• Audio Archives: Brooks Poston’s October 3rd, 1969, Interview with Inyo County Sheriff Don Ward

Audio Archives: Brooks Poston’s October 3rd, 1969, Interview with Inyo County Sheriff Don Ward

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Perhaps the earliest recorded description of Helter Skelter

Dallas, Tex., Oct. 10 – Today marks the 43rd anniversary of the first Barker Ranch raid. In light of this, we will begin the Audio Archives series with the first of two interviews that laid the groundwork for the two raids, that ultimately put an end to Charles Manson’s freedom.

For the first installment of the Audio Archives, we are going back to Friday, October 3rd, 1969, when Brooks Poston was interviewed by Inyo County Sheriff Don Ward. This interview – made exactly one week before the first Barker Ranch raid, and a full month and a half before Vincent Bugliosi was even assigned the Tate/LaBianca case – is perhaps the earliest recorded description of Manson’s philosophies, including Helter Skelter. To preface this, I’m including an excerpt from Bugliosi’s book that briefly mentions the interview and how it came about.

The original analog reel-to-reel recording speeds up and down. We have attempted to correct this, but due to its gradual effect, the end result is still far from perfect.

From Helter Skelter..

The trip to Barker Ranch would take three hours, leaving us little more than an hour to search before the sunset. En route [Frank] Fowles told me some of the things he had learned about the Manson Family. The first few members – in effect, a scouting party – had appeared in the area in the fall of 1968. Since you have to be somewhat different to want to live on the edge of Death Valley, residents of the area had developed a tolerance for people who elsewhere would have been considered odd types. The hippies were no stranger than others who passed through – prospectors, desert rats, chasers after legendary lost mines. There were only a few minor brushes with the authorities – the girls were advised to desist from panhandling in Shoshone, and one made the mistake of giving a marijuana cigarette to a fifteen-year-old girl, who just happened to be the sheriffs niece – until September 9, 1969, when National Park Rangers discovered that someone had attempted to burn a Michigan loader, a piece of earth-moving equipment that was parked in the race-track area of Death Valley National Monument. It appeared a senseless act of vandalism. Automobile tracks leading away from the area were determined to belong to a Toyota. Several persons recalled seeing the hippies driving a red Toyota and a dune buggy. On September 21, Park Ranger Dick Powell spotted a 1969 red Toyota in the Hail and Hall area. The four females and one male who were riding in it were questioned but not detained. Powell later ran a license check, learning that the plates on the Toyota belonged to another vehicle. On September 24, Powell returned to look for the group, but they had gone. On September 29, Powell, accompanied by California Highway Patrolman James Pursell, decided to check out Barker Ranch. They found two young girls there, but no vehicles. As they had found standard in their contacts with this group, the girls gave vague, uncommunicative answers to their questions. As the officers were leaving the area, they encountered a truck driven by Paul Crockett, forty-six, a local miner. With him was Brooks Poston, eighteen, who had previously been a member of the hippie band but was now working for Crockett. On hearing that there were two girls at the ranch, Crockett and Poston appeared apprehensive and, when questioned, finally admitted that they feared for their lives.

Powell and Pursell decided to accompany them back to Barker. The two girls had vanished, but the officers presumed they were still nearby, probably watching them. They began questioning Crockett and Poston.

The officers had come looking for arson suspects, and a possible stolen vehicle. They found something totally unexpected. From Pursell’s report: “The interview resulted in some of the most unbelievable and fantastic information we had ever heard: tales of drug use, sex orgies, the actual attempt to recreate the days of Rommel and the Desert Corps by tearing over the countryside by night in numerous dune buggies, the stringing of field phones around the area for rapid communication, the opinion of the leader that he is Jesus Christ and seemed to be trying to form a cult of some sort . . .”

SHERIFF DON WARD: This’ October the third, 1969, eleven-fifteen hours, this is a taped interview with Brooks Ramsey Poston, 20 years, wma.

