• Attorneys File Briefs Ahead of Van Houten Appellate Court Hearing

Attorneys File Briefs Ahead of Van Houten Appellate Court Hearing

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

Mar. 17 – The Attorney General on Friday filed a legal brief with the appellate court in advance of a hearing next month regarding Jerry Brown’s reversal of Leslie Van Houten’s September 2017 parole recommendation.

Van Houten’s attorneys, who are optimistic about her chances of gaining freedom through the courts, filed a 69-page response to the Attorney General filing.

The hearing, which is open to the public, will be held at the Ronald Reagan State Building at 9 a.m. on April 24th.

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62 Responses to Attorneys File Briefs Ahead of Van Houten Appellate Court Hearing

  1. Pam says:

    So many tax dollars wasted on this butcher who chose to murder to start s race war in which millions would die

  2. Ben Gurecki says:


  3. Cybele Moon says:

    Columbo has some valid points about parole and meeting the conditions as do they all. Good or bad this is the system.

    In my own opinion the system screwed it up from the beginning and it should have been life without parole. That’s my own thought on it and I am now curious as to whether Tex Watson or Pat Krenwinkel will meet the criterion if Leslie gets out.

    At any rate I will always find it hard to give Leslie the kudos for good behaviour and getting an education behind bars as her supporters do. None of that erases the fact that she willingly participated in extremely cruel and brutal murders nor that she was so eager to follow Manson down the road to hell. Thank God they were stopped before they did further damage to society. Their crimes are still discussed to this day along with the death of the idealism of the sixties. There were far reaching ramifications to the Manson crimes. I’m glad if she is repentant (for the rest of her life) but she is no hero of injustice to me. Her redemption is between her and God and in reality she can never repay the debt of lives lost.

  4. Cybele Moon says:

    PS. all this griping about the corruption and incompetency of governors etc. Governors can also give clemency don’t forget and have on some occasions. Then of course they are great heroes. People are never content unless their own ideas of right and wrong are supported. If they aren’t they ( governors judges etc) are gutless incompetents.

  5. Michael says:

    I think Newsom will grant her parole, and like Cybele, I can accept that while still feeling she and the others should never be released.

    Beausoleil and Davis will probably be next, although both Krenwinkel and Watson seem to have more exemplary prison records than Bobby, and of all the Mansonites still in prison, I think his general attitude is the most questionable. I see more genuine repentance in Watson and Krenwinkel than in him, despite their body count being so much higher than his.

    Anyway, every other part of this case since 1969 has been bizarre, so I guess the pattern continues.

  6. Peter says:

    This is the second of Leslie’s briefs that auto-corrects Manson to Mason all over the place. If you need someone to proofread the next one, PM me.

  7. Mónica Di Nezio says:

    Sono d’accordo con quanto espresso da Cybele, avrebbero dovuto essere condannati senza parole. Non importa quale sia il comportamento adesso, hanno compiuto un massacro che non dimenticheremo mai.

  8. Cybele Moon says:

    Grazie Monica! anche sono d’ accordo.

    Being a good citizen and achieving a degree or a career is what most of us do without having committed such a terrible crime and what she might have done had she not become a Manson family member.

  9. snoop says:

    ” although both Krenwinkel and Watson seem to have more exemplary prison records than Bobby, and of all the Mansonites still in prison, I think his general attitude is the most questionable. I see more genuine repentance in Watson and Krenwinkel than in him, despite their body count being so much higher than his.”

    Michael, Kreni and Watson were the most savage, the best manipulators . They have no mind of their own… This is an unfair comparison. Bobby and Leslie will not be a danger to society …

  10. snoop says:

    There is another Manson movie coming out this year on specifically Leslie, Susan and Pat. It’s about the manipulation Manson pulled on them… Manson knew how to cast a spell on women – scenario….. It’s called “Charlie Says”


  11. Cybele Moon says:

    Snoop, women are easily conned it’s true, there are many stories about this. Women get conned or manipulated sexually or into releasing their bank accounts, or even in some cases into some illegal activities, but somehow it’s hard to get your head around them being conned to the point of eagerly participating in mass murder with knives and bayonets.

  12. Michael says:

    Snoop, I was comparing prison records, not commitment offenses. Watson and Krenwinkel have better records than Bobby. They also committed worse crimes. Those two facts don’t contradict each other. (And yes, they both did and do have minds of their own, and there’s ample evidence of that.)

    And the “cast a spell” business wears thin. These girls weren’t robots, and in fact, each of them showed ambivalence about following Charlie’s orders on those two nights. (Atkins couldn’t bring herself to stab Tate or Frykowski; Krenwinkel disobeyed Tex by not killing Garretson; Leslie was very reluctant to stab Rosemary according to Watson’s account) Each of them either disobeyed direct orders or showed severe reluctance to obey. That means they still had minds of their own, and the capacity to choose and decide. They were and are completely responsible.

  13. Peter says:

    Funny. When the prosecution wanted to put the hat on Manson they argued that he was the leader, a Svengali, and nobody did anything unless Manson said so. If he wanted half a coconut they were on their way to Rio.

    But now that they want to keep the girls in jail, they say the complete opposite.

  14. Michael says:

    No. The prosecution never absolved the girls of responsibility. Just the opposite. Bugliosi said, “the evidence will show that they were very willing participants in these mass murders…” He viewed Manson as the catalyst for the murders, certainly, but also made it clear that the girls had fundamental, serious issues before they met Manson, and that other girls who were part of the family would never had killed, no matter how much they loved Charlie.

    Bugliosi also compared them to Hitler’s executioners. Most of the people convicted of Nazi war crimes probably wouldn’t have committed such crimes if Hitler never came to power, but their own sickness was energized by him, and they remain responsible. Same with the girls, to my thinking. I don’t think they would have killed apart from Manson, but Manson by no means made them kill. Today they themselves admit that.

  15. Cybele Moon says:

    Michael, that’s an interesting point and comparison. It’s like all the right (or wrong) ingredients come together in a terrible synergy and disaster ensues. Not the first time and I’m sure not the last.

    Snoop, Karlene Faith was a well known professor at a Canadian University in BC. She did focus on prison reform etc.

  16. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Michael is right.

    What a crock of Columbo.

    Where’s a kill the messenger meme when ya need one.

  17. Michael says:

    Columbo, I’ve never thought the Helter Skelter theory was the sole, or even the main motive for the killings. Watson later claimed it was one of a few motives in his book “Will You Die For Me?”; Susan at first claimed the Copycat motive was the reason (in her book “Child of Satan Child of God”) then later, as you said, claimed a more banal motive in “The Myth of Helter Skelter.” My guess is that it was a combination of all of these, and who knows? Maybe there were other reasons as well.

    But the motives, whatever they may have been, are one issue. Personal responsibility is another. Whether the motive was Helter Skelter or robbery or revenge or whatever, the question we’re arguing here is whether the girls were brainwashed when they killed, or whether they had the capacity to refuse to kill. I argue for the second, no matter what the motive was.

  18. Michael says:

    Let me add something – sorry to ramble. But for the Manson followers who killed, I think ultimately the motive was, “Charlie said to.” Manson himself may have given them a reason for his orders (“Now is the time for Helter Skelter”; “Let’s get Gary out”; etc.) but his orders were the motive. None of those killers on their own would have said, “Gee let’s go kill and start a war” and then gone out to Cielo Drive on their own initiative. They went out only when Charlie said to do it; that was enough.

    But no, that does NOT mean they were brainwashed. It only means they were committed, devoted to Charlie, ready to kill for him, and eager to prove themselves not only to him, but to the others in the “Family” as well. (Like good soldiers, or so they probably told themselves.)

    They knew what they were doing and, as I mentioned in a comment above, they seemed to have a consciousness that it was wrong, yet they did it anyway. And I’m convinced they couldn’t have committed themselves to such a man or cause if there wasn’t already something seriously wrong with them. It was, as Cybele said, the perfect storm.

  19. Michael says:

    Columbo, the Webster definition of brainwashing, it’s this:

    1 : a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas
    2 : persuasion by propaganda or salesmanship

    So by that definition I stand corrected in saying they were not brainwashed when, according to the dictionary definition, they definitely were. You are right on that point. I was operating with the idea that “brainwashed” meant becoming a helpless controlled zombie with no free will, but that’s not the case.

    Now the question becomes, does brainwashed mean “incapable of deciding to go against the brainwasher’s instructions or beliefs?” Second, are those who have been brainwashed innocent, or can they also be held accountable for allowing themselves to be brainwashed?

    First, I think even in severe cases like the Manson Family or the Jim Jones cult, some individuals who were brainwashed did defy their “brainwashers” at some point. During the Jonestown mass suicide, for example, many who took the poison tried to resist but were forced at gunpoint. Others hid themselves and got away. And of course, others willingly died. The point is, it’s fair to say all of them were brainwashed, but some of them, despite that, chose to resist. So some level of free will and personal responsibility remained.

    Second, if a person was abducted and forcibly brainwashed, like Patty Hearst was back in the 1970’s, then I’d hold her less responsible for her subsequent actions. She was, to my thinking, like someone who was tied down, then had alcohol poured down their throat, then was placed behind the wheel of a car. They were driving drunk, but they did not CHOOSE to get drunk, as do most drunk drivers.

    The same goes for the brainwashing experience. Manson’s followers were not kidnapped, they were invited and came of their own free will. They made the conscious choice to give themselves to his brainwashing in exchange for lots of hot sex, drugs, and a care-free, responsibility free life. They willingly drank the Kool-Aid when it was all fun and games at Spahn Ranch.

