds and Desai, I urge you to grant parole for Mr. Charles Watson when you parole each of his victims from their graves. Thank you.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you, Mr. DiMaria. Now, Margaret DiMaria, uh, Anthony’s mother, if you, are you close there, can you speak?




PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Please, please take your time.


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: No, I can’t but, uh, I can hear you very well.

VICTIM’S SISTER MARGARET DIMARIA: Okay. Thank you very much. I want to thank both of the Commissioners for allowing me to speak. I think that, uh, sorry, I think that I need to go back to when these horrible murders happened. My brother, Jay Sebring was a well-known stylist, started men's hairstyling. Appearance was a lot to him, not in a phony way or any ways like that, but everyone should be able to look the best they can look and be the best they can be. And he believed also that everyone should get recognition for all of the good things that they do. Uh, at the time of the murders, my brother was in the process of actually increasing, uh, his career as a stylist, opening more places, uh, opening a school in Europe, doing many, many, many good things. Uh, that ended of course. Uh, my parents, uh, very good parents, uh, they raised four of us kids, my brother Jay was the oldest and I was born 12 years later, I so looked up to him. He was everything that I believe somebody should be, somebody that you look up to. I had a sister two years younger, another brother just two years older than me, but I always wanted to go to California and, uh, be with my brother, Jay. As it turned out my husband, well at the time, the man that I started dating in cosmetology school, uh, we ended up getting married, we moved out to Vegas first, we were gonna go to California if, you know, we, it didn’t work or we thought we could do better in California. Anyway, all this and in the middle of it, our son, who, uh, Anthony DiMaria, who spoke before us, who we are forever grateful for all the hard work and everything that he has put into all of this, to have his Uncle Jay’s true story presented to the world that's happening now. Anyway, at the night of the murders, all of my brother’s dreams were gone. My parents were notified, my husband and I were notified, uh, my other brother and sister and everyone was in the process of trying to protect each other. We all just came together to do the best we could do. Uh, my dad from back East and my other brother came out to California for the service for my brother. My husband and I came out from Las Vegas. My sister stayed home with my mother because of all this, she was bedridden with a horrible case of shingles, she was not able to be there. Before the service began, our family that was there was allowed to see my brother for the first time. My parents decided that they wanted my brother's casket to be viewed and the reason for that was because my mother in particular wanted to put to rest all the lies and everything that was being presented on the news media, on very credible magazines, on everything. They wanted, uh, my brother to be shown that the things that they were spreading around weren't true. But I can tell you, when I looked at my brother, it was horrible. He barely resembled himself, barely. The man that was so important to have everybody that he ever dealt with, look the best they can look and be the best they can be, he was swollen, his hands were in a position of fighting, he was, it just was terrible and I wanted to reach out and change it, but I couldn't. So that was the first time I saw him. Then we went back-to-back East to Detroit and we had another service there, the same thing, it -– it just was so horrible and it ended in such a horrible way. He never had a chance to do all the things he wanted to do. He always was a good friend to all of his friends. He was, uh, he was a jet setter. Everybody in Hollywood looked up to him, but more than that, he was his own person, he was a total individual. And all of these things in these parole hearings bring all of this back and there was a lot of good and a lot of great things that my brother did and our son, Anthony, he has been over the years, presenting them, but it still doesn't change what happened that night? I look at Charles Watson and I see him now and he looks very good. He has been able to accomplish many things while incarcerated. He's been able to live many years, certainly he looks much better than my brother, Jay Sebring and all the other victims in their graves. It's a horrible thought, but it's real and it's what we all deal with. It's a good thing that Charles Watson is doing good things, all of that is good, but it doesn't change the horrendous crimes, the way all of our family members were murdered, it doesn't change any of that. It doesn't change the fact that all the murderers and that includes Charles Watson and Manson off course, I don't even like to say these people's names because I wouldn't have anything to do with them, except they murdered my brother and these women. But anyway, kind of wearing off on this stuff.