BROOKS POSTON: I met Charles Willis Manson at the beginning of June, in 1968. The first thing I saw him do, was kneel and kiss a guy’s feet. And uh, he was at Dennis Wilson’s house at that time, 14400 Sunset Boulevard, living with five girls. The girls were ly-, a girl named Lynn, Sandy Good, Dianne Bluestein, and uh, Brenda something-or-other. And I don’t remember the other girl’s name, because she left shortly there after. Charlie told Lynn to take the people I was with to a place to stay. It was called the Spiral Staircase house on Topanga Lane. And uh, as soon as we got there, or shortly there after, approximately 30 minutes, the Malibu sheriff’s came and took us all in for questioning; released three of the people, and sent three back to Ukiah from where we came. Uh..the three remaining went to Dennis’ house, to stay for the night. The next day Charlie had the same girl Lynn, take us to, Spahn’s Movie Ranch in Santa Susana Mountains. in Chatsworth.

SHERIFF DON WARD: Did you have any (cuts off)

BROOKS POSTON: While at, Dennis’ house, and Dennis wasn’t home at the time, they had marijuana, and some hashish, and I don’t know what else. They were using drugs at the time.

SHERIFF DON WARD: This is be- (cuts off)

BROOKS POSTON: The people I was with, stayed with, stayed at, Spahn’s Ranch, for, approximately two days, where, at that time, Dean Moorehouse, one of the guys I was with, went back to Charlie’s house and took us with him, the other two. And, well uh, Charlie was back at Dennis’ then. And when we were at Dennis’, Dean talked to him, and got us to stay there. And Dean and I took care of the yard as gardeners. And uh, all this time Charlie, began to work on me, and tell me, uh that, everything was alright. There was no crime, no sin. And at one point I saw a man kneel and kiss his feet. And Charlie asked him if he was ready to die at that instant. And the guy said yes. And Charlie said, then you can live forever. And that, that was the first time that I had any indication, he was, I guess playing the part of Jesus Christ. And, later he told me that I had to be me before I can be him. Cause he was a reflection of me. And he was only what I saw in myself. And that the battle of Armageddon, or whatever it’s supposed to be, is at hand.

And uh, Dennis’ manager made Charlie leave. Because Charlie only wanted Dennis’ money and his clothes, and to play with Dennis’ cars and motorcycles. And Charlie recorded while he was at Dennis’ – he recorded an album, I believe. And uh, Charlie had to leave. And during the meantime, I had recorded. And Charlie told me I didn’t need to do that, because money wasn’t important. You could live out of garbage cans. And uh, live in condemned houses and never need money.

Charlie called after he left, and wanted to know if everyone else was out. And uh, I said yes, everyone was gone but me. And he asked me to leave. And he came over, a little while later. And uh, had, me go with him. Through some sort of – I don’t know, I thought he was Jesus at the time too.

So I went with him, and we went to Spahn’s ranch. And Charlie and the girls stayed at the back the first night we were there. And, then moved up to the front part of the ranch, into the movie set. And stayed in the jail, and the saloon. And Charlie had me shoveling horse manure and saddling horses, and working there as ranch hand. That’s where I met George and Pearl, and uh, Randy Starr, a stuntman, Benny Detrich, and Juan Flynn, and Larry Craven – all ranch hands there. And uh, shortly-thereafter, Charlie ran a group of hippies that was living in the back, and paying rent to George – ran them off. And moved into those houses himself. And I stayed up front and they let me have a little shack, that another cowboy was using, until he uh, hitchhiked out to go to the rodeos, in, uh, Dakota. His name was Jerry Hill, and uh.

SHERIFF DON WARD: Was there any (cuts off)

BROOKS POSTON: Uh, while they were at Spahn’s, I know of, LSD being there, and marijuana and hashish. And uh, when Charlie was living at the back ranch house, people were always driving in back to the back ranch house. Long haired people, hippies, and uh, they all, seemed to have enough money to drive around and get what they wanted. But I don’t know where any of it came from. And Charlie always had money when he wanted it. And I don’t know where that came from. And he was always coming back – he’d, hitchhike into San Fernando Valley. And he’d come back with, an old car, that was in good running condition and say that someone had given it to him. That he had the pink slip to it. And he would wind up giving it to George, so that George would let him stay there.

