Steve “Clem” Grogan was convicted of murdering Donald “Shorty” Shea

(Steven Dennis “Clem” Grogan aka Clem Tufts, Scramblehead, Grant Mollan, Adam Gabriel)

steve clem grogan

Grogan was convicted of killing Shorty Shea. He was released in 1985.

Steve “Clem” Grogan was born on July 13, 1951 in Los Angeles, California. Grogan, a musician, dropped out of high school and was intimately involved in the Manson Family murders.

Grogan was a troubled and difficult child growing up and when his frustrated parents lost hope, they decided to drop him off at Spahn Ranch. He was taken in by the ranch hands and began to do odd jobs around the ranch. Ranch hand Donald “Shorty” Shea took a liking to Grogan, often buying him clothes. 

Grogan was a resident of Spahn Ranch long before Charles Manson and the Family became associated with Spahn. Like Charles Manson, he was friends with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. He was often considered dumb, or even “retarded,” by other Family members, earning him the nickname “Scramblehead,” but some felt he was only playing dumb. Even a casual glance at Steve Grogan’s trial transcript supports the latter. 

The night of August 10, 1969 ‘Clem‘ rode with members of the Manson family, Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten when they were dropped off at the house of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, but Grogan, Manson, Susan Atkins and Linda Kasabian continued to Venice Beach where Manson sent Grogan, Atkins and Linda Kasabian to kill actor Saladin Nader. However, Kasabian intentionally led them to the wrong apartment and the plan was aborted. Whether the Venice trip ever happened is questionable since Kasabian’s story remains uncorroborated to this day.

Grogan later helped Manson, Watson and Bruce Davis kill Spahn ranch hand Donald “Shorty” Shea. The jury returned verdicts of life imprisonment for Manson and Davis, but death for Grogan. However, on December 23, 1971, Judge James Kolts stated that “Grogan was too stupid and too hopped-up on drugs to decide anything on his own” and that it was really Manson “who decided who lived or died.”

Grogan’s sentence was reduced to life imprisonment. While in prison, Grogan got married to a woman who was five years younger than himself and thanks to California’s conjugal visits policy at that time, he and his wife conceived two boys. The first child was born in 1976 while the second was born in 1984. Neither of Grogan’s sons lives in California and neither of them use the last name of Grogan.

After serving nearly 15 years in the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, for some years with Manson, Steve Clem Grogan assisted the authorities and drew a map to where Donald “Shorty” Shea’s body was buried. Largely due to his cooperation with authorities Grogan was paroled and released on November 11, 1985.

To date, he is the only Manson family member convicted of murder to be released from prison. 

Today Steve “Clem” Grogan is a musician living and performing in Northern California.


Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office; evidence files.
steve clem grogan

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

Popular Books on the Family

  • Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders
  • Manson Exposed: A Reporter's 50-Year Journey into Madness and Murder
  • CHARLES MANSON: Helter Skelter; The Entire Life Story
  • Charles Manson Now
  • Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties
  • Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties
  • Child of Satan, Child of God
  • The Long Prison Journey of Leslie Van Houten: Life Beyond the Cult
  • My Life with Charles Manson
  • Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson
  • The Family by Ed Sanders
  • Goodbye Helter Skelter by George Stimson
  • Reflexion by Lynette Fromme
  • The Manson File: Myth and Reality of an Outlaw Shaman
  • Manson in His Own Words: The Shocking Confessions of ‘The Most Dangerous Man Alive’ by Charles Manson
  • Copyright © 2020 Legal Disclosures, Terms of Service, Privacy Policy By using this site you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. If you do not agree, please immediately exit the service.