Bruce Davis was convicted in the murders of Gary Hinman and Shorty Shea

Bruce Davis (aka: Bruce McMillan, George McGregor Davis, Jack Paul McMilliam, Bruce McGregor)

Bruce Davis

Bruce Davis was convicted for his participation in the murders of Gary Hinman and Shorty Shea in 1969.

Bruce Davis, born in Monroe, Louisiana on October 5, 1942, was a member of Charles Manson’s Family. A jury convicted him of taking part in two of the killings in 1969.

Although Davis was not involved in Tate/LaBianca, he was guilty of helping kill associate Gary Hinman and later ranch hand, Donald “Shorty” Shea.

Meeting Manson

Davis grew up in Mobile, Alabama, and was the younger of two children. After high school Davis attended college in Tennessee. Later, he dropped out and moved west and immersed himself in the hippy culture. He first arrived in California in 1962, and earned a living doing construction work. Davis became an early Charles Manson follower in September 1967.

“I sort of adopted Manson as my father…” – Bruce Davis

Like Manson, Davis was interested in Scientology. In addition, he was present when Manson sliced Gary Hinman’s ear during the three-day home invasion that led to Hinman’s death. Davis was the final member of the family to face trial for the murders and turned himself in on December 2, 1970.

Life Sentence

Davis is serving a life sentence for two counts of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and robbery. He became a born-again Christian behind bars, married, and fathered a child. Davis earned a doctoral degree in philosophy of religion which he uses to minister to other inmates. He resides at the California Men’s Colony in San Luis Obispo, California.

On January 22, 2021 the California parole board recommended Bruce Davis for parole for the seventh time since 2010. This is more than any of the other Family members serving life sentences. In each prior instance, the sitting governor of California has reversed the decision.

Statement from Parole Hearing of Bruce Davis in 2012 about the Shorty Shea murder:

“We were at the ranch early in the morning. Manson came down, said, ‘We’re going to kill Shorty.’ I said, ‘What for?’ ‘Well, he’s a snitch.’ Charlie is there, Bill Bass is there. He says, ‘You guys take him. Ask him to take you down the hill to get some car parts and, and kill him on the way down the hill.’ “I was in the car when Steve Grogan hit Shorty with the pipe wrench. Charles Watson stabbed him. I was in the back seat with… with Grogan.”

“They took Shorty out, they had to go down the hill to a place. I stayed in the car for quite a while but what… then I went down the hill later on and that’s when I cut Shorty on the shoulder with the knife, after he was… well, I don’t if he was dead or not. He didn’t bleed when I cut him on the shoulder.”

Bruce Davis and Steve Grogan

Davis and Steve ‘Clem” Grogan

And I… in fact I did touch Shorty Shea with a machete on the back of his neck, didn’t break the skin. I mean I just couldn’t do it. And then I threw the knife and he handed me a bayonet and it… I just reached over and I don’t know which side it was on but I cut him right about here on the shoulder just with the tip of the blade. Sort of like saying ‘Are you satisfied, Charlie?.’ “And I turned around and walked away. And I…”

“…I was sick for about two or three days. I mean I couldn’t even think about what I… what I had done.”

In a 2017 documentary entitled, Manson Speaks: Inside the Mind of a Madman, Detective Cliff Shepard posited that Davis might have been involved in the deaths known among Mansonites as “The Retaliation Murders.” These deaths included Manson Family member John Haught, AKA Christopher Zero, Sandra Good’s boyfriend Joel Pugh, attorney Ronald Hughes, and Reet Jurvetson. Of course being a fifty-year-old case Shepard failed to turn up any real evidence of Davis’s involvement. Certainly though, there are some strange and compelling facts that suggest there’s more to the story.

Bruce Davis

Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders and millions of other books are available for Amazon

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