    Yes, Manson became more violent and coercive in late ’68-early ’69. But even then, some did choose to leave. Besides which, his followers had made a devil’s bargain when they willingly gave over their minds to a megalomaniac in exchange for a good time.

    That’s why, even though you are right in saying they were brainwashed and I was wrong about that point, I still feel they are fully responsible for letting the brainwashing happen, and for their subsequent actions.

    Finally, no, I don’t see Leslie as a danger to society, as I’ve said many times before. I don’t think she should be released; I do realize the law will almost certainly say otherwise; so be it.

  20. Pam says:

    Columbo,who was the real victim in this case, poor Leslie or the LaBiancas! Ten years for two first degree murder conviction? You really believe that isall for two human beings?

  21. Cybele Moon says:

    yes to both Michael and Pam.

    Who were the real victims here? those ordinary law abiding citizens who brutally lost their lives in a terrifying slaying or those little flower children looking for pie in sky and deciding Charly was it. It has been said many times that not all of the Manson gang were willing to commit gruesome murders to please their “father.” He handpicked the ones that were. We all have free will even the brainwashed. Yes Jim Jones got his followers to commit suicide but not to go out and attack and murder others. What they did they did to themselves.

    Michael apropos of Nazi Germany , Mrs. Goebbles murdered her children before she killed herself. She didn’t want any to live in a world without Hitler. She may have been brainwashed too. It doesn’t make it any less evil. They were all held accountable. But Even Goebbels actions had a twisted reasoning. To go out and kill innocent strangers is another story.

    Columbo, what was the reason if it wasn’t Helter Skelter? I love how you say Leslie never did anything significantly illegal before the murders. Well, she certainly made up for it! I think it is because of the randomness and brutality ( not a crime of passion) also the social significance as to the sixties and the sensationalism of the fame of one the victims who also was pregnant that it remains in the annals of crime to this day. Actually there have been other cases that were as horrifying like the random Lillelid family murders by 6 teenage misfits who shot them all, (not knifed or bayoneted) and were held accountable as adults and got a life sentence “without parole.” Now the ringleader of that horror was an 18 year old female “satanist” who had sadly been abused and neglected as a child and was diagnosed with depression and BPD. I don’t think Leslie was in that category.
    Brainwashing or not we still know right from wrong and what society as a whole expects of us. These girls and Tex did know the ten commandments I think.

  22. Cybele Moon says:

    PS Columbo, Natasha Cornett is now also repentant and has seen the error of her ways. She is still serving a life sentence and she had more of an excuse to be angry at society and lash out than Leslie ever did.

  23. snoop says:

    I am assuming that Bobby will also go through the courts if Newsom denies. Newsom is in a quandary of sorts if he refuses their parole. He just abolished the death penalty, so being punitive on two seniors who have been incarcerated for 50 years for extenuating circumstances, will seem contradictory and hypocritical… California voters are not happy with Newsom’s DP order.

  24. Michael says:

    Snoop, you got that right. As a Californian I am anything but happy with Newsom’s DP order and the heavy-handedness behind it.

  25. Fred Bloggs says:

    Columbo says:

    Bugliosi was full of it when it came to claiming knowledge of what each individual in the family was REALLY like…deep down

    Well, he went by the evidence that unfolded before him and also from what he observed and by what other people told him about certain individuals. He also went by what he himself experienced. I don’t think he was altogether wrong about Charlie, about Sandy, about Squeaky, about some of the young people that were attracted to the Family and the glare of publicity. This internet/reality TV age has demonstrated that he may well have been quite accurate in some of his pronouncemnts.

    Looking back on many statements he made about people, it’s clear that he was completely wrong about some of them

    For sure. He turned out to be wrong about Susan, Leslie and Pat. He was wrong about Clem. But he wasn’t altogether off track about Tex.
    I think what Bugliosi demonstrated was something that is endemic to human beings and I don’t know if this has always been the case with us or whether it’s a more modern thing; this notion that today, based on what we know about a person, that we can somehow gauge what that person will be like forever more.

    I think he fancied himself as a psychiatrist, when he really had no idea about people, much less who they really were deep down

    He was pretty much like many people are when it comes to murderers; he thought that they were a breed apart if they could willingly take life. He believed they would always have that in them. Loads of us are no different in the way we analyse other people.

    Bugliosi made people believe that he knew what he was talking about when he talked about members of the family and WHO they really were, when he had no more ability to look into their psyche’s than anyone walking down the street

    You miss the point that from November 1969 through to 1971, he had the kind of interaction with them that prosecutors just do not ordinarily have with the people they are prosecuting, or their families or friends. Conversations, arguments, threats…..whether rightly or wrongly as per his conclusions, he gained an insight into many of the Family that few others of his ilk were ever able to.

    Bugliosi made Manson family members into whatever he wanted them to be, simply to help his case

    Comme ci Comme ca.
    When Susan Atkins was asked why the murders were committed, she said they wanted to do a crime that would shock the world. Leslie told her lawyer that this whole matter was ordained. Both were private conversations never meant to see the light of day. But the Family simply couldn’t keep their mouths closed. They made statement after statement about wiping people out, silencing snitches, Blacks, Whites, each other, revolution, what would happen if there were convictions then death penalties, their parents, society etc etc etc. Susan & Leslie told others Charlie was Christ. Charlie said he implied to others that he was Christ.
    It’s not a case of Bugliosi making the Family into whatever he wanted them to be.They did that for him. His case against Manson was based on Manson’s domination. And what did they do ? Lie low, stay silent ? No, they proved his domination. What was Bugliosi supposed to do ? He believed they were guilty. He was tasked with delivering convictions and the death penalty. He believed they deserved it. They played into his hands and he did exactly what he needed to to secure convictions. He didn’t lie about the Family. He didn’t present what was not there.

    This was most clear when he pronounced Linda Kasabian as a veritable angel and free of guilt, when in actuality, she was as guilty as the rest of them

    Your anti-Bugliosi bias lets you down severely at this point because both of those statements are utterly, totally, completely and comprehensively untrue. And this is supported by the record so anyone with this view ought to know here and now that they are onto a loser backing this particular horse. In his closing argument he categorically states that Linda was no angel, quote:
    “Recall that Clem Tufts had a gun which Manson had given him, and Sadie was with Clem, waiting around the corner. Now, I am not saying, ladies and gentlemen, that Linda Kasabian deserves any medal, any award from the Kiwanis Club or anything like that; all I am saying is that there is a distinct possibility that she saved the life of a human being on the night of the LaBianca murders, and this act by Linda in deliberately knocking on the wrong door shows, along with all the other evidence in this case about her, that although she is not an angel-and we have never said she was; and she would be the first one to admit that she is not an angel-she is not cut out of the same cloth that these defendants are.”
    Furthermore, in the book “Death to pigs” he states she was guilty. When Joan Huntington asks him if Susan had stayed onside with the prosecution would Linda have been prosecuted, he says yes, but he wouldn’t have asked for the death penalty. He then goes on to say that under the laws of conspiracy, she’d be guilty. Then Huntington says Linda possibly didn’t know there’d be any killing and is about to say something about the 2nd night and Bugliosi cuts in with “The 2nd night she did, the 1st night she possibly didn’t know. She was guilty.”
    Twice in three consecutive sentences he states she was guilty. And it’s on tape as well as in the book.

    Kasabian should have gone to prison, too, but Bugliosi did her a favor because she did HIM a favor

    That is not a wise statement.
    Firstly, by his own admission, his case against Linda was anemic at best. Even with Atkins, there was no corroborating evidence. No prints, bloody clothes, ID from Rudolf Weber, statements about hands hurting because when stabbing she’d hit bones, nothing about stabbing already dead bodies…..
    Without Atkins, conviction of Kasabian was as likely as Manson and Bugliosi setting up a law practice together.
    So whether or not Kasabian should have gone to jail or not is irrelevant. They pretty much had no case against her and if she kept her mouth closed and let the prosecution present its evidence, she would likely walk.
    However in that excerpt from “Death to pigs” Bugliosi explains to Joan Huntington why he wouldn’t have gone for the death penalty and would only have tried her for 2nd degree murder. It’s because she didn’t go into any of the houses and didn’t take part in any of the stabbings. During the trial, the defence tried to wrong foot her on this but she held firm. Whenever people say Linda should have gone to jail, aside from totally ignoring that there was nothing to prove she’d ever been near either location, they really need to consider the flip side of what they are saying: namely that Manson would have walked and possibly Watson too. I’ve had arguments galore with people that say that, what with the fingerprint evidence, Watson & Krenwinkel were already as good as convicted, but this is not true. The prints alone prove nothing, other than at some point the bearer of the prints was at the location. It doesn’t prove what they did there, especially when you consider that Watson & Krenwinkel were in the system for minor offences, nothing remotely approaching violence, let alone murder. The only sure fire bankers were Atkins and Van Houten because their statements to Howard, Graham and Lake could be corroborated independently. So to put away 5 murderers the prosecution needed Linda Kasabian. It is easily arguable that the vice is not versa. But her lawyer Gary Fleischmann angled for immunity of some sort right from the start, even before Atkins recanted. Once Susan had, all the cards fell Linda’s way. The choice is yours, Columbo, scenario A ~ Linda says nothing, 2 or 3 murderers walk and she probably does too or scenario B ~ that which happened. Because with everything staying precisely as it was, there is no guarantee that Kasabian gets convicted, let alone jailed ~ and I’m being generous.

