Sunday, March 16, 2008

Graves Possibly Found on Manson Ranch

There is nothing more intriguing than mayhem involving celebrities. In 1969, aspiring musician and cult leader Charles Manson directed his followers to commit a series of grisly murders in the Los Angeles area. Nearly 40 years later a team of investigators has returned to his desert hideaway to search for other victims. Debra Tate was 17 when her sister, actress Sharon Tate, was murdered by members of Manson's "family." In February, Tate and a team of investigators began searching the abandoned Barker Ranch west of Death Valley National Park, Calif. Manson and his followers retreated there after their 1969 killing spree

Sharon Tate, the then 26-year-old bride of director Roman Polanski, was eight and a half months pregnant at that time that Manson's followers killed her and four others in her home. Nearly 40 years later, Tate and others have returned to the Barker Ranch to look for other victims. In November 1969, "Family" member Susan Atkins told a cell mate that there were "three people out in the desert that they done in."

An abandoned miner's truck with "Helter Skelter" written on the back was found behind the house. "Helter Skelter" was Manson's term for the end of the world, which he was planning to hasten by starting a race war. Manson hoped that the murders his followers committed would be blamed on black people and spark a racial revolt, after which Manson and his "Family" were to emerge from the Barker Ranch House, to rule over the survivors.

Instead, Manson was arrested in October 1969, after being found hiding in a bathroom cabinet at the ranch. Manson was originally sentenced to death in 1971, but a decision by California's Supreme Court a year later abolished capital punishment. The Manson family members currently in prison are already serving life sentences -- the maximum penalty allowed at the time the crimes were committed. Manson is now an inmate at Corcoran State Prison and won't be eligible for parole until 2012. No parole board in existence will ever let this lunatic see the light of day.

The Barker Ranch, where Manson and the Family resided in the California desert has been dormant since the 1969 arrests. Considering the quantity and the types of markers of human decomposition found, the cadaver dog's response, and the probing exercise, enough evidence has been found to warrant further testing at a deeper level and a full scale excavation at Barker Ranch, according to the report issued to law enforcement.


X. Dell said...

Thanks for the heads up. I plan on posting about Manson later in the year, and it's always better to keep abreast of developments rather than see them in hindsight.

If there are bodies on the Barker Ranch, one would have to wonder as to their identity. Surely, Shorty Shea, the b-movie actor they knew from Spahn Ranch, who disappeared shortly after the Tate-Labianca murders, would be a logical candidate. I can't think offhand, though, of anyone else associated with the family who went missing. So if there's more than one body there, it had to belong to someone who either had casual contact with the Family, or an unknown associate.


pjazzypar said...

What if it is Shorty Shaw? How will they prove it? I am thinking it is probably some members of the family you refused to submit and they were made examples of. Who knows? I look forward to your Manson post.