VICTIM’S SISTER MARGARET DIMARIA: It's, I can't actually even say all the things I would like to say cause there's not enough time. And, uh, it -– it still wouldn't change anything. But I do believe that when you commit heinous crimes, the punishment never justifies the crime, it can't in this case. You can't, it's not like replacing typewriters, it's people's lives that have been ruined and their family members and their friends are living with everything that is left. And we all, in my family, I can say specifically, uh, my husband and my children have for years tried to protect me and shelter me from what you go through when it's a very public occurrence and it was very heinous public murders. And I would be working and someone would come in and talk about the crimes and then I wouldn't say too much, but then they would keep going on and on and what they read in the paper, and my husband said, please, don't talk about that, Jay Sebring was my brother-in-law and my wife's brother and sometimes they stopped. Sometimes they cried because they feel so bad and they're talking about news and then they realize it's people that are real and involved in this. The thing is when you have horrend -– horrendous crimes, you have, and we have, we all have an obligation to society to, I know Charles Watson said, uh, he believes in everybody has a second chance, well, that could be a nice thing to say but I believe that he and Manson and all the murderers got a second chance when they were taken off of, uh, not being the death penal -– penalty, sorry. And they've had as many years as they've had to live, except for the fact that they have, they had life sentences with the possibility of parole because that wasn't there at the time that they were taken off of death penalty. So, this is something that is important for us. We need to look at it realistically and realize we all have an obligation to, uh, show society and keep it in mind with the public and all of the people in our great country that when you commit horrendous crimes, there is a just punishment for it. And it's life imprisonment with possibility of parole, but I ask you to keep in mind and see the fact that due to these particular crimes, due to the fact that they were trying to plan a -– a war, they were trying to have a -– a black and white war, all these things, it's very important that these people or anyone else knows when you would even try to do anything like that, you are going to receive a just punishment. And, uh, that -– that's it. I'm -– I thank you again for allowing me to be here.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Ms. Margaret DiMaria, thank you so much for your words, uh, I'd like to go to -– to Ms. Debra Tate at this time, please.



VICTIM’S SISTER DEBRA TATE: Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner and everybody who has taken the time to be present here today, I want to thank you in advance for the privilege of being able to express our feelings and facts on behalf of our deceased family members, as well as ourselves, as well as the general public at large. I had weaned down, um, a statement from many pages to a -– a few pages here, which I'd like to show you, but then in just today's hearing, this is my note. These are the holes that I would like to point out for, uh, perhaps yourselves, perhaps for others that may have access to these records in the future, because I am a recipricant of the violence perpetrated by perhaps fringe, uh, individuals that Mr. Watson may not even know, but -– but nevertheless he has an impact on them and he will have an impact, uh, on those types of people if -– if he were to be released, which I'm not going to condemn him for, but I would like you, Commissioners, to take that into heavy consideration. Um, I have found several examples today of Mr. Watson not coming clean or telling the truth. Through his perspective and I think over the last, as his Counsel says, 40 years incarceration and as Kay Martley says, the numerous, uh, programs that are presented to any California inmate, they are almost taught how to address what their crime is in these hearings. Counsel is exactly that, it's counsel, it is the lever that puts the spin on how Mr. Watson is most likely to gain his freedom or to influence the Commissioners and the public. I'm going to address his shock when Anthony DiMaria mentioned Shorty Shea's name. Even though Shorty Shea was not part of his - – his, uh, charges, other crime partners testified in their hearings that he was there and personally responsible for the murder of Shorty Shea. I'm not gonna deliberate or go into why the, uh -– uh, LA DA's office did not include all of these other murders at the time, perhaps they figured they had enough, but indeed Tex Watson was present, Tex Watson had an active hand -–

INMATE ATTORNEY FLEMING: I don’t subject this (inaudible)


PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Excuse -– excuse me. Counsel, just let Ms. Tate talk.