  26. Cybele Moon says:

    Columbo, what was the motive behind such bloody crimes? what about the pit in the desert they where they were all going to run and hide? I ask sincerely because I’d like to know what you believe, without having to read Atkins.

    Fred is very articulate and puts forth good points even if I don’t always agree with him.

    Bugliosi was a lawyer and a damn clever one. It was his job to prosecute and lawyers often make “a deal with devil” in order to do so. I think they were originally going to go with Atkins but he was relieved when Kasabian came forward instead because she had not actually murdered. Bugliosi was successful in getting them convicted. He deserves credit for that. They all deserved to be convicted for what they did. None were innocent.

    As for not being cut of the same cloth, whatever crimes Kasabian did afterward you have to admit they were not violent ones. I think it was credit card fraud or some such. Whatever else she might have done I believe she was not capable of knifing people to death. Other members also were not.
    But on that note who would believe what Susan Atkins said or her book of “what really happened.” She couldn’t tell the truth if it slapped her in the face. She changed the story many times. She was a very troubled person. Just because she later claimed her Lord and Saviour was Jesus Christ every chance she got doesn’t make her more credible. It just made her seem a tad crazier.

  27. Cybele Moon says:

    thanks Columbo for taking time to answer.
    I looked at your reply to Michael ( mar 3, 2019?) and still could not find the real reason for the crimes so I must be missing something or perhaps it’s in one of the other posts. Manson was a very angry and vindictive person and I’m sure that played into it. I’ll try to look through them later. Actually not sure if I want to read yet another book about the Manson family. It is fascinating of course and I’m thinking LVH will probably get out some time this year. I will admit I’ve always found it hard to be very sympathetic with the women of the group for reasons I have stated before. Some women who murder have had the most horrendous, tragic childhoods and fell through the cracks in our society. Perhaps Manson did as well. Was he born a sociopath or did his experience turn him into one.

  28. Pam says:

    LOL Columbo, Atkins was such a big liar, she could never keep them straight and yeah I read hee book and didn’t believe a thing she said.

  29. Michael says:

    Columbo, I agree that we will probably never know exactly what was going through Manson’s addled brain when he ordered the Tate/LaBianca murders. But whether he wanted to start a race war, or get Bobby out, or get money, he and his minion’s guilt was established by facts proving that they killed, not by theories about why they killed. So Bugliosi didn’t need to concoct the Helter Skelter motive to get Manson or anyone convicted, because there was ample evidence that the killers were at the crime scenes, that they committed the crimes, and that the crimes were ordered by Charlie, whatever his reasons were. Pinning a motive on him and the others was less important than proving that they were guilty of murder. This Bugliosi did, a fact I’ve never heard refuted.

  30. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Prepare for the fifty paragraph gist:

    ^ I know, you don’t.
    ^ Murderers are political victims so they are the victim’s victim.
    ^ Believe murderers, not record of fact.
    ^ I’m rubber-you’re glue, poor little Lulu…


  31. Fred Bloggs says:

    Columbo says:
    Paul Watkins was really the star when it came to Bugliosi pronouncing all the Helter Skelter BS as the REASON for the crimes and everything that happened. Watkins was the most important witness in the Tate-LaBianca murder trial because he provided Bugliosi with all the specific details of the so-called “Helter Skelter” motive

    This is a somewhat murky area because while Watkins was definitely an important witness, Watkins had no idea that the Family had committed the murders. So it’s not like he sought out the DA’s office and said “Hey, I know why these murders were committed and who did them.” Even when Charlie and Clem told him about the murder of Shorty, it didn’t occur to him that the Family was behind the murders, let alone that HS was part of the motive.
    Then there is Brooks Poston and Gregg Jakobson who were both every bit as important as Watkins in articulating HS. Then there was Linda Kasabian who, although she didn’t go into detail about it, answered the questions that were put to her on it, and she gave rise to the account of Manson getting the Family together on the day the murderers later set out, telling them “now is the time for Helter Skelter.” Incidentally, Manson does not deny making that statement. He said he may well have made it. If you haven’t already, you should read George Stimson’s excellent “Goodbye Helter Skelter,” a book that is as pro-Manson as it is possible to be. Yet he is the one that tells us Charlie doesn’t deny the statement and this guy spent years and years talking with him.
    And in terms of motive, Bugliosi actually put forth 5 motives, of which HS was only one. And of course, the prosecution didn’t have to prove motive.

    It was all a total crock and a side show to the real cause of everything.
    Helter Skelter BS had NOTHING to do with the REAL reason the crimes ultimately occurred

    You simply cannot have it both ways. You can’t on the one hand persuasively argue on LVH’s behalf that she shouldn’t have been jailed for the length of time she has been because at the time of the murders she was brainwashed, insane, not in her right mind etc, then in the same breath tell us that once she was off the drugs, back in her right mind, she was back to being the person she should have been ~ while leaving out that in both states, she said HS was one of the motives. You’ve read that incendiary December 1969 interview with Marvin Part on this site. And if you haven’t, you need to. In it, she outlines why the murders were committed and she believed in the cause that gave rise to the murders. And what do we find once she’s renounced Manson and back in her right mind ? Nothing changes. HS is still one of the motives, for her very real. As real today as it was back in the summer of ’69.

    As with most things, the REAL reasons for how and why the Tate-LaBianca killings happened were very simple and logically explainable

    For the best part of 50 years, Family members, ex Family members, lawyers, friends, authors, journalists, bloggers, haters, researchers, film makers, apologists, prison wardens, interested parties, cops, probation officers and a lot more besides have been telling us why the murders happened. The real reasons. We’ve had the copycat to free Bobby {which he thinks is utter nonsense, by the way}, the drug deal of Tex & Linda gone wrong, revenge for the Frykowski rape of Linda, Roman Polanski being the target, a Mafia hit for the mysterious black book, Rosemary LaBianca as the acid Queen of Los Feliz needing to be silenced, the Nation of Islam leaning on Charlie to start HS as well as variations on some of these like Tex and Rosemary’s daughter or Charlie and Rosemary’s daughter conniving together to ‘off’ her Mum. All kinds of truths, half truths, coincidences and plain unverifiable horse manure have been cobbled together as ‘evidence’ to support these alternatives that are all supposed to be the truth. Anything to get away from a real consideration of HS. And they all go nowhere, and none fit the supporting history the way HS does. In fact, they don’t at all.
    The very fact that so many alternatives have been floated over the years should tell you all you need to know.

  32. Fred Bloggs says:

    Columbo says:
    and had nothing to do with Manson’s Helter Skelter scenario. That was just Bugliosi’s best way of getting everyone convicted, especially Manson

    There’s a book you really ought to read if you honestly believe that, called “In a summer swelter” by Simon Davis, an Australian lawyer.
    As I’ve repeated so many times, a good 6 weeks before Bugliosi was even on the case, in fact, a week before the Family and 9 days before Manson was even arrested out at Barker Ranch, Brooks Poston was giving an interview to Deputy Sheriff Don Ward in which he told him about Helter Skelter, the Black/White war and a whole host of other things that later were corroborated by so many people that even a doubter should have doubts about their doubts ! On top of that, before Bugliosi was on the case, Susan Atkins had linked the murders to HS, Paul Crockett had spoken about it to Ward, Al Springer and Danny DeCarlo had spoken to the police about it even if they didn’t mention it by actual name; before they’d spoken to Bugliosi, Virginia Graham and Ronnie Howard knew about it, not enough to understand it fully but enough to independently tell two different sets of questioning police officers about it and LVH spoke about it privately to her lawyer ~ fortunately we have access to it now. This actual site is packed with interviews from 1969 in which HS comes up. Bugliosi figures in none of them. In the end, he followed the evidence that came his way. And it all pointed to HS. Manson was on the police suspect list a month and three days before Bugliosi was handed the case.
    Bugliosi did not need HS to get Atkins, Krenwinkel, Watson, Kasabian, Manson and Van Houten indicted. And its part in actually getting Manson convicted is almost non-existent alongside the testimony of Kasabian when added to all the other evidence there was.
    There’s a reason why the prosecution case went on for the best part of 5 months.

    If you want to know the real reason for how and why the crimes occurred as they did, all you have to do is read Susan Atkins’ explanation

    You run a major risk in basing any case you care to make solely on the words of Susan Atkins. She is the single most unreliable character in the whole of TLB in my opinion. More than Manson, more even than Bobby and that’s saying something. Using Susie as your guide is like diving with a bleeding leg into a creek full of hungry sharks and crocodiles, to rescue a coin that dropped to the bottom of it.

  33. Cybele Moon says:

    Fred, again I tend to agree although I’m sure Manson’s resentments against certain people may have played into it. And yes, too many of them spoke about Charlie’s philosophy of Helter Skelter. It’s a bit like denying the Holocaust. I did not know Atkins wrote another book and have not read it at this point (nor her first one). I see it got a number of bad reviews on Amazon for whatever reason. I tend to think that Atkins was the craziest of the Manson girls, perhaps delusional, so not sure how credible she can be and not as convinced as Columbo that she always told the truth and had no reason to lie. As I remember she was psychiatrically evaluated and not very favourably a few times during her incarceration. Of all of the women she had the most deprived childhood as well.

  34. Fred Bloggs says:

    Columbo says:
    It all makes perfect sense in her second book, “The Myth of Helter Skelter”. As usual, the simple explanation is usually the REAL explanation. And Atkins’ explanations were consistent for 40 years

    It makes perfect sense if your mind has been blitzed by LSD for several years and reality is no longer all it should be.
    You ought to ask yourself how Atkins came to write, or be heavily featured in, 3 books.
    Firstly, none of them came from her. In each case she’s heavily steered by men. It was two ghost writers {male} that wrote the first one, “The Killing of Sharon Tate,” cobbling it together from an interview she’d done with her lawyers {male} and her grand jury testimony {all questions by Bugliosi and Aaron Stovitz}, with Laurence Schiller who never even met Atkins {in fact, none of the writers did} gobbling the author credit.
    The second one, her autobiography, was co-written with a writer, Bob Slosser when she was a baby Christian and in my opinion should never have been written at that time. The actual life and murders and details play third fiddle to her conversion to Christ. That’s the main reason that book exists, to show that God can even change the heart of a murderer. And its confusion of detail reigns. A worrying pointer to her final book.
    The one you refer to, doesn’t even look like it was written by her, rather, it looks like it was put together by her husband and it is crammed with errors that severely dent any claim of it being accurate or the truth. If you really want me to, I can pick out a number of factual errors that someone claiming to have been there simply would not make.
    As for her being consistent for 40 years, consistent in what ? There are definitely some things she was consistent about, but these are hugely outweighed by her continual changes over those 40 years.
    In her 1977 autobiography, regarding the murders, she stated:
    “Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor….remained convinced that the Manson Family had a wild and massive plot to bring about Armageddon and flee to the bottomless pit in the desert, from where Charles Manson – sometimes thought of as Jesus Christ – would one day be summoned to lead the world. It is entirely possible that some in our group – perhaps including Charlie himself – had in our satanic state slipped into such ideas. But to the best of my understanding, the copycat plan was the primary motive behind the most horrible rampage of killing……” Note the phrase “primary motive.”
    In The Myth of Helter Skelter she states:
    “And once again Charles Manson must have felt he had to cover up, not only the true motive for the quick move and the change in the Family philosophy of love and acceptance, but for the bungling that took place in his murders. They weren’t copy~cat murders now, they were supposed to throw fear into the establishment so that they would leave us alone, or they were supposed to make the establishment stand up and take notice, or they were to start Helter Skelter, or to scare Terry Melcher, or to save the earth.”
    First of all, if you know something took place, you are not going assert its truth with a sentence that starts “But to the best of my understanding.” It was either the copycat or it wasn’t. Then in “Myth” she states that Manson, once they were in the desert, starts telling them that oh, these weren’t copycat murders after all !
    As a book, “The Myth of Helter Skelter” demolishes any credibility that Atkins has. She changed her story so many times. While some of the reasons for those changes are understandable under the circumstances, the lady doth protest too much, methinks. You can only cry wolf so many times before you are left to them to devour you. The book exists to exonerate Susan Atkins from being forever known as the person that stabbed a pregnant Sharon Tate and takes a well aimed set of shots with both barrels at Charles Manson, Vincent Bugliosi and Linda Kasabian while she’s at it.

    It is something of a myth that usually the simplest reason is the actual, real reason. Sometimes it is. Often it is. But not always. In saying that though, HS is pretty straightforward and simple to access. The copycat is not. You have to do some serious mental gymnastics and twisting of time. “Atkins” ties herself in knots trying to explain these murders.

  35. Fred Bloggs says:

    Columbo says:
    The crimes had nothing to do with Helter Skelter, race wars, etc

    It will forever stand tall that the messages left at the crime scenes reflect the mindsets of the writers. On the first night, after all the carnage, when told to write a message, Atkins could only think of the word ‘pig’ to write. Who were the intended initial victims of HS ? The ones that the Family routinely referred to as pigs. And the next night at the LaBiancas, what was the message to shock the world ? ‘Death to pigs.’ And ‘rise.’ And who was supposed to rise ? The Black people of the USA.
    On the basis of those three messages alone, anyone looking with both eyes can see that HS and racial conflict were central to the minds of the murderers and by extension why they were killing. But what do we also find ? “Helter Skelter” written there too. The significance of what was written there the second night is that this is the night when everybody on the mission knew that there were to be deaths that night. They went out fully appraised of what was to ensue. And this is partly why one can make judgements on their characters at the time, based on how they all responded to events that night.

    They were simply Manson’s way of doing anything he could to keep himself out of trouble after he thought he had killed Bernard Crowe and he thought the Black Panthers were about to descend on him. He became frantic and things quickly got out of hand after he sought money from Gary Hinman and that whole debacle

    That doesn’t even begin to make sense. I agree that things got out of hand after the Crowe then Hinman events but to say that the idea of murdering someone random was designed to keep Manson out of trouble because he thought he killed Crowe only works if you believe, as “Atkins” lays out in the book {which interestingly was left out of her first autobiography which then makes one wonder where along the line all this became significant to her} that Bobby was in effect blackmailing Manson after his arrest for the Hinman murder with his “get me out of here or I’m telling the cops about you and Crowe.”
    But that cannot work. It is impossible for that to work. The Family only found out about Bobby being arrested on the 7th. Manson was in San Diego. “Atkins” in the book states that Charlie sent people to visit Bobby in the county jail and it is from this visit that the message came back about the Bobby threat. Manson didn’t return until the afternoon of the 8th. Anyone that has studied this case {and all the documents are on this site if anyone is interested} and keeps things like dates and times in memory will know that Atkins’ book is bullshit in regard to motive because her story there is logistically impossible, apart from the fact that it contains a whole load of things that did not happen.

    The Tate-LaBianca killings were simply copycat murders to throw off the police after Bobby Beausoleil was caught. Chapter 8 of the Atkins book explains it better than Bugliosi and Watkins ever could

    There are a number of reasons why that is bull. If you really want me to, I can enumerate some of them for you.

    Looking back on it all, it’s amazing how stupid everyone was regarding how everything went down

    By “everyone” are you referring to Manson, the Family, law enforcement, the jury, the press or those that happen to disagree with your view and believe that HS played a role in the motivation for these murders ? Once I know who you’re referring to, that statement can be given an appropriate reply.

  36. Michael says:

    DAY: “They really had a big problem with Manson, because no one ever said that he ordered the murders. ”

    Say what? Watson plainly claimed Manson ordered the murders, and gave him specific instructions as to how they should be carried out. Then Watson and Kasabian (and possibly others involved in LaBianca) said Charlie criticized the way the murders were done at Tate, therefore they were going to go out and do it right. Someone certainly did say he ordered the killings.

    As for Bugliosi’s view of the trial as a meal ticket, that could be true. But to suggest that the Helter Skelter theory is the primary reason for his book’s popularity seems absurd. The trial was fascinating (proof – we’re still here discussing it 50 years later!) and despite the book’s title, most of it is definitely NOT about the Helter Skelter theory, but rather, about the crimes, trial, and all parties involved. That’s what made it a hit, because it was a first hand account from the DA who was in the center of it all.

  37. Cybele Moon says:

    well said Columbo as to Manson’s verbal manipulations. – a clever psychopath . I’m hoping I can get to read Atkins book for free as like Fred, I have reservations as to her if not veracity then definitely her sanity. Of course you touched on that when you said every one has their own interpretation of events and what happened. This apparently goes for people who are witness to a traumatic event as well. The mind is a complex and strange organism. We will probably never know everything. But whatever the motive, the crimes were horrendous and as Fred says Bugliosi got a conviction and yes he became famous. So did Johnny Cochrane for winning a a non conviction for a guilty man.!!

  38. Fred Bloggs says:

    Cybele Moon says:
    I’m hoping I can get to read Atkins book for free

    If you hurry Cybele, you can still find it here for free. I snapped it up from Susan’s site quite a few years ago when it was free.
    Personally, I think it’s an invaluable book, but not for the reasons many others might find it so. It is definitely worth a read and a definite keeper.
    I hope this link works; I’m surprised a copy is still up for free.

  39. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Columbo: Nobody will ever know exactly what Manson said, or shall we say “suggested” to the family.

    ^Healter Skelter


    ^Death to Pigs


    ^Political Piggy (with paw print from the artist himself)

    In blood.

    Whose blood?

    The political victim’s victim(s).

    Yep…no correlated suggestion there.

  40. Fred Bloggs says:

    Columbo says:
    My goodness, Fred. I finally found someone that can write even more than me. I didn’t think it was possible!

    We’re part of that rare, if rather tiresome, breed in cyberspace ~ those that have a lot to say and can actually be bothered saying it in all its glory !
    I enjoy reading people’s views on this subject and I dig a good meaty discussion. Disagreement is actually part of what makes the wheel turn, that’s partly for me why some of the blogs are more like debating chambers.The art of good argument seems to be either dying or declining so it’s cool to get involved in one from time to time.

    Here’s something else I ran across last night that I found interesting. Here are some very interesting quotes pulled from a 2018 Buddy Day interview – the guy that directed the documentary that completely debunked Bugliosi’s Helter Skelter defense, “Charles Manson: The Final Words”

    It’s interesting how people see things. I watched that documentary and much of what Buddy Day says just doesn’t go anywhere. In terms of debunking HS, the documentary doesn’t do it in any definitive manner. Anyone can debunk it. Many people do. From the moment Manson was convicted, there has been a concerted effort to debunk it. That was kind of the point I made earlier. The issue for me isn’t about debunking HS but saying what the truth would be. It seems that for so many others, it’s about debunking HS. But what has that brought ? Tons of alternatives. Interestingly, Tex, Pat, Leslie and Linda have never been at the vanguard of any of these alternatives. Some people will mention Tex giving three motives in his book, one of which involves the copycat, but there again, he says that was the least of the 3. With HS being the first. But his second motive {bail money} is inaccurate. Wherever you look, all of the alternatives crash and burn. But HS does not.
    Secondly, Buddy Day’s mentioning of Bobby smacks up his theories. I find Bobby a very interesting character; if one goes through all the documents on this site alone pertaining to him, from initial arrest right up to his January parole hearing, the last thing he could honestly be described as is “super invested in truth.” Even since 1976 when he first started taking responsibility for his crime, he has changed his story so many times. Now, I can understand why, but, as with anyone that spends 40 years not being completely forthcoming, they reach a point where they are almost unbelievable and the truth gets so lost that one wonders if the truth is even a part of proceedings anymore. No offence but Day saying of Bobby, “we knew Bobby was a huge part of understanding what happened, because he was the first person convicted and accused of being part of the Manson family,” is laughable to me, because I have a warped sense humour. One of the clearest things about Bobby Beausoleil in regard to the TLB murders is that he really does not know jack about the atmosphere surrounding them. On the Wayback Machine archive, there’s an interview he did with Michael Moynihan for “Seconds” magazine and after it, there’s the remnants of what used to be a Q&A session from his old website. In it, it’s clear that whatever he is basing his answers on is stuff that he’s heard {“From what I heard….”}, the same stuff we’ve all heard. Why ? Because he doesn’t have a clue. In that Buddy Day documentary, he claims that the reason Manson headed to Venice on the night of the LaBianca murder was to pay off the Straight Satans for his supposed drug debt. Er, with what ? He also claimed in that documentary that was on last year {The Lost Manson Tapes} that Charlie told him that he’d sent Tex up to Cielo to murder Terry Melcher. Everyone knows that Melcher hadn’t lived there virtually that whole year.
    Sorry, but Bobby Beausoleil has the credibility of a melted ice cream cone that’s been dropped on the grass in a park on a windy day. It’s easy to demonstrate and his statement of he’d rather stay in jail forever than cop to anything that was in the book “Helter skelter”…..well, be careful what you wish for !
    Incidentally, if I’m picking you up on certain points, it’s not that I’m being attacking, even if it sometimes comes across that way. It’s more that the quotes quoted are a jumping off point.

  41. Michael says:

    My earlier objection to Day’s quote was that he claimed no one ever said Manson ordered the killings, when in fact, those involved very specifically said he did. We can’t know for sure what Manson said, but we know for sure what others claim he said, which was my point.

    He was vague later about giving direct orders. But from all accounts of those with him at Spahn (apart from Lynette and Sandra) he was very specific when giving orders, very precise and dictatorial in all facets of their life together. It’s possible all the former family members who’ve described him that way are lying, but given the overwhelming examples of his control over his people (the courtroom, for starters) I find it impossible to believe he was anything but direct when ordering the killings.

    I think Helter Skelter still stands as one of a few motives he had in his crazy little head. Not the only one, but one. But like I said before, “Charlie said to” is the primary motive Tex, Susan, Leslie, Linda, and Patricia needed those two nights. I don’t believe they were thinking “Start a war” or “Free Bobby” or “Save the whales” as much as they were thinking “Charlie said.”

  42. Fred Bloggs says:

    Michael says:
    My earlier objection to Day’s quote was that he claimed no one ever said Manson ordered the killings

    Day does not appear to have done his research or simply rejects anything that is not a straightforward, unambiguous, easily understandable sentence. But key to understanding Charles Manson is understanding his form of communication.
    It’s really notable that Nuel Emmons spent 7 years visiting him in jail and when it came to writing a book that people could understand, he had to paraphrase it into understandable English.
    I don’t know whether Day is aware of this, but before 1969 was even out Susan and Leslie had told outsiders that Charlie was behind the killings and it later transpired that Pat said something of that nature to a psychiatrist in Alabama. When Susan’s lawyer asked how Charlie instructed her, she said via Tex.

    RICHARD CABALLERO: How was it that he directed you to go to the Tate residence?

    SUSAN ATKINS: Through Tex.

    RC: What, was he present?

    SA: He just told me to do everything Tex said to do.

    RC: Did he tell you where you were going?

    SA: No.

    Manson would say things like “the child is the leader” so when Family members would be quizzed as to who their leader was, they’d say Pooh Bear, Manson’s son, who, at the time was 2. But everyone knew that Pooh did not lead them and Charlie also knew that he was not led by a baby. But it was part of their world view that children had a certain purity of vision so saying that the child was the leader made abundant sense to them. They wanted to pursue the unencumbered, uncluttered ways of a child so in a paradoxical sense, the child’s eye view was what they aspired to be led by.
    In practice, it was BS.

    We can’t know for sure what Manson said, but we know for sure what others claim he said

    Interestingly, both Tex and Leslie are very clear about what Charlie said to them in regards to the murders, before they set out. And certainly that second night, everyone, Clem included, knew what was on the agenda. Manson was clear on that. He was also clear that there were to be 2 death squads that night.

    He was vague later about giving direct orders

    This though, is where he got himself roped up and where he kind of played the game of being hipper and wiser than thou and everyone else. Sometimes, he would let his guard slip and say that he told people what needed to be done. For example, in George Stimson’s book, Manson is adamant that there was no meth snorting going on on his ranch ~ even though Tex and Susan declared this for decades.
    And during the penalty phase of their trial he wasn’t vague about giving orders to Susan, Leslie and Pat about taking the fall, or during the trial in terms of them disrupting it as much as they could. The problem for them is that they only said all this stuff after they came to their senses so people will inevitably be doubtful and say that they are just playing it the way the state wants it played.

    It’s possible all the former family members who’ve described him that way are lying, but given the overwhelming examples of his control over his people (the courtroom, for starters) I find it impossible to believe he was anything but direct when ordering the killings

    To be honest, he didn’t have to be direct as we understand directness. The important thing is not whether he issued direct edicts, but rather, what the Family understood by the things he did say. In that regard, their situation is no different from any other. Many groups have their own words and codes that the members are in no doubt about but outsiders couldn’t make head or tail of. When Charlie said to Bobby “You know what to do” in relation to Bobby and Gary Hinman, his argument is that he didn’t tell him what to do. And to this day, Bobby will say that Charles Manson did not order him to kill Gary Hinman. But at the same time, he knew that Charlie was saying to him “if this guy remains alive, it’s trouble and jail for all of us ~ including you, pretty boy; so take care of this problem in such a way that it never bothers us – ever.” And he says that he interpreted that as ‘kill him.’ After all, Charlie had already sliced Gary with the sword to show Bobby how a man should act {they both admit this}.
    Someone once asked if Charlie was surprised to hear of Hinman’s death. If he was, I don’t think he was disappointed.

    I think Helter Skelter still stands as one of a few motives he had in his crazy little head. Not the only one, but one

    So do I. If we step aside from caricatures of Charlie for a moment, he had visions of future happenings that had been sharpened by acid and the Christ conflation that had given him, that were basically no different from anyone that forsees a situation and comes to believe it will happen. Social trend forecasters do it for a living !
    I often say to people, look at Al Queda and ISIS. Look at how from tiny, localized beginnings, they have enacted their particular vision and had all the major powers of this world on the go for the last 20 or so years. They committed murders that they did not see as murders but rather, necessary happenings on the road to what they believe[d] is to be. One of the major differences between them and the Family is that they are not drug sodden and essentially lazy.
    Manson’s 1970 interview with Rolling Stone is instructive. For a man about to be tried for 7 murders with HS, the bible and the Beatles’ music as part centrepieces, he does not step back from giving them prominence. Even when he speaks during his trial he won’t stay quiet on them !

    “Charlie said to” is the primary motive Tex, Susan, Leslie, Linda, and Patricia needed those two nights. I don’t believe they were thinking “Start a war” or “Free Bobby” or “Save the whales” as much as they were thinking “Charlie said”

    This is pretty much what Bugliosi said in his closing argument during the guilt phase of the trial. Helter skelter was never really cited as a major motive for the others and thus “Charlie said” is listed as one of the 5 motives during the trial.
    I disagree with him slightly. It was certainly a motive for LVH.
    In retrospect, though it may not have been a motive for Susan on 8th & 9th August ’69, she certainly saw the murders as something that got HS started…..before she started trying to rewrite history. Even stranger is her saying in her autobiography that while in jail, she heard Pat and Leslie discussing the possibility that HS wasn’t coming down after all.
    Tex claims it was the main reason he went to Cielo. And Pat demonstrated to all the world for all of time exactly what was in her head at Waverly.
    So although that would be true for the first night, HS was certainly part of the motivation for the crew for the second night.

  43. Fred Bloggs says:

    Michael says:
    And the “cast a spell” business wears thin. These girls weren’t robots, and in fact, each of them showed ambivalence about following Charlie’s orders on those two nights. (Atkins couldn’t bring herself to stab Tate or Frykowski; Krenwinkel disobeyed Tex by not killing Garretson; Leslie was very reluctant to stab Rosemary according to Watson’s account) Each of them either disobeyed direct orders or showed severe reluctance to obey. That means they still had minds of their own, and the capacity to choose and decide. They were and are completely responsible

    This is a really good and often overlooked point. On top of that, Clem, Susan and Linda didn’t carry out any murder at Ocean Front Walk on the second night. Yes, Linda was instrumental in that happening but I’ve long noted the ease with which Susan and Clem decided to not go ahead with Charlie’s plans. And then they all went to get stoned at the Malibu feedbin !

    sorry to ramble

    Don’t be. Sometimes, it needs length and depth to get certain points across.

    Peter says:
    Funny. When the prosecution wanted to put the hat on Manson they argued that he was the leader, a Svengali, and nobody did anything unless Manson said so. If he wanted half a coconut they were on their way to Rio.
    But now that they want to keep the girls in jail, they say the complete opposite

    It’s one of the major paradoxes of the case, how someone could be totally responsible for murder yet, would probably never have committed it had they not been steered that way by Charlie, yet it is not accurate to say he made them kill. In a sense, it’s been to Leslie’s gain that she has said that she wanted to kill and that she completely believed HS. Pat and Tex are in the worst position because they almost appear to have floated into the situation and the parole boards can’t take the risk of releasing people that can’t tangibly explain how they came to murder when the day before they’d shown no such inclination.

    Cybele Moon says:
    Brainwashing or not we still know right from wrong and what society as a whole expects of us. These girls and Tex did know the ten commandments I think

    What society as a whole expects of us is largely irrelevant if you happen to disagree with it. There was a time when slavery was very legal. There was a time when little children worked and got stuck in chimneys but it wasn’t viewed as wrong. There was a time when marriage was the legal and expected societal norm. There was a time when possessing illegal drugs was known to be “wrong.” But people disagreed with these things and broke existing laws. Now we look at them and comment how nackwards they seem. Saying they knew right from wrong doesn’t come into it. Saying they knew what society counted as wrong and what was against the law is a different matter altogether.

  44. Fred Bloggs says:

    Columbo says:
    Bugliosi was going to lessen Atkins’ punishment if she did HIM a favor….just like I said

    Actually, that’s not true. Bugliosi had no say in the matter. His attitude was “we don’t give that gal anything !” All the way, he stated his unhappiness at the DA’s office having made the deal with her because he was convinced at that point that she’d stabbed Gary Hinman and Sharon Tate. The deal was not Bugliosi’s. Even when she recanted, it was Aaron Stovitz that set up the immunity deal with Gary Fleischmann for Linda Kasabian.

    He said she was no angel, but then he “pronounced her a veritable angel” when he said she was “not cut out of the same cloth that the others were”. LOL…oh really?

    Yes, really. Tex killed. Pat killed. Leslie killed. There is good evidence and at the very least, a solid case to say that Susan dealt a murderous blow to Wojiciech Frykowski that proved fatal. At the least, she knifed him {even if she claimed self defence. She also held a gun on Gary Hinman}. Charlie killed. Clem killed. She was not cut from the same cloth as they were. Bugliosi points this out in his book and does exactly the same regarding Brooks Poston, Paul Watkins and TJ.

    Well the murdered and the family members of the murdered might disagree that she was not cut out of the same cloth when she drove the killers around on two successive nights

    Naturally. But the first night, the only driving she did was from the petrol station to Spahn and the second night, she was afraid. She wasn’t exactly a volunteer !
    In regards to what the families of the murdered might think, it should be borne in mind that without her, some of the convicted {including Charlie, Tex and Pat} wouldn’t have been.

    So again, BUGLIOSI decided what kind of people the “family” members were when he was not qualified to do so. So, yes, Bugliosi PRONOUNCED who was a good person and a bad person (which was completely subjective and out of his area of expertise), who should be punished and who really didn’t deserve to be

    There’s some truth to this but as with most things in this case, it’s not as clear cut as that and carries nuances that need to be examined. During the investigation, the Family splintered. Wasn’t it Bobby that observed that “the whole thing hinges on whether or not the Family stays together in their heads and doesn’t break up and start testifying against itself” which, for Bobby in early 1970 was one of the most astute observations anyone ever made about that group. Particularly because that’s more or less what happened. The Family pretty much divided along 2 lines between those who turned their backs on Charlie and those that didn’t. And those that didn’t were involved in all kinds of intimidating tactics. 5 of them were involved in the Hawaii hamburger case with Barbara Hoyt. Paul Watkins claimed Clem boasted that he tried to kill him by setting fire to his camper. There was the Hawthorne shootout, the case of grenades being stolen from the army barracks, defence lawyers being threatened, Bugliosi himself being threatened….
    Bugliosi had a picture presented before him and the pro-Charlie crew {including his co-defendants} showed no desire to get their lives together productively, whereas those that eschewed the Family did. So naturally, the ones that left would be those he’d regard in a more favourable light.

    If someone being charged could help him, then in Bugliosi’s mind they weren’t so bad and didn’t deserve the same degree of punishment as those who couldn’t help his case. If they could not help his case, then they were the worst of the worst….so said Vincent Bugliosi! He used people however he wished, depending whether they could help his case

    That wasn’t just Bugliosi. That was life. It is a simple equation that law enforcement all over the world has utilized and will continue to do so. Besides, who else except Kasabian was on the road to some kind of punishment that helped their case ? Danny DeCarlo ? DeCarlo testified “in exchange” for certain matters being dropped. No biggie. His offences were minor. Better they let him go than Charlie or Pat, right ?
    I think that if you believed you had the killers, but needed some scummy types to prove it, you’d have done the same thing. I damn well would have. No one likes to be confronted by a choice of two evils but when you are, you better make the right choice !

  45. Fred Bloggs says:

    Columbo says:
    Kasabian was just as guilty of conspiracy to commit murder as the others…especially when she joined in the second night….knowing full well what they were going out to do

    In “Death to pigs” Bugliosi acknowledges this. But just as you posit justifiable reasons for some of Susan’s actions, there are some understandable ones for Linda going out that second night too. Bugliosi acknowledges this.

    But Bugliosi really needed her testimony about the family, so he overlooked what she did

    He didn’t overlook what she did. In fact, what she did is precisely what gave her testimony so much weight. What helped Linda was that she hadn’t been in any of the houses and stabbed or killed anyone. Bugliosi is quite clear about this.
    Of course, he had no case against her. He wasn’t letting her off anything. And yes, he needed her testimony. But she appeared to be genuinely horrorstruck by what she had witnessed unlike the others who seemed nonplussed by it all.
    Any lawyer that would have passed up a Linda Kasabian when to not do so would mean most of the accused could be proprly tried, would be an idiot as far as I’m concerned.

    even though Linda Kasabian was also as clearly infatuated and deluded by Manson as the others. She did what he told her to do, went on the creepy crawly missions, and likely would have done whatever she was told on those two nights. But it just so happened that she was not told to do the same degree of horrible things the others were told to do. Lucky her, but that didn’t absolve her of guilt and conspiracy

    No, it doesn’t.
    However, you’re wrong there. On the first night, when told to go check for open windows, she didn’t, even though there was one. When told to get Steve Parent’s money, she didn’t. When told to stay and keep watch, she didn’t. And the following night, despite orders from Manson himself, right there in the block, she didn’t kill. She actually recorded that whatever she felt about Charlie’s super status ended when she saw what took place at Cielo.

    Bugliosi did the forgiving!

    He needed someone that had been there, that had left the family and that hadn’t killed or tried to. Someone that showed by their actions what they made of what was going on. It wasn’t a matter of forgiving. It was probably the only positive time in Linda’s life.

    By the way, Kasabian went on to be charged with a variety of other crimes over the years. So much for Bugliosi’s esteemed opinion of her “not being cut out of the same cloth” as other criminals. Wrong again!

    Bugliosi’s cloth statement was specifically in regard to murder and specifically as it related to Manson, Watson, Krenwinkel, Atkins and Van Houten. No one else. It wasn’t a statement that was broadened to include crime in general. Not only that, he and the other lawyers had spoken much about her criminal past ~ a minor criminal past, it must be said. And the few times she was arrested and charged after that, the crimes were low rent. No one denies Linda was a wreck. But she was wreck that didn’t murder anyone.

    his whole “Helter Skelter” theory, about how and why the crimes occurred, was totally bogus…..and I’m sure he knew it at the time. He simply came up with that as being the REASON for the crimes based on what Paul Watkins told him

    Not so. All the evidence kept pointing towards HS. Even at the Grand Jury, before he’s ever even met Watkins, he’s asking Atkins about HS and what she understood by it. This sprang out of what Atkins had told Howard and Graham about her now knwing this was the beginning of HS.

    If Bugliosi was your hero, Fred, so be it. I prefer the truth

    I only ever had one hero and that was when I was 8-14 back in the 70s and even that was occasional.
    I think Bugliosi did a good job prosecuting the Tate-LaBianca killers. I’ve stated a number of times that I think it’s an exaggeration to say he sorted out the whole thing on his own. The police played an important role and the net had tightened to just members of the Family before Bugliosi was ever on the case. Aaron Stovitz also did some important work.
    But neither should the phenonmenal amount of work Bugliosi did be ignored. Most people, be they lovers or haters of the man at least acknowledge that he put in an unusual amount of investigative time and that prosecutors don’t usually do this. His approach was described by AstroCreep as “death by 1000 cuts” and to cover as many angles as possible, he was curious as to why these murders happened but didn’t get so wrapped up in HS that he neglected his main task which was to prosecute and convict.
    HS, if anything, is the conspiracy.

