Phil Phillips

Manson’s best friend in prison

Phil Phillips was a cell mate and fellow prisoner with Charles Manson at McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary, a Washington State Department of Corrections prison.

Phil Phillips was a cell mate and fellow prisoner with Charles Manson at McNeil Island Federal Penitentiary, a Washington State Department of Corrections prison. According to Darrell Grey who was at the time a young senior officer specialist at McNeil, Charlie wasn’t much trouble there and would just play his guitar in the cell block. This would have been sometime after 1961 when he arrived at McNeil; Manson was there for just a few years and the Tate-Labianca murders were in 1969. So this would probably place it sometime between 1961 and 1965.

Not much is known about Phil Phillips outside of the fact that he spent time with Charlie in that prison, and that he also visited both Spahn Ranch and Barker Ranch on several occasions. In fact, he was also captured in the group of mug shots which have been created from both ranch raids.

Phillips is also mentioned several times in a book called “The Manson Myth” and was referenced as saying some startling things in a Robert Hendrickson documentary called “Inside the Manson Gang” (2007). For example, Phillