“The Blue Camaro”
Nov. 16 – In our fifth and final installment of the Al Springer interviews, Al returns to the Parker Center on Wednesday, November 19, 1969 to sit down and talk with LaBianca detective, Sergeant Phillip Sartuche.
Springer tells Sartuche about one of Charlie’s friends in the valley – a man who drove a blue Camaro – and how he was trying to get Danny DeCarlo in some kind of beer commercial.
Springer also tells Sartuche that he suspects the owner of a Canoga Park bar is involved in acquiring stolen dune buggy parts for, or from the family.
Sartuche grabs his book of Manson family mugshots and attempts to have Springer give names and nicknames for those shown. Although Springer recognizes many faces, he has trouble coming up with their names. When the detective inquires if Springer had ever had sex with any of the girls, the biker says no.
Al Springer, 26 years-old at the time of this interview, was a member of the Straight Satans motorcycle club. Springer, who was originally from Alam, Michigan, lived in Torrance, California with his wife and kids.
Springer had first met Charles Manson a few days after the Tate-LaBianca murders, when he went to Spahn Ranch to talk his fellow club brother, Danny DeCarlo, into leaving. According to Springer, Manson attempted to impress him by bragging about the murders, saying, “we knocked off five of them, just the other night”
Deputy District Attorney Vincent Bugliosi didn’t end up using Springer as a trial witness. However, Springer did testify before the Los Angeles County Grand Jury that eventually indicted Charles Manson for the murder of Gary Hinman.
Although he was entitled to a share, Springer never collected his portion of the $25,000 reward put up by actors Peter Sellers, Warren Beatty and Yul Brynner.
Al Springer worked as a millwright for Lease Finance Corp. Co-Generation Plant in Yuba City, California. He passed away at the age of 56, at Rideout Memorial Hospital on Sunday, May 21, 2000.
He was survived by his wife, 6 sons, and 9 grandchildren.
Sergeant Phillip Sartuche
Sergeant Phillip Sartuche, 30 years-old at the time of this interview, had been with the Los Angeles Police Department for 9 years. Sartuche had been a 1st Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. and also received a Masters Degree in English from L.A. State.
Sartuche became a member of the Los Angeles Police Department in February of 1960. Before working on the LaBianca murders, Phillip had previously been assigned to the Robert Kennedy assassination case.