  46. Fred Bloggs says:

    Columbo says:
    I’m not saying Manson didn’t talk about all the Helter Skelter nonsense, race wars, etc. He did. It’s just that none of that had anything to do with the murders

    I’m often fascinated by people’s adamance that HS had nothing to do with the murders when every one of the murderers at some point has said it did…..and the first of those was Susan Atkins.

    Bugliosi’s main claim to fame was based on the Helter Skelter story, which really had nothing to do with the reason for the crimes. That’s my beef with Bugliosi. He didn’t deserve the fame he received

    He had no control over the fame he received. Lawrence Schiller {The killing of Sharon Tate}, Ivor Davis & Jerry LeBlanc {Five to die}, John Gilmour & Ron Kenner {The garbage people}, William Zamora {Trial by your peers} George Bishop {Witness to evil}, Rosemary Baer {Reflections on the Manson Trial: Journal of a Pseudo-Juror} and Ed Sanders {The Family} all wrote books about the murders before HS came out and they all {except Baer’s} in one way or another give HS a good airing. None of them took off with the exception of Sanders’ one and even that one was among a small but faithful group.
    Bugliosi comes in his & Gentry’s book from the specific angle of a prosecutor that sees everything from his own myopic point of view. Who elses view was he supposed to write from ? He wrote chronologically and he wrote about what he did and what he saw. He wasn’t interested in writing about what Evelle Younger or Aaron Stovitz or Stephen Kay or Robert Helder or Mike McGann did. Why should he have ? He wasn’t them and if he felt they sometimes got in his way or made his task harder for him, then that would go in the book.
    That’s good writing. The book is eminently readable and in later editions, where he feels something was inaccurate {such as Shorty being dismembered} he makes corrections.

    Actually, Atkins told the truth most of the time. That is clear in her books

    Her books don’t actually make that clear because between the two of them, there is an uncomfortable amount of demonstrably untrue stuff laced with contradictions between the two. Enough to force one to doubt what she says in other places or at the very least, seriously question. One may not be comfortable where one ends up having asked the questions.

  47. Fred Bloggs says:

    Columbo says:
    She was always pretty consistent with what happened….even until she died 40 years later, when there would have been no reason to continue to lie

    If you read both books really carefully, you may pick up that, like Tex does in his, there’s a reliance on court transcripts. Her main reason for her last book was to show she didn’t kill Sharon Tate. In pursuit of that agenda, she allowed all kinds of shenanigans to be said about people. Because that’s what happens when you are trying to absolve yourself but in truth extricating oneself means that other support structures start to fall. As an example, it was interesting that her lawyer in her 1993 hearing stated that Wojiciech Frykowski was connected to Tex….that he was on a 10 day drug binge when he got killed…..that Bobby’s killing of Gary was some kind of gay quarrel…..
    Yes, one can say it was the lawyer {and in other spheres, I have} but the point is that this came out in Atkins’ defence at a parole hearing. Both her books, {especially the last} exhibit the same kind of info picked up from elsewhere which casts its own light on Susan’s conclusions.

    The few times she changed her story, there were always reasons, and believable reasons, for doing so. In other words, her reasons for lying made sense

    I would say that in some of the instances the reasons were understandable.
    It’s unrealistic to have the view that she never ever told the truth. It’s equally unrealistic to hold the view that she was truthful where it always mattered. She is the classic tainted perp. For example, before it was known where Frykowski was stabbed, she’d told Howard and Graham that she’d stabbed him in the back as he ran past. Coincidence ?
    Yet at the same time, she told her lawyers back in ’69 that she felt bad about the killing of Steven Parent and I have no reason to disbelieve her.

  48. Fred Bloggs says:

    The bit above in thick black {from If you read both books really carefully to Susan’s conclusions} is actually mine, not Columbo’s.

    Columbo says:
    One of the reasons she changed her story (from the truth to a lie) and gave up immunity from the death penalty was to protect her son from veiled Manson threats

    Yes and I believe her in part on this. However, the object of the recanting exercise was simply to recant the testimony. But Richard Caballero stated that long before she was ever in contact again with Charlie or any of the Family, she would continually change her mind, then by the end of their meetings at the jail, she would change it back, saying that she was telling the truth. The part during the trial where he talks about this is fascinating. It gave me a different perspective of Susan, particularly in 1969. And the reasons she gave Caballero as to why the murders were committed were HS and Charlie’s direction and absolutely nothing about Bobby Beausoleil. The free Bobby stuff did not appear from a single Family member until 18 months after the murders, during the penalty phase of the trial when they had all already been convicted. Even more noteworthy is that it was first aired by Aaron Stovitz in a March 1970 Rolling Stone interview that was printed in the June 25th issue. And even then, no one from the Family came to say, actually, this was the reason. Stovitz stated that he had no proof but that it was just a hunch of his…..it did however, begin a now time honoured process of “reasons” put forth for the murders {usually by members of the Family or their associates} that had their origin in already mooted theories of law enforcement from 1969 and 1970.
    The funny thing is that Susan’s testimony couldn’t have been used against any of her co-defendants in a trial anyway, especially a joint trial. It was actually part of the agreement that Caballero landed with the DA’s office. So recanting isn’t as simple as it is made out to be. Nothing she said from the Grand Jury was used against Manson.

    Manson got word to her that she better protect him or bad things could happen to her son

    In order for Charlie to be protected, the women had to take the fall. That is why the copycat was fabricated. It wasn’t their original idea and there are a number of reasons that show this. Even when going with it, so convoluted was the story, that it involved saying a man on death row was innocent of murder having been sentenced, that Mary Brunner who had fingered the killer and landed him on death row wasn’t even present {which made her a perjurer with risk of the death penalty} and landed LVH as being there when she was not and that Linda had set the whole thing up.
    It was a pig’s ear.
    One might ask why, if Susan had changed so dramatically in the years following, she kept parts of one story and let other parts go. Well, I don’t know. But that’s what she did do.

  49. Fred Bloggs says:

    Columbo says:
    Other times, she lied about what she had actually done because she was always very narcissistic and wanted to be the center of attention…..even when that attention was bad, or negative. This was exactly the reason she bragged about the crimes to the women in jail. It was all about Susan, pretty much all the time

    Susan said that she lied to the women in jail because of her craving to be in the spotlight with them, because she wanted them to like her. Then she said she did it to act tough to “avoid unwanted homosexual advances in County Jail” from the same two women. That’s an example of where her books say totally different things and make her unbelievable.
    There’s another reason why there is doubt about what she said.
    Nancy Jordon.
    I don’t know if you’ve seen that “Lost Manson tapes” documentary that was on last year. I don’t know why they were called ‘lost’ because the dialogue from the interviews can be found in much extended form in Robert Hendrickson’s “Death to pigs.” Anyway, in both, Nancy Jordon states that in jail, Susan told her she’d killed Sharon Tate. Now, Nancy was a friend, she’d been to Spahn Ranch, her and Susan got on. She claimed that it was weighing Susan’s head down to have this stuff on her conscience. Jordon wasn’t a pseudo-lesbian on the make or a scary jailbird out to dominate some young flesh, she was a friend. Yet, she was told the same thing as Howard and Graham. Now, maybe she was lying her blaggers off, but it makes me wonder. She told the story on film, knowing that this group that had been involved in murder would likely get to see it.

    Eventually, as she got off the drugs and became more clear headed, she learned that she could gain just as much notoriety telling the truth about what happened as lying about it

    Except by then, truth for Susan was like a pasing wind, gas spreading uncontrollably in a myriad of contradictory directions. She states, more than once that there are things she has no memory of or is really fuzzy about some things or has to anotate from other sources what happened.

    Most of the time, what Atkins said was consistent with the evidence

    Most of the time, what all of them said was consistent with the evidence. However, there are parts of the evidence that show pretty clearly that omissions occur and some of those major omissions spring from Susan.

    So many things to address in what you said, but I’m tired of talking about this and really just not motivated to do so

    I know exactly how you feel. It takes a gargantuan effort at times, what with all the thinking, analyzing and writing and trying to make it make some kind of sense. Fortunately, it’s a subject that I’m prepared to make a bit of effeort with on occasion, unlike geography !

  50. Fred Bloggs says:

    Buddy Day said…
    “Bugliosi thought it up

    How could he have ? How, when the day before he was actually assigned to the case, Danny DeCarlo was telling the police that “the fight against society was the number one element” in the whole shebang ? When a week before the case was handed to him, Al Springer was telling police that, of Manson, “he wants to build up a thing where he can be leader of the world. He’s crazy.” And this is connected with not only him intending to kill cops, but also 5 murders that have just happened. The “Bugliosi made it up” line is obliterated once one starts looking at how the case came together and who was saying what, when.

    There’s recordings I’ve heard of (original Manson prosecutor) Aaron Stovitz, saying (to Bugliosi) ‘This isn’t going to work.’

    It has never been a secret that Aaron Stovitz wanted to dump HS. Bugliosi even makes a point of saying so in his book. It’s an important juncture in the book because the prosecution did not need a motive but Bugliosi recognized it as powerful evidence.
    So what’s the big controversy ? Retrospectively, Stovitz always said that he didn’t want to go down that road. And he was the lead prosecutor. For him to have gone down that road tells us something about the veracity of what Bugliosi, the junior partner that could have been overruled here, brought to him. And in the years that followed, Stovitz conceded he was right.

    The other thing I point to, Linda Kasabian’s initial confession and Susan Atkins’ confession and Bobby Beausoleil’s, none of their confessions mention Helter Skelter. It’s not until after the grand jury indictment and well into the trial that people start talking about it.

    Bobby Beausoleil didn’t even confess to murder until many years later. Linda Kasabian didn’t even know why they all went out the first night and the second night was, according to Charlie, because the first night was too messy. And Susan told Virginia Graham that she felt at peace and that she knew that this was the beginning of HS. Which she then explained to Graham even though Graham didn’t understand it fully. She also said at the Grand Jury that Tex described the first night to Charlie as “sure was helter skelter.”

    And the police had literally no idea. The only reason they solved the case was that Susan Atkins confessed

    That is simply not true. For over a month before the police knew about Atkins’ involvement, Manson was on their suspect list. From a variety of directions actually, whether it was Kitty Lutesinger, Al Springer, Danny DeCarlo or others, the net was tightening. Fortunately there is plenty of documentation from the time to dispel what Buddy said there.

    The other thing is, he (Bugliosi) knew this case was his meal ticket. He hired Curt Gentry (co-writer of the book Helter Skelter) before the trial

    Well, what’s wrong with that ? It shows foresight. Even if the case had gone against him it showed foresight.
    You know when we see documentaries about 9/11, I wouldn’t mind betting that while the shots of the 2nd plane and the Pentagon explosions make for incredible footage, documentary makers are thankful that guy just happened to have his camera and was filming the fire brigade when he was and actually caught the first plane. Being in at the beginning of something gives it a certain shape that the later reliance on memories that weren’t thinking in terms of ever having to recall things, can never have.

  51. Cybele Moon says:


    What society as a whole expects of us is largely irrelevant if you happen to disagree with it. There was a time when slavery was very legal…..

    There are basic concepts of right and wrong I believe Fred. Just because you disagree doesn’t mean that you have a right to perpetrate murder and mayhem. It’s not irrelevant. LVH. Pat Krenwinkel and Watson and the rest apparently were taught the same things most of us are like the 10 commandments maybe? or thou shalt not murder thy neighbour in a most gruesome manner to make a point. We do hold people accountable in our society. There was no noble disagreement such as lets put an end to slavery or child labour or give women the vote.

  52. Fred Bloggs says:

    Cybele Moon says:
    There are basic concepts of right and wrong I believe Fred. Just because you disagree doesn’t mean that you have a right to perpetrate murder and mayhem

    I’m not even sure what we’re disagreeing about !
    I’m in total agreement that just because one disagrees with certain things, it doesn’t give you the right to murder.
    But that wasn’t my argument about the Family. What I’m saying is that one can’t say with any justification “well, they knew right from wrong.” That’s largely irrelevant. They knew what society’s laws framed as right and wrong. They knew there would be a price to pay if they got caught. I’m not sure what saying “they knew right from wrong” achieves if they clearly did not believe that what they were doing was actually wrong in their own minds. Don’t forget, a few of the powerful and prosperous nations in the world {USA, Canada, Australia, NZ to name but a few} came to be so by, let us say, not the most judicious, handling of the indigenous peoples they encountered when they found themselves in those countries. They did things there that they would not have tolerated anyone doing to them. But it is not taught that way in history. The Family took note of what had happened to the native Indians in the USA, then the shipped slaves and how such brutality was written up in revered tones with not the slightest sense of “we were wrong” and how this carried on even despite supposed emancipation. And they judged that “right and wrong,” far from being an unalterable basic part of humanity that expressed itself in codes that all societies could agree upon, was actually on a sliding scale that moved wherever the victor or framer decided it was appropriate. And as such felt perfectly justified in believing that the sands were shifting and that what Manson foresaw was already happening and needed to go to its tipping point ~ with their assistance.
    You mention the women not being given the vote. Last year, the kids in the school I work in did a great deal of learning about the sufferagettes in Britain and I can tell you, what they did in order to get the vote was widely viewed as wholly and utterly wrong ~ at one point, possibly by the majority of the population. Even many women thought the idea of women having the vote and playing a part in the running of the nation was completely out of order.
    100 years later, we have our second female prime minister.
    It is almost impossible for many people to put their minds into the minds of people that believed that women having the vote was wrong. It’s too easy to take the 21st century view and see everything that happened in the past through 21st century eyes and the 21st century mindset. But it was as wrong to a huge swathe of the population as murder was, daft as that sounds. If you find that hard to fathom, read the history on it.
    The point of my little ramble sidetrack there is that contrary to much common thought, there doesn’t exist one totally unifying thought between cultures, societies and nations. Lots of people or groups throughout history have gone against the prevailing norms of their day and sometimes, we look back and ask ourselves how those norms were ever norms in the first place.
    But they were.
    It is into that milieu that the Family and their thought process fit. They really were not that far removed from certain strands of the counterculture and they weren’t that far removed from democratically elected politicians that have found themselves in favour of regime change in “other parts of the world” and who set those balls rolling. Manson simply had to point to the mechanics of the mind that continued to sanction Vietnam in order to justify his notion that if killing had to be done for the world {meaning America, essentially} to be repaired, then it had to be done.

  53. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Cybele as much as it pains me, I have to agree with Fred as to what are you disagreeing about.

    And yes, I experienced violent spasms in both hands as I typed that. lol Joking Fred!

  54. Cybele Moon says:

    this is in danger of turning into a philosophical argument- and I actually do agree with the bulk of what you are saying. But that’ s really digressing.
    If we went along with the “they really believed in what they were doing” or that they were just misguided hippies bucking the system then we wouldn’t have prosecuted them and held them accountable. We would have sent them instead to Tommy’s Holiday Camp with wicked Uncle Ernie! lol

  55. Fred Bloggs says:

    Cybele Moon says:
    If we went along with the “they really believed in what they were doing” or that they were just misguided hippies bucking the system then we wouldn’t have prosecuted them and held them accountable

    Not really. That is pretty much what the prosecution said. They were misguided and they were bucking the system. It also happened that their version of bucking the system was of the type that no sane society {or even an insane one} can afford to smile at and tolerate.

    We would have sent them instead to Tommy’s Holiday Camp with wicked Uncle Ernie!

    If one thinks of the song “Fiddle about” one could argue that that’s where they were sent !

    this is in danger of turning into a philosophical argument

    I think with Van Houten’s case in particular, it’s inevitable.

    NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    And yes, I experienced violent spasms in both hands as I typed that

    I experienced the same spasms in my eyes as I read that !

  56. Cybele Moon says:

    Actually I was trying to remember, didn’t they all run amok at the end murdering all the camp counselors or such !? 😀
    At any rate I was being silly for want of anything further to say except that I still feel that they all should have received life w/o parole.

    Plus I can’t imagine it will be easy at 70 years old to step back into society knowing all you’ve missed out and the most productive years behind you. Perhaps they have been punished enough.

  57. Lee says:

    Is there any use arguing with someone who is so obviously bothered with the fact that the actual murderers & conspirators were caught, prosecuted & imprisoned? What, he/she wishes they would’ve continued committing brutal, extremely bloody home invasions? It reads like that. That is sickening!

  58. NoJusticeNoPeace says:

    Lee, arguing or debate? Debating to me is an issue that has not been settled.

    It has been a 50 year argument. Supporters of LVH wonder why we-who want justice continued-are adamant. Wrong is wrong to us…wrong also makes blood money.

    Take a look at your tv schedule. It’s STILL about Manson and those that murdered innocents. Now we get to watch his kin make millions off Manson’s corpse. I say time to revamp the Son of Sam law to include ALL members of a murderer’s family.

    This case will always fascinate generations to come…which is the main reason for the point of the murders. Something that will shock the world. Well congrats you pieces of murderous shit.

    Now earn your just rewards.

  59. Cybele Moon says:

    true enough NJNP, they will go down in infamy for sure, remorseful, reformed or not. I’m not one who celebrates the death penalty but the least society can do is put them away for life. After all, justice is about punishment first and foremost especially when it’s such cold blooded and horrific crimes- and not just for the Manson group.

    And to finally let them out when they are in their seventies and have spent most of their lives in jail seems kind of crazy to me. They at least have a community in jail.They will still be a burden to society or the state. They will still be reviled by many. Half way houses? aren’t they paid for by the government too? .

  60. Christy says:

    Will we be seeing Colombo in that funeral show? If it’s the show I’m thinking of Manson’s fans and apologists will be on there too.

    Still can’t get over the idea it’s a weird conspiracy of liberals holding the convicts in prison. Anyone who thinks the conservatives in this state would sign off on release has a screw loose.

  61. Michael says:

    Off topic, but I saw “The Haunting of Sharon Tate” last night on pay per view. Anyone else seen it yet? It’s not well done, and the portrayals of Watson, Atkins, and Krenwinkle were wildly stereotypical and silly. Still, it was an interesting idea to pursue how the night of the Tate killings could have gone down differently with just a minor change of decision here or there. I’d be curious to know what you think if you see it.

  62. Howard says:

    I think that explanation of the most publicized murders is sound. I think he was trying to make things murkier for police. I do however think there was an element of a maniacal gripe on Charlie’s side against society, with mind shaping and drugs as his weapons. In essence he created a small devious cult, and the times couldn’t have been better to accomplish this when Manson got out of prison. He was no a good hombre. As far as these paroles go, they’re cursory adventures with almost no chance of letting any of the incarcerated ever out. It’s not even public safety as much as it’s political. Manson wasn’t even present for the main crimes, yet rotted until death behind bars. They may let maybe one of the women out if she’s over 85 and can’t leave bed-and then what would be the point.

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