VICTIM’S SISTER DEBRA TATE: I don't have the crystal ball to say who dealt the death blow, but it's very concerning for me that he doesn't even have this in his recollection. He's had 40 years to go over the events, stoned or -– or high or not, he's been sober for many years while incarcerated and I know for a fact psychologically speaking that there is clarity that comes if -– if, and that’s a big if –- if you have the desire to dive into yourself and make those adjustments. Now, Dr. Miscia, which you Commissioner read into the, uh, into the minutes, there were several, um, issues that if I understood them right, she states that there are factors still prevalent for, um, for a propensity to violence that are minimized by the fact of being in this environment. So, I have to interpret and so does everybody else, what's this environment mean? This environment means in the prison and I agree 100%. I am less afraid of this perpetrator and very happy that he can do for others and has the opportunity in that environment. But if the restraints are removed, would it be the same? Once again, I don't have the crystal ball, but when you're talking about a predatory killer cult, like the Manson cult, I'm not gonna say family, that’s -– that's a bad analogy, of these people and the actions, we need to ask ourselves that question and we need to err on the side of caution. There are, the word me came off as a lot, you yourself were shocked that, you know, you were reading personality factors for the first time in psych reports. There have been, uh -– uh, in psych reports over the years because I've been to every single one of these things for well over 20 years and I take piles and piles of notes. Each, um, psychologist has had their reservations, all ending on a positive note because Mr. Watson has been fairly well- behaved while in prison. I fully expect that that should be the case. If those safety guards were to no longer be a factor, would he go back to his old ways, I think there's a strong possibility in the psychological profiles, uh, attest to that. Um, I feel that his participation, his returning to the -– the ranch and the influence of Charlie, the numerous times when he did walk out freely on his own, he came back each time because that was the place, he was allowed to feel powerful. He can rule over all the females. There were very few, if any at all, physical threats to the man, he had enjoyment not only on the drugs and the sex, but also in the taking of human life. I can't say that those factors don't still exist and it scares me to death. I could not live with myself if I thought that I was a person that released a monster once in custody to repeat on one single person, nor would I be able to live with myself if I didn't do my very best to put up the safe guards to keep it from happening again. Uh, Mr. Watson, through his own words says he believes everybody deserves a second chance. Well, this is his third. This is his third chance. I also believe personally that if I didn't see this many red flags in today's testimony, I’m might be willing to give somebody a chance, but that chance just isn't here. The facts are not there. And I would like the Board to take into consideration and really, really listen to everything presented by everybody and err, and -– and rule on the, uh, side of caution for the sake of public society. Now, there are also issues with his Abounding Love Ministry, where fraud charges were brought up in the past on his family, uh, perhaps for error or -– or I don't know what -– what -– what's the, uh, reasoning of law enforcement was, but there were charges and there's a factor that exists today along those same lines. And if I were in his shoes and wanting to show and prove my upstanding qualities, uh, the, I would remove those factors. The fact is that as of, uh, last month, his, the new version of his book, there is, he has made over $8,356, and this is very con -– conservative. If you look at Google sales, the sales, this is the lowest possible number per year that has not been declared to the Board, nor hasn't been declared to the IRS. These are all little tiny tells in my opinion. Uh, we have almost 200,000 people that last month, uh, signed and they oppose, uh, Mr. Watson's release. They are very fearful, but I would like to add one more person that I am fearful for. I am fearful for Mr. Watson himself. He may have full intentions and I do believe he has full intentions of leading a quiet life with his children, but I don't think he possesses the tools in order to guarantee society that the factors that made him the monster in the past won't again happen and make him a monster in the future. And for these reasons I'm asking the Board to deny parole and I'm asking anybody else that looks into things as -– as carefully as I have today, listening to each and every testimony, to see the man behind the show that has been presented here today. Thank you very much for your time.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Thank you, Ms. Tate. The time is 2:02 PM. We're going to take a break at this point for deliberation.




PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: 10/15/2021. The time is approximately, uh, 3:52 PM. All parties that were present have returned for pronouncement of the Panel’s decision. Inmate was received CCR on, uh, 11/17/71 from LA County with a controlling offense of murder first, numerous counts, Case number 8253156. There is an MEP of 11/30/1976, um, sentenced to 7 years to life. The victims are, uh, Sharon Tate Polanski and her unborn child, Wojciech Frykowski, Jay Sebring, Abigail Folger, Steven Parent, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, 7 years to life. According to the California Supreme Court, in making a parole eligibility decision, this Panel must not act arbitrarily or capriciously and must consider all relative and reliable information available. In this case the Panel reviewed the Central file, the Risk Assessment, additional documents submitted to the Panel and all written responses received from the public. The Panel also considered the statements of Counsel for -– for inmate, Ms. Fleming and the testimony of you, inmate Watson and the statements of the victims’ family. The confidential portion of the Central file was reviewed and the Panel did not consider the information related to nexus to current dangerousness. The fundamental consideration in making a parole eligibility decision is the potential threat to public safety upon an inmate’s release. A denial must be based on evidence of inma -– of inmate Watson’s current dangerousness and having these legal standards in mind, the Panel finds that inmate Watson does pose a reasonable risk to public safety and is not suitable for parole at this time. We took into consideration you are eligible for youthful offender and elder -– elder parole consideration. We took into consideration you were a youthful offender when a prisoner has committed the controlling offense as defined in subdivision A, Penal Code Section 3051, prior to attaining 26 years of age, the Panel will give great weight to the diminished culpability of juveniles as compared to adults, the hallmark features of youth and any subsequent growth and maturity of the prisoner when reviewing prisoner’s suitability for parole. Parts of the brain involving behavior control continue to mature (inaudible) adolescence. Adolescent brain is not yet fully mature in regions and systems related to higher order functions such as impulse control, plan ahead and risk avoidance. Now, we did give get great weight to diminished culpability and the hallmark features of youth, you were 23 at the time. Um, we -– we saw that your criminality, uh, the fact that you were involved in that in -– in murder and the gang mentality definitely, uh, contributed to the, uh, great weight that we gave Mr. Watson. Immature thinking, you were in an abusive environment when you removed yourself from Texas and your home you had limited control, once you surrounded yourself with people who were involved in that gang mentality, and it made it more difficult for you to extricate yourself, although you did on several occasions, it definitely had an impact on you. You also, we gave great weight to the hallmark features of youth in that you displayed immature thinking and you, uh, got involved in criminality, drugs, murder, gang mentality. Your responsibility was -– was, uh, really undeveloped with you. You were impulsive, you were vulnerable to negative influences and you acted in an extremely reckless manner. You had a failure to consider the consequences. Your subsequent growth and your -– your maturity, we –- we do note that you do not have any disciplinaries for 40 somewhat years and we do note the rehabilitation is something that you definitely participated in for many years, for decades. Um, when compared to crimes, we -– we ask ourselves, is it sufficient growth and, uh, is it sufficient maturity compared to what was happening, uh, back in 1969 compared to the crimes. We, uh, we felt that there was a lack, a lack of effective, uh, growth and we have some concerns over that and that’s what we’re gonna speak to today. In reaching our decision, the Panel noted that Mr. Watson does not possess a significant history of violent crime while a juvenile or an adult. Prior to the life crime, you had a stable social history, you were raised by a good family. Showing signs of accepting responsibility for your criminal actions is evidence through your testimony today, and you are of an age that reduces the probability of recidivism, you’re no longer 23, you’re 75. You've made realistic plans for release and you lack serious rule violations in 48 years. However, these are outweighed by the circumstances to ensure suitability and this suggests that if released, Mr. Watson would pose a reasonable threat to public safety. Specifically, we find that you, uh, you committed these offenses in an extremely disturbing reckless and horrific manner. Your actions resulted in the death of Sharon Tate, Wojceich, Abigail, Jay, Steven Parent, Paul Richard, the, uh, unborn child of Sharon Tate, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Failure of the passing of time and efforts to rehabilitate have not sufficiently abated the following aggravating risk factors for -– for the current danger. It appears that you committed this crime through your own substance abuse, your greed, your selfishness, (inaudible), coupled with the gang mentality and callous disregard for the lives of many people on repetitive -– repetitive nights. And there -– there were also many aspects of the murder that were inexplicable, um, as explained by you, Mr. Watson. The Panel recognizes that with the passage of time, factors such as the commitment offense, your prior criminality and a stable social history may no longer indicate a current risk of danger to society in light of the lengthy period of positive rehabilitation. In this case, we consider other circumstances which contribute to our conclusion, Mr. Watson poses continued unreasonable threat. Now, there is no question Mr. Watson was fully committed to the radical beliefs that Manson followed and he actively contributed and -– and in fact was the leader of extremely bloody horrific crimes that terrorized the State of California and impacted the nation and had reverberating effects around the world. This is an extreme case where the crimes are still probative to current dangerous. The Tate-LaBianca murders are an example of seriousness, uh, of the seriousness of such a case. In comparison to the brutal and horrific crimes Mr. Watson was not able to discuss the Tate-LaBianca murders and causative factors of these horrific crimes sufficiently. We do note the remorse in committing the offenses and especially heinous atrocious and cruel manner (inaudible) for consideration. Also on previous occasions, inflicting or attempted to inflict serious injury on a victim, these -– these crimes are horrific and -– and they didn’t get abated by the first, um, the first, uh, set of crimes at the, uh, Tate home. In fact, they were orchestrated a second time in just as egregious in manner. He was the leader, the director, the orchestrator of the Sharon Ta -– Tate home murders. He was also the leader of the actual killings in the LaBianca home the next night. It is especially troubling that he actually committed some of the most disturbing and atrocious and cruel aspects of the murders. He had numerous opportunities to leave the Manson environment, in fact did leave Manson on three occasions. One time he confronted Manson by not using the credit card, taking a mild stand against