Uh, one way I believe he gets his money, and his money for gasoline and car parts, is through credit cards that he, talks people out of. He talked me out of a, Texaco credit card that my mother had given me before I left Texas. And uh, I thought it was for only his use. And, it wound up – from what I heard – going up into Oregon, all up the coast of California, and possibly to Washington. And the card was picked up later. And I had, a letter from my mother, and a couple of phone calls that said she wasn’t gonna pay the bills and Texaco was, wondering when the bills would be paid. And uh, I told her I would pay the bill. And the bill was approximately $250. And this is at time, I’ve had, no money, because at the ranch that I worked on, George didn’t pay no salary. He merely let you stay there and have, food, and a pack of cigarettes a day, and a place to sleep. But at the time it was pretty good, because it was the first time I had been out in the world.

One of Charlie’s basic creeds, is that all the girls are for, is to fuck, or make love. And, that’s all they’re for, and that’s – there’s no crime, there’s no sin, that everything’s alright. That it’s all just a game. Just like, games of a little kid, only it’s grown up games. And that, god’s, getting ready, to, pull down the curtain on this game. And start it over again, with his chosen people. And Charlie considers himself to be Jesus, the second coming of Christ. And that, he is to lead 144,000 people out onto the desert. From reading things into the Bible, from revelations. And he feels that the Beatles, are the four headed locusts that’s mentioned in there. That are here to plague man with their mouths. And uh, he listens to all their records, while under the effects of LSD, or any other drug he can get a hold of. And he, puts into there, the meanings he wants in it. And he uses – he has, body control of his hands and his arms and his fingers, to the point, that, it’s like watching something that constantly changes when he’s moving. It doesn’t ever appear to be the same on any two movements. And while everyone he’s with is under the effects of these drugs he uses his hands and his fingers and says he can pass the motion on to you when you get tuned in to the infinite. Or when you give up, is what he calls it. And play under, everyone – play under the awareness of all people. And to play under the awareness of all people, is to be able to, steal. And to be able to do, all things that, people couldn’t do because weren’t smart enough.

And he’s talked about his prison experiences, and where he’s learned, many things, about, hypnosis, and what you can do with the power of the mind, from a man named Lanier Ramer, who was his cellmate. Uh, as far as I know, the whole group was there at Spahn’s. Charlie and his people living in the back, myself and Juan, and the cowboys, living up front and doing the ranch work, for, approximately, three or four months. All summer, and a month, or maybe a month and a half into the fall.

During this time, several people had come along, and he had persuaded them, in the same manner that he was Jesus. And everything that man did, was backwards to what it was supposed to be. And that making love was good and not bad. And that group orgies was the way to get tuned in. And he had convinced several girls, and he’s got them tied up in this manner. And also by fear, because he’s beaten up several girls, that I know of. Uh one, Mary Brunner. Uh, and another girl he beat up was Dianne Bluestein. I’ve seen him jerk her around by her hair and slap her, make her cry, and, hit her, and do all kinds of things with her. And make her, suck guy’s dicks. And other girls, the ones that uh, don’t like to be there, but don’t know what else to do. Such as Sandy Good, she’s been more or less, cajoled, or talked into it, or threaten into getting money from her dad, from San Francisco, on several occasions, in order to finance the group. And he’s made her do all kinds of acts that she didn’t want to do. But he’d grab her by the head, and shove her head down. And while he was making love to her at the same time. And this is part of his group orgy effect. He wants everybody to do everything. And uh, you can make love with six or seven people at the same time – if you get tuned in, that’s what he says.

And from the Spahn’s ranch, uh, several people came along. Uh, this is where Cathy Myers came. And uh, she knew of a place in the desert – in Death Valley – that her grandmother owned, Myers Ranch. And uh, at the end of – September, or part way through October —


BROOKS POSTON: — of ‘68, she let everyone up. And, the transportation used was an old green school bus that they painted, and fixed up on the inside to look like a muslim harem effect, with satins and silks and tapestries. And I don’t know where the money came from this. But I believe it was from, uh, a girl named Joan Wildbush, that he also talked into giving away all her money. And a camper outfit, that she was later, uh, was to traded in for a four-wheeled drive jeep, in Las Vegas.

We took the bus down to the bottom of Goler Wash. And hiked up seven or seven-and-a-half miles, to Myers Ranch. And on the way, Charlie and the rest of them spotted – all of us spotted – this, Barkers Ranch. And uh, couple of days after we were there, we moved into Barkers Ranch and cleaned it up, and did all kind of things, patching water lines and watering trees and things. And uh, shortly-thereafter, Ballerat Bob, or Bob Dunlap, came up with a friend of his. Uh, ‘cause Ballerat Bob had previously, uh, stayed there. And he considered it, more-or-less his place. But when he got there he found a large group of people. And there were only two of them so I don’t know if he was afraid to do anything, or what. But uh, he left, the next day, and came back, I believe, once after that, later, near Christmas. And I haven’t seen him since.

While at the Barkers Ranch, part of the rules was that, while it was warm enough, that everyone was to go nude. So that, I suppose that would stimulate sexual interest and everybody would wind up making love all day long. And I heard him comment once, that, wouldn’t it be nice if all we had – if we could just stay in bed forever and make love. And not have to worry about eating. Because eating wasn’t important. It was only a way to get out your sexual interests, like smoking cigarettes. And he said that everything stemmed from sex. And uh, I suppose he got that idea from Lanier Ramer in prison, or from a Freud book he read. But everything was vaginal, or, or penial. And that it all stemmed from sex. Everything you did was make love. From putting, uh, a screw into a, into a fixture. From putting a cigarette into your mouth. From drinking coffee, to opening a door, to getting in a car, to sweeping. Anything you did was sex – from his viewpoint. And he was, telling everyone there, that, that is what it stemmed from – that, that’s all it was. Everything was making love, and that is what God really wanted you to do, because that’s why he gave men a nutsack and a peter, and girls, a pussy – as he puts it.

SHERIFF DON WARD: (inaudible)

BROOKS POSTON: He said that, a woman, actually had no soul, but was closer to being tuned in than the man. ‘Cause God put woman there to take care of man, and that’s all woman was supposed to do. Take care of him and tend to his wants at all times. And she wasn’t supposed to give any opinions or talk to the man or say anything. And that, you could put your love into her through sex. And fill her up with, your love. And he would always say, “do what your love says do.” But before he would say this, he would say that he was your love. And so it was implied around in this sort-of a comment, you were to do everything he said ‘cause he would do anything for you. He said he died on a cross once for you. And that, it was the Christians turn to hang the Romans on the crosses. And that, the hippies were the Christians. And that, at this time, he was talking about getting 144 people out to the desert.

PAUL CROCKETT: Thousand. 144,000 —

BROOKS POSTON: I mean 144,000 people, out to the desert. Because it said somewhere in the Bible in revelations, about 144,000 people being on the desert, or being with Jesus, living in a land of milk and honey, living under the ground. And he’s looking for a cave. That he says is underneath Death Valley. That leads down to a city of gold, that the indians know about. And that, every tuned in tribe of people that’s ever lived. The most tuned in, have escaped the destruction of their race, by going underground. And that they’re all living down in a gold city. With a – there’s a river that runs through it, of milk and honey. And a tree that bears twelve kinds of fruit. Uh, a different fruit, every month or something like that. And that you don’t need any candles or flashlights down there, because it will be lit up. Because it will be, something of a sun effect down there. That the walls will glow. And that, you won’t be cold and you won’t be, too hot. That there will be warm springs, and fresh water. And all things that you can eat. And people already down there waiting for them.

During the time we were at the desert, there were, several supply runs made to Las Vegas, and to, uh, Los Angeles. And uh, around the time of the floods. Uh, uh, about the time of the floods. In February of ‘69, the two girls, one named Joan Wildbush and another named Sherri, were sent to get supplies. And uh, they came back and mentioned something, after uh, Sheriff Ward had been there. And Juanita was the only one left, as they had heard the Sheriff was coming up. And, Charlie sent a truck up to get a – all the people out, that he could – or that he wanted out. And he left Joan Wildbush and myself up there, to face the Sheriff, and to go jail, for something I didn’t even know that was going on. And after the Sheriff had come, and taken our names down and left, Joan mentioned something about, there had been marijuana given to the, the uh, Sheriff Ward’s niece, or uh, stepdaughter, or something like that. When they were in – passing through uh, uh, Shoshone.

He left, once, uh, somewhere around January. And said he was going to find a place in the city, for the people to stay in the winter.

SHERIFF DON WARD: This is Charlie?

BROOKS POSTON: This is Charles Manson. And he took, uh, quite a few people with him. And then he sent another group up to get people out. And he left three people there, at that time. Myself, Joan Wildbush and a girl named Gypsy. And I don’t know her last name. And uh, about a week went by, and uh, a jeep came up. The jeep that Juanita had traded for – Juanita is Joan Wildbush. And uh, picked up the three remaining. And took us to a house in Canoga Park – that’s in San Fernando Valley. And uh, we were there, approximately three weeks. And he sent a group of people back to the desert. And this included myself, and this Joan Wildbush, a guy named T.J. I’m not sure of his name. And uh, there were – when we arrived, a girl named Bo, about 20, or 21 maybe. Mary Brunner, she’s a college graduate, I believe. And a girl named Sherri. The same Sherri I mentioned before. I’m not sure how old she is. I think she’s 17 now, 16. And these people were all there when we got there. And uh, after that, there was a supply run made to Las Vegas. In which, Joan and the girl named Sherri went. And when they came back, there was a big hurry to get all the people out except Joan and myself. Because, as I was later to find out, the Sheriff was coming. And the Sheriff from Shoshone, uh, Mr. Don Ward, came with a deputy and some park rangers. And questioned and talked with Juanita and myself – Juanita, being Joan Wildbush. And uh, took me aside and asked me about marijuana. And I said I didn’t know anything about it then. And then, after they left, Joan told me what he was talking about. And the fact was that, one of them had given marijuana to the Sheriff’s neice or granddaughter, when they were in Shoshone, on their way back up with supplies. And uh, when they left that time – Charlie’s people – uh, it was the last I would see them for, uh, for about six or seven months. When they left, they said they’d probably be back up to get us. But didn’t know when, or uh, exactly how. And we had supplies at that time enough to last…uh…approximately, two weeks if we ate one meal a day. And shortly-thereafter, about a week, a man named Paul Crockett, and another, Bob Berry, came up and drove into the yard. And uh, I got to talking to Paul – and this is the first time I met Paul. And uh, I talked to him quite a bit. And during this time I was supposed to be making love with Juanita. But, I had my schedule fixed to where I would be asleep when she was awake. And when she was asleep, I’d be awake. So I had learned to stay up all night; and sleep during the day. And, when Paul was around, I talked to him. And he started showing me, what was going on at that point – what I was doing. And he tried to straighten out my mind, as to whether I was dead or alive. Because I didn’t know. Charlie had told me that, I was, living in death. And that, I was supposed to give up, my world, so I could have his. And that, by giving up, God would come through me. And I would just be a hole in the infinite, as he says he is.

SHERIFF DON WARD: (inaudible)

BROOKS POSTON: Uh, I stayed at the ranch, from the time, I got there, just before the Sheriff came. And, I’ve been at the ranch up until the 2nd of October, ‘69. And uh, during this time, approximately six or seven months went by, before I saw Charlie or any of his people again.

SHERIFF DON WARD: (inaudible)

BROOKS POSTON: During this time, uh, Paul had offered me a job, to go up and down the mountain. And to help him get ore – gold ore – down from some mines they had in that area. And I had been doing that steadily, uh, all this time during the six or seven months. Going up and down the mountains and crushing rocks by hand. And uh, learning all about gold. And taking an interest in it. And finally they offered me, to come in on the deal with them. And I’ve got my name, on some claim papers up there, on mines that hadn’t been filed in Independence. My name is on some claims up there. On one called the gold dollar. And when they were thinking of claiming the Barkers Ranch; my name was on the, claim paper there, and it should be, in the monument, there at the ranch.

Approximately a month ago, Charles Manson and several of his group came back up.

SHERIFF DON WARD: About how many?

BROOKS POSTON: He came up with eight people. And uh, they were all sporting knives then. And saying how bad it was getting in the city. And that Helter Skelter – that’s what he calls the negro revolt. He says the negros are going revolt and kill all the white men, except the ones that are hiding in the desert. And he said it was getting worse and worse, and that he wanted to hide in the desert. And I believe he’s on parole, and he’s out of his parole area when he’s up there. And uh, when he came back, he started, his games of trying to get me, to go back with him. And he said that, he release me from no agreements. That, I was still his, and that I should be able to do anything he said – and not think about it. Because that is what love does. Love doesn’t fight. It gives up. And to give up would to, be God.

Charlie, or Charles, says that, giving up is to become God. And that, everything is God. And that, eating meat is like eating yourself. And anytime there’s an animal there, any meat that comes in is given to the animal. And if there’s food enough, only for the dog to eat, the dog gets the food. And the people are supposed to suck on each other. And get their nutriment that way. Because everything is an oral fixation, complex, or something.

And he calls guns, phallic symbols – big phallic symbols that guys get their rocks off by shooting. And he says that, people who need guns are the ones that are gonna die. And people that have guns are the ones he’s going to kill. And that, when Helter Skelter comes down, that, the cities are gonna be mass hysteria and the cops won’t know what to do – the piggies he calls them. And that, the beast will fall, and the black man will take over.

And when he was up there – when he came back, this time – approximately a month ago. He started his, uh, program to get me back into the group. And, since he’s been there, I’ve been threatened with knives. And he said that, “I’d be willing to give my life up for you. And I’m willing to let you kill me, so that means I can kill you.” And he’s talked about killing a negro, militant leader in Los Angeles. And he’s talked about killing, a guy named Shorty there too. Or having his people do it – cutting his head off and having the girls bury the body somewhere.

About a week went by, and uh, a lot of dune buggies started showing up. Drove in on a yellow one and, painted it. Cut off some of the back – some of, some of the uh, plastic work, or body part, to make it unnoticeable or unrecognizable. And threw dirt on it while spray painting.

And during this time, he’s brought in, new tires, new batteries, uh, all sorts of tools, several sets of tool boxes. And uh, well some of the vehicles —

SHERIFF DON WARD: (inaudible)

BROOKS POSTON: Yes. Cases of oil. And some of the vehicles included a red jeep, a red Toyota jeep. And uh, a blue spark – blue sparkle dune buggie. Uh, two or three yellow ones that I seen. And uh, he’s painted all of these. And uh, one of the yellow ones, had a black vinyl type zipper top, to be put up on it.

And he’s told us, everything a vehicle has come in, that it isn’t hot. Except for one that he said was on a test ride that he had gotten in L.A. Or one of his people had gone in and asked for the keys for a test ride, and took off with it. And he said everything he had up there was legal. And nothing was hot. And that they had gotten it from credit cards and somewhere else. And he implied that they had a lot of money, but didn’t say where it came from. But during this time, I’ve heard, people talk about being communists. This one girl Gyspy talked about being a communists two or three times. Said she had been a communist since, ‘58 in New York, and that her parents had had communist leaders over to her house. And that, she was a true blue communist. But that, even the communists were wrong in some places. And Charlie has mentioned that the communist, had a good thing but it wouldn’t work either. Because they didn’t give up and didn’t make love together.

Since he’s been up there, I’ve had my life threaten, several times. And he’s – I’ve seen him jerk people around by the hair. Hold a knife to their throat. And say, “You know I can kill you? Don’t you?” And then, after that he says, “But I wouldn’t because you are one of us.”

And I’ve heard that since they’ve been up there, he’s said, or someone has said, but I’m not sure if it was him —

PAUL CROCKETT: I heard him.

BROOKS POSTON: Yes, he said it. That, they have 100 tabs of acid and mescaline. And that they’re expecting a big kilo of, uh, hashish.

During this time he’s talked to me several times about how I should give up and willing to do anything he wanted me to do. And at one point, he was saying that, if I loved him, and was willing to give up, and since it all was a game, life was a game and death was a game, that it wasn’t real. That, I should go walk to Shoshone, and take a big, uh, some kind of machete like thing, sneak into, Sheriff Ward’s house, and cut his throat. That was if I loved him. And he, wanted me to do it, but he never pushed it, any further than that. He mentioned it the one time, and then he said several times – or his people had talked about, how easy it would be to take over Shoshone – to wipe out the people in it. And he’s talked about killing off the people in the desert at this time. One at a time. And, if any police came up, he would kill them. And leave their uniforms laying out as if the body had just disappear from it.

I’ve seen him with two shotguns. One is a double barrel, over and under shotgun. I guess it’s used for skeet shooting. And the other, is a twelve gauge pump shotgun. And I’ve seen, approximately, a knife on everyone. And Charlie sometimes has two or three on him. And I’ve seen him – that he can throw a knife approximately ten or fifteen feet and be deadly accurate with it. And he’s mentioned that he wouldn’t be taken alive. And that, he would think no more of killing one of us, than he would going and stepping on a flower. In fact, he’d rather do that, than step on a flower. He said that, killing of a person, isn’t as bad as the people who go around with their big phallic symbols and shoot birds, and hunt, and fish, and do all those hunting, or sporting things. And, he’s mentioned that, he would take great pride in killing a cop, or a piggie. And that, he’d take as many as he could. And he said he was going to learn the desert and hide on it. Set up with his big binoculars and watch them when they came in. And he said he was going to stash dune buggies and vehicles all over the desert. And he was going to stash supplies all over the desert. And that, he said once, if he didn’t make it, either his kids, or someone else’s kids would do it. That, the love was in the children. And that, you had to set the children free. And free to him, is making them do obscene sex acts, when they’re old enough to crawl – uh, and uh, old enough to use their mouth.

Since he’s been there this time, he’s stayed, I guess, two nights. And each night he’s been there, he’s had, from eight, people – I guess approximately eight people each time. And he builds a bon fire out in the middle of the yard, using the wood that’s available. And he gets a guitar and has everybody smoke marijuana, and gets them all stoned, and then they sing songs. And one of the songs, is a repeat-after-me song. In which, he will start the song and say, “Who’s God?” And the people around him will answer back, “Who’s God?” And he’ll say, “You’re God.” And they’ll answer back, “You’re God.” And he’ll say, “I’m God?” And they’ll say “I’m God?” And then he’ll say – as in a statement, “I am God.” And they’ll answer back, the same way. And he gets them into a emotional frenzy, and this is supposed to lead to sex.

If it’s necessary to testify, as to the fact that he’s driven a dune buggie, that was, or is – that is hot. Or anything else about testifying to anything I’ve said – in a court, I’m willing to do that.

SHERIFF DON WARD: I’m gonna close this interview with Brooks Ramsey Poston, at, 12:35.

This entry was posted in Audio Archives. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Audio Archives: Brooks Poston’s October 3rd, 1969, Interview with Inyo County Sheriff Don Ward

  1. Tom says:

    Guess you missed my other question. Real curious: where’d ya get all these tapes from?

  2. Silentseason says:

    Thanks for posting. The sound is quite good. Interesting that Poston mentioned Dean Moorehouse in his interview; I wonder if Poston ever went to the Cielo residence when Moorehouse was staying there.

    • cielodrive.com says:

      Thanks Silent. Yeah, I almost didn’t want to start with this interview because the sound on this one is much better than the others. Regarding your comment about Brooks visiting Moorehouse at Cielo Drive. I have done much research on this story about Moorehouse living there and determined Bill Nelson made it up.

      The first reference to Moorehouse living there, that I could find, was in Bill Nelson’s Manson: Behind the Scenes(1997). The story also appeared in Greg King’s Sharon Tate and the Manson Murders (2000), it’s cited, but the citation doesn’t make any sense. I just assume King got this story from Nelson because they were tight at the time. Then the story, appears in Ed Sanders’ The Family. But it’s in the 2002 edition, not the first or many other edition of The Family. I suspected Nelson was the source of all these references. So I began a long search to either prove or disprove it. I found nothing about it in the trial transcripts.

      Thankfully, I was able to locate Gregg Jakobson and he confirmed that Moorehouse never lived there.

      • Silentseason says:

        Thanks for info, Cielo. I read it in Bugliosi’s book (latter part of it), it being mentioned that Jakobson had arranged for Moorehouse to stay there in between Terry Melcher moving out and Polanski moving in. It implied that Watson had visited Moorehouse there approximately half a dozen times, which would give even more evidence that he (as well as Manson) knew the premises quite well. It seemed almost too fantastic to believe, and as it turns out it never happened.

        • cielodrive.com says:

          Wow, Silent you’re right. It was in Helter Skelter. I don’t know how I overlooked that. I guess I’ve been blaming Bill Nelson all this time for nothing. Oh well. Regardless, it still never happened, according to Gregg Jakobson.

          In the book, Bugliosi says he had planned to introduce that information at the Watson trial to establish that Tex had been at Cielo Drive as many as six times. However, he never did bring this up at the trial. At least never when either Terry Melcher or Gregg Jakobson were on the stand. Terry Melcher did testify that Tex had been to Cielo as many as six times with Dennis Wilson and Jakobson in the summer of 1968.

          Now I’m wondering if Curt Gentry just mixed up the facts. Dean Moorehouse was living in Dennis Wilson’s guest house.

          • Silentseason says:

            I think your interpretation is the correct deduction based on all the evidence, which still made Watson very familiar with the residence regardless of whether he went inside or not. One more thing to consider: I doubt Altobelli would’ve wanted his house being used by Moorehouse or anyone remotely in the Family’s sphere, even prior to March 23, ’69. He clearly wasn’t one to be sympathetic to prospective tenants who might not be able to pay or keep the residence in high standing.

  3. Silentseason says:

    Sidenote question, who was spitting chewing tobacco during the interview? Crockett?

  4. johnnyseattle says:

    Hi CD
    I didn’t realize you were able to confirm with Gregg Jacobsen that Dean Moorehouse didn’t caretake at the Cielo Drive location. That has always been part of excepted Helter Skelter lore. So good that you were able to clear that up.
    Bugliosi and Shreck were pretty explicit that Moorehouse had went from the Wilson house to temporarily housesit over at Cielo Drive (between the time that the Melchers left and the Polanskis move in the house/grounds were empty). Evidently, as the story went, Moorehouse had become a bit of a creepy pest with some of the girls in his caretaker role at the Wilson house and Wilson had put him over to stay at the recently vacated house on Cielo Drive temporarily. I always assumed that the reason Wilson dealt with Moorehouse and Watson was their ability to get drugs. He lent them his fancy sports car and gave em a credit card. So finding a place for Moorehouse to stay temporarily didn’t seem too far fetched if he needed to remove Moorehouse quickly and knew that Melcher had moved out of Cielo.
    Can you give us more details about Jacobsen and his denial that it ever occurred. Did he have any idea how that particular story got its legs to the point it made it in the pro and anti helter skelter books?
    Thank you again for such a great website. This is a real service to the community (and drama free too boot!) and a model of good research.

  5. Rit says:

    He was living in Bothell, WA… but I think he’s in Sedro Woolley, WA, now. He also lived in Seattle and Burlington, WA at times.

  6. Fred Bloggs says:

    My wife and I followed all the series’ of CSI Miami and they had this phrase that we noticed in the latter series’. Whenever the crime lab got stuck and they went to Horatio Caine with their concerns, he would say “What do we do ? We follow the evidence.”
    The more you read these fantastic interviews {CD, thanks !} from 1969, particularly ones that were done before Vincent Bugliosi was on the scene or ones like the Leslie Van Houten [with Marvin Part] one that even up to and after the trial he had never seen, the more you can see that Helter Skelter was not “the Bug’s fabrication” and that rather, Bugliosi was ‘following the evidence.’ Enough people spoke of Helter skelter {interestingly, some were not part of the family; most, like Graham, Springer, DeCarlo & Howard, never understood it but could give a fairly accurate single sentence summary of it} that to ignore it would have been like ignoring the sun at midday in the middle of the desert while trying to figure out why you’re uncomfortably hot……

  7. Stonewall says:

    Sounds like he is reading from a script or prepared remarks. It just does not seem like a regular interview with the cops…

  8. daniel miltz says:

    He is reading from a script…THIS INTERVIEW seems rehearsed from the start. Why aren’t they asking questions about Watson?

  9. Paul Hart says:

    As Poston says in this interview… Manson said he learned about hypnosis and mind control from Lanier Ramer (his cellmate while at McNeil Island). But the Church of Scientolgy said Ramer was NOT a member of their church… revealed in private documents seized by the FBI. So who was Ramer. Was he a government agent posing as a Scientologist? This was a common tactic of the FBI and CIA in the 50’s and 60’s. The internal Church documents also said Manson freaked out because he was administered LSD, not from the E-Meter. Was this the start of Manson’s indoctrination into the MK-Ultra program?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *