For one, there's the fact that Manson and the Polanskis traveled in some of the same social circles in L.A., typically centering around John Phillips of the Mamas and Papas who was a friend of both Roman Polanski and Dennis Wilson. Manson was also quite familiar with the Tate residence, having had lengthy business dealings with the prior tenant and friend, Terry Melcher. Charlie was also familiar with the LiBianca residence, having attended LSD parties right next door at the home of Harold True. Manson had also likely known at least one of the victims, the coffee heiress Abigail Folger, socially before the killings. Adam Gorightly notes of Manson's time in San Francisco during the Summer of Love:
"... during this '67 meeting with Manson, Folger agreed to advance $10,000 to the Straight Theater, coincidentally located at the corner of Haight and Cole streets, right in the heart of the Manson Family's Summer of Love stomping ground."
(The Shadow Over Santa Susana, pg. 163)
Another similarity between the Manson and Polanski clans was their fondness of drugs and their attempts to sell them. David McGowan lays it out:
"Another connection between the killers and victims was provided by their shared interest in drug trafficking. Several of the victims -including Voytek Frykowski, Abigail Folger, and Sharon Tate herself -were linked to the trafficking of hallucinogens. Rosemary LaBianca was a known trafficker of methamphetamine, and likely other drugs as well. Frykowski had reportedly secured a deal just before the murders that would have made him the exclusive distributor of MDA in the L.A. area, his operation financed with coffee heiress Folger's considerable financial resources. Jay Sebring, who before the murders had once appeared in an underground movie that also featured Mansonite Bobby Beausoleil, appears to have been involved in the drug trade as well. A man named Joel Rostau is known to have delivered drugs to Sebring at the Cielo house just hours before the murders. Rostau was found murdered the next year in New York City. Another Sebring associate showed up dead just a month later in Florida. Immediately following the killings on Cielo Drive, Sebring's house was thoroughly cleaned by friends before police arrived to conduct a search."
(Programmed to Kill, pg. 141)
As noted above, Rosemary LaBianca was involved in the LA drug scene at some level. Her husband and the only other victim at the LaBianca residence, Leno, also had ties to the Mafia. He served on the board of directors for a Hollywood bank police came to believe was Mafia connected -several board members were later convicted of fraud as a result of the LaBianca murder investigation. At the time of his death Leno was apparently in deep to the mob. Adam Gorightly states:
"In the weeks following the murders, detectives found themselves weaving through the complex maze of Leno's financial affairs. According to a police report, Leno was a '...chronic gambler...' with a '...$500.00 dollar a day habit..." At the time of his death -it has been alleged -Leno was in debt to the tune of $30,000 to Frankie Carbo's Mafia organization. Manson, it should be noted, previously hung around with Carbo in prison. As he admitted to Geraldo Rivera: 'I knew Frankie Carbo. Frankie Carbo knew Leno LiBianca.' "
(The Shadow Over Santa Susana, pg. 113)
"Were the Manson killings in reality part of what might be dubbed 'The Great Acid Coup of 1969'? Were they the result of an operation aimed at, among other things, killing off some competitors, intimidating others, and consolidating control of the hallucinogenic drug market? The possibility clearly exists. Police originally were drawn to the theory that the killings were drug related."
(Programmed to Kill, pg. 142)
Investigative journalist Maury Terry came to similar conclusions while researching the Manson case. Terry states:
"A Los Angeles source who was knowledgeable about the Manson set in 1969 said: 'Frykowski was the motive. He had stung his own suppliers for a fair amount of money and that didn't go down well at all with the people at the top of the drug scene here. And to make it worse, he was upsetting the structure of the LSD marketplace by dealing independently, outside the established chain of supply. He was a renegade.' "
(The Ultimate Evil, pg. 489)
For more information on this angle, check out my Cults, Gangs, Dope, and Intelligence article or our YouTube videos on the Brotherhood which can viewed here and here.
Another similarity between the Manson and Polanski clans was their fascination with the occult. Prior to the murders Polanski had just become famous due to his occult thriller Rosemary's Baby in which Mia Farrow stars as an expecting mother of who begins to suspect the tenants of her apartment complex are a group of Satanists awaiting her child for nefarious purposes. Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey was famously the technical consultant on Rosemary's Baby in which he also reputedly portrayed the devil. But the Polanskis involvement in the occult went much deeper than this:
"Interestingly enough, LaVey had connections to the victims as well. He had formed a close association with Roman Polanski shortly before the murders when he served as the technical consultant for Polanski on the film Rosemary's Baby in which he also makes a cameo appearance as -who else?-Satan. On the set of an earlier film, Tate herself had reportedly been initiated into witchcraft by Alexander Saunders. Sammy Davis Jr., who was introduced to the Church of Satan by Manson victim Jay Sebring, has said of the victims who were killed at Tate's Cielo Drive Residence: 'Everyone there had at one time or another been into satanism.' Some newspapers reports at the time of the slayings, denounced as sensationalism, were rife with reports that the Polanskis were satanists who hosted drug and sex orgies. Indeed, just days before the murders a drug dealer was reportedly whipped at the house in an S & M ritual. Various celebrities were said to have been attendance. Actor Dennis Hopper spoke in interviews of sadistic movies filmed at the house that featured some of Hollywood's biggest names."
(Programmed to Kill, David McGowan, pg. 140)
Before I go further into these infamous tapes I briefly want to note the purported Rosemary's Baby curse which has an odd synchronicity to the Manson killings. Obviously there's the fact the pregnant wife of the film's director, who's real life circumstances closely mirrored those of the film's heroine, as well as a woman named Rosemary, were murdered in a ritualistic fashion.
Then there's John Lennon, who's former group the Beatles were said to have inspired Manson's Helter Skelter delusions, who was shot dead in front of the Dakota building where part of Rosemary's Baby was filmed, and which served as the inspiration for the building complex in both the book and film. Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman, is also highly suspect as well, but that's another topic.
Anyway, on to the Polanski's bizarre sex films:
"During follow-up investigations at the Polanski residence, police discovered several films and videotapes in the main bedroom closet. Some of these films, it has been rumored, involved an elite underground Hollywood group who swapped smut of each other. One item discovered was a videotape of Sharon and Roman making love, although police never considered it pertinent to the case. During the Tate/LiBianca trial, defense attorneys were approached by the representative of a 'rising movie actress' who had apparently left a roll of undeveloped film of herself in compromising positions at the Polanski residence, and was inquiring if Manson Family members had the film in their possession. Many years after the Tate/LiBianca murders, Manson told an interviewer, 'Don't you think those people deserved to die?... They were involved in kiddie porn.' Like Manson's Hollywood Star revelations, one must wonder about these allegations of Polanski making money from kiddie porn, as Charlie's claims pre-date Polanski's late 1977 rape case of an under-aged girl.
"Manson later told a Hollywood tabloid that 'Dennis Wilson gave me a $5,000 videotape, TV thing for tapes that fit only to an elite bunch (porno ring) that was worldwide.' At one point, two reporters approached the Manson defense team informing them that certain individuals in Hollywood were worried that the case might cause a film industry scandal. The reporters said that lots of porno -many of the hand-held, home-made variety -had been discovered during the Tate murder investigation, and that many influential people had put in pleas to the district attorney to lower the charge against Manson to manslaughter, as a way to keep him quiet.
"In Doris Day: Her Own Story, Terry Melcher was quoted that the 'murders had something to do with the weird film Polanski had made, and the equally weird people who were hanging around the house. I knew they had been making a lot of homemade sadomasochistic-porno movies there with quite a few recognizable Hollywood faces in them. The reason I knew was hat I had gone out with a girl named Michelle Phillips, one of the Mamas and Papas, whose ex-husband, john Phillips, was the leader of the group. Michelle told me she and John had dinner one night, to discuss maybe getting back together, and afterwards he had taken her up to visit the Polanskis in my old house. Michelle said that when they arrived there, everyone in the house was busy filming an orgy and that Sharon Tate was part of it. That was just one of the stories I had heard about what went on in my former house.' "
(The Shadow Over Santa Susana, Adam Gorightly, pg. 106)
Needless to say, the Polanski clique were no angels. In a lot of ways they were simply an upper class version of the Family. The whole affair, with it's links to drug trafficking, cults, and various intelligence outfits on all sides, is short of good guys. One would like to root for Sharon Tate, who was murdered while pregnant, but her alleged drug dealing and pornographic work, along with a father happening to be a career military intelligence officer, indicates that she was far from innocent.
One final aspect of the Manson case I would like to briefly address is the toponomy of it all. I've written before on how I view certain regions of both the country and the world as being 'window areas' that attract bizarre and terrible events and peoples.
Numerous parts of California are believed to be such places by various researchers as is Appalachia, the region of the country from which Manson originally came from. I've written at much greater length on these topics, especially in relation to Appalachia, here, so I'm not going to explain the 'windows' concept presently. What I would like to point out is the trail of death that surrounded the area of the country that Manson inhabited:
"I was going to Ashland, Kentucky for several reasons. In the first place, it is the town where Charles Manson grew up. It is also the birthplace of another vile killer, Sedley Alley, who viciously murdered a beautiful and accomplished young woman, a Marine who wanted to be the first female Marine aviator. Ashland is across the river from another town, Kenova in West Virginia, where serial killer Bobby Joe Long was born and raised. It is in a kind of Bermuda Triangle of death and depravity whose base line runs through the town in northern Virginia where another serial killer, Henry Lee Lucas, was born."
(Sinister Forces, Peter Levenda, pg. 81)
Henry Lee Lucas claimed to be a part of a cult known as the Hand of Death who in turn worked as assassins and drug runners for forces within the US intelligence community... Not unlike the Manson Family, the Brotherhood of Eternal Love (sans the contract hits), and some other organizations we've met or will meet in future installments. Odd that two of the 20th century's most notorious serial killers would be born so close to each other. However, these synchroncities are minor compared Manson's stomping grounds in California:
"...no fewer than six serial killers/mass murderers -Charles Manson, Stanley Baker, Edmund Kemper, Herbert Mullin, John Lindley Frazier, and the Zodiak -were all spawned from the Santa Cruz/San Francisco metropolitan area in the span of just over four years, at a time when 'serial killers' were a rare enough phenomenon that they hadn't yet acquired a name. And another serial killer was said to be at work not far away during the same timeframe. As Bundy chronicler Richard Larsen recounts, the bodies of at least fourteen young women and girls were found, nude and with their belongings missing, in Northern California between December 1969 and December 1973. In the immediate vicinity of each of the bodies 'was found an elaborate witchcraft symbol of twigs and rocks.' Remarkably enough, the crimes collectively attributed to these men did not even account for all the ritualized homicides that occurred in the Bay area during that time. For example, the murder of Fred Bennett, the captain of the Oakland chapter of the Black Panthers whose mutilated remains were found scattered in the Santa Cruz hills, was never solved. And many of the young students who were reported missing from local campuses were never found, either dead or alive, and were therefore never listed as homicide victims.
"These killers -Chase, Manson, Kemper, Mullin, the Zodiak, Frazier and Baker -heralded the dawn of a new era that soon had established 'serial killers' as an ever-present part of the American landscape. Before 1960, fewer than two serial killers a year were reported nationwide. By 1970, the number had climbed to six per year; by 1980, to nearly twenty per year. By 1990, nearly three-dozen serial killers a year were being reported across the country.
"The years covered by the occult bloodbath in Northern California, 1967 through 1973, corresponded precisely to the years that the Phoenix Program in Vietnam was in full operation (although similar programs, under different names, existed prior to 1967). In September 1973, the head of the Phoenix operation, William Colby, was appointed as the new Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Phoenix had officially come home."
(Programmed to Kill, David McGowan, pgs. 136-137)
Did all of these killers gravitate to or from these places because there was some kind negative energy about them? Was it simply because the various intelligence communities were well represented in these areas, especially California? Or did the US intelligence agencies, who are run not unlike cults in many cases, seek out these areas because they were the domain of the Old Ones?
From an intelligence standpoint Manson represented a brilliant instance of agit prop. He, along with the '68 Democratic Convention, the Altamont concert and several other incidents at the tail end of the 60s discredited the youth movement in the eyes of the public at best and gave fresh justification to prolong the Vietnam War and crack down on domestic civil liberties at worse. However, hard evidence has emerged over the years that many of the more notorious incidents of the late '60s, such as the '68 Democratic Convention, were in part spurred on by various elements of the US government.
"According to Army intelligence documents later obtained by CBS news, nearly one out of six demonstrators at the Chicago convention was an undercover operative...
"The use of informants and provocateurs was part of a massive sub rosa campaign to subvert the forces of dissent in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Joining the FBI in this effort was an alphabet soup of federal agencies: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD), the National Security Agency (NSA), The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA), the Department of Health Education and Welfare (HEW), the intelligence division of all the military services, and numerous local police forces. Over a quarter for a million Americans were under 'active surveillance' during this period, and dossiers were kept on the lawful political activities and personal lives of millions more. Those affiliated with black militant, antiwar, and New Left groups were prime targets of dirty tricks and other underhanded tactics designed to stir factionalism and 'neutralize' political activists."
(Acid Dreams, Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain, pg. 224)
Manson himself was involved with men involved in government research into human behavior in the late 1960s as were many youths that flocked to San Francisco:
"...the Haight-Asbury Free Clinic in the late 1960s. Two employees of the clinic -Dr Roger Smith, a research criminologist who had started the clinic's drug treatment program, and Dr. David Smith, who founded the clinic itself -were both involved in government-sponsored research on human behavior. Both had connections to Manson and his followers. In fact, Roger Smith was Charlie's parole officer."Keep in mind that Manson was arrested countless times in the 1967-1969 period, had a harem of underage girls following him around, etc, and he was never busted by Smith or any of his later parole officers. According to Ed Sanders, Smith even hailed Manson as something of a visionary due Charlie's work with his children.
(Programmed to Kill, David McGowan, pg. 145)
Finally, there's the occult aspects of Manson. As I noted in the beginning of this essay, Manson was involved in a mass scapegoating ritual -both of himself, and of the 60s youth culture. Scapegoating is the transference of evil onto an animal, object, or person. The America of the late 1960s was a powder keg -a President recently assassinated, an unpopular and costly war, changing social values, rioting, etc. Somebody needed to take the blame for the state of affairs and the hippies were one of the groups targeted. Manson was in turn held up as all that was wrong with the youth culture and became the personification for all that was wrong with the modern society. In reality Manson had never been much more than a mid-level pimp, drug dealer and hustler but he fit the bill for what the Cryptocracy was looking for.