him without negative repercussions and he used meth without the approval of Manson. Watson knew he could act on his own, was not under Manson’s control. He chose to go there and do the crimes he did. So, he knows he could’ve left without negative or violent repercussions. He was not forced to commit these horrific crimes or take the meth or speed, he wasn't forced to do that. He made a conscious effort as he stated that, uh, he was having some doubts about whether to do this or not, he dulled his senses intentionally by taking meth. Therefore, there is a nexus to current dangerousness due to an incomplete acceptance of responsibility. Watson therefore has a lack of self-awareness which leaves him more vulnerable, creates a nexus to current dangerousness, especially when one considers this a proportionally maniacal violence committed on not only one night, but then to turn around and do this violence again, the following night, which he held a direct and undeniable on- site leadership role. His explanation was duplicitous. He said he was not wanting to do this and was impacted by the horror, but we don't believe that that fairly represents the maniacal frenzy that was actually going on that night. He did not want to slash Sharon's face, he states that today, but really, he did and he stabbed her 15, 16 times. We felt that that was duplicitous. He tied her up, the pleading that she be able to have her baby and not be murdered, he continued on with this, in his maniacal frenzy. Uh, you know, he als -– he also said, you know, I hope I'm not taking too much responsibility, and you corrected yourself. I felt that that statement was extremely inappropriate. Then we felt that you laughed at inappropriate times, we felt that you lacked the sensitivity with the victims in the room. Now I did want to talk to you about the books. You know the last Panel that talked to you, Watson, talked to you about changing the title of the books, of the book, um, you know, Manson’s Right-Hand Man. You did take the picture off which the Board appreciates, but, uh, the Deputy Commissioner in the 2016 hearing did say whether you should change the title and you explained that it was a hook. What was problematic is when we talked to you about it today, you explained, you know, when -– when asked, you know why they -– they asked you to change the title and said, no, I really don't know why. I thought that was indicative of a limited sensitivity to the, uh, the feelings of -– of the victims and the people that’s, uh, reading that. I also spoke to you about the letter X and we felt that, you know, when you said, Hey, I didn’t even think about that, we think that you should, uh, because it was something that, uh, this posturing where the -– Manson gang was -– was it marking their foreheads, uh, as opposed to using the letter X, we think that you -– you need to revisit that as it talks about X Manson follower. Uh, you know, I thought to that, um, I felt that you blamed Manson I think way too much. Um, I didn't, I -– I -– I think I would've liked to have heard you explain your conversations prior to the first night’s killings, you didn't want to do it, cause you certainly did and you did it -– it was the antithesis which you said you were discussing in the van, maybe it was the second night, excuse me. No, it was the first night I believe, um, because -– cause Manson was -– was with you the second night. Manson didn’t stick around; he left the second night. You were all alone by yourself with the –- with the girls and you participated in these murders, you took the initiative. Uh, you know, I -– I think you really need to look at just what was driving that kind of anger. Uh, you know, when you go away and you leave Manson on three different occasions and you come back and -– and you find yourself right back into that -– that group, um, when you've got numerous opportunities to walk away, we don't think you sufficiently looked at what was driving it within you. You talked about Manson and this draw that he has and he had something that you needed or something, but, you know, I didn't feel that you really adequately covered what was going on in that, uh, in that room during those circle meetings that you'd have every night, I thought you minimized the, um, the violence towards the women. I felt that I had to kinda draw out the life crime with you and I wish you’d have placed within yourself what was driving that kind of anger. I don't think it was your parents. I don't think it was any kind of philosophy. I think it was, uh, something much more egregious that was going on within you and I don't know how that all came to be and I think you need to (inaudible) to work on it. Watson discusses his responsibility through the impact of Manson's presence and effect in his life. He needs to more fully understand the choices he alone made for him to act so extremely violent towards people who were absolutely no threat to him, who meant him no harm, who were completely vulnerable to him. He has a lack of understanding of what the deeper causative factors were in his choosing to act in this manner. This creates a factor towards current dangerousness. You know, Watson you were stabbed in 2013, 13 times and I think someone was trying to get at you in 2017. When we look at that, because, you know, what we’re talking about is outside of that. If on the street, I think one of the victim’s next-of-kin said if people were trying to get at you in the prison, what might happen in a violent way out there on the streets? I don't know. But one of our jobs here is to -– to protect the public from violence and crime. So, the Panel determines that the gravity and horrific nature of these offenses and the fact that it occurred on more than one occasion and to numerous victims is so egregious that the public safety requires more a lengthy period incarceration for this person. So, we, uh, we continue to deny parole today. Um, we note that the Comprehensive Risk Assessment prepared by Dr. Miscia found that you present statistically a low risk for re- offense in the free community. Um, however the psychological evaluation of the inmate’s risk of future violence provide information bearing on prisoner’s suitability for release but such assessments do not dictate the Board's parole decision. It's the Board's job to assess current dangerousness, in this case despite Dr. Miscia’s Risk Assessment, the Panel does not find sufficient evidence of positive or sufficient enough rehabilitation would convince that if released would pose a potential threat to public safety. We also looked at the structured decision-making framework and we note that you -– your Comprehensive Risk Assessment is low. Your criminal and parole history is mitigating. Your offender self-control as it relates to the life crimes is extremely aggravating. Your institutional behavior is mitigating but your offender change, though we see it, we see you doing good things, we do not see it as sufficient enough, uh, regarding self-awareness, we see that lacking, causative factors lacking, uh, and understanding as far as your own personal choices as it relates to driving this kind of violence. So, we felt that those were lacking and therefore placed your, uh, your, uh, score somewhere between neutral and aggravating on programming offender change. Your release plan is mitigating, you got plenty of people that support you. Your youthful offender factors and elder parole, uh, considerations were given great weight. Uh, Deputy Commissioner, do you want to weigh in on anything before I go forward?

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER DESAI: Yes. Um, Mr. Watson, um, I don't want to come off as sounding punitive, um, but the nature of the crimes, um, given the nature of the crimes, public safety almost demands more explor -– exploration into internal aspects that drove you to commit these brutal crimes in just two nights. Um, you consciously took methamphetamine to turn off your moral compass, um, that night, so you can do things. And to put it a different way, if you can turn off your moral compass like a light switch at the time of the crimes, and this moral compass was instilled in you by your good parents, it -– it still shows you have the ability to override all of the rehabilitation and the gain coping skills that you've gotten throughout incarceration and I believe those, uh, things are inherently inferior to your mom and dad and, um, you can just throw them out in a flash as well, too. Um, so you haven't adequately explored this conscious and deliberate act moments before the murders on both nights. Um, the other area where you can, um, progress, I -– I understand you're sorry, uh, for the acts and you've demonstrated remorse and you're -– you're progressing in this area of empathy, but you can also progress in this area and develop more. I -– I think you're on the right path and -– and with respect to this, but, um, you -– you can, uh, hone on this a little bit better. And those were all of the comments I had, Commissioner.

PRESIDING COMMISSIONER GROUNDS: Very good. Thank you. Uh, well I don’t, uh, I don't deny you're heading in a positive direction and that you’re -– you’re completing good thing it's, as evidenced with the numerous hearings that you’ve had, uh, Mr. Watson, don’t deny that at all. And I -– I don’t deny that, uh, a person that's dug such a significant hole for themselves, that the grace of God can't go deeper still, and you've -– you’ve explained that. But we’re also looking at the ramifications of -– of, um, your understanding as it relates to the high bar, the crimes committed and how it's affected the community. We've looked at Marcy's law, which requires a fifteen-year denial or a -– a ten-year denial and we do see clear and convincing evidence those denial lengths are not necessary per Penal Code Section 3041.5. You are a youthful offender, your elder parole uh, eligible, you’ve completed self-help, been disciplinary-free. Uh, we came off those denial lengths. We looked at seven, five and three years and we feel that we’re in the same place that the last Panel was in so we assessed a five-year denial. When we look and we tell you that you have a PTA which you can use at any time. With that, um, I want to thank everybody for your participation here today. This hearing is adjourned. I would la –- ask that the, uh, the victims’ next-of-kin please stay on the line, I’d like to address you briefly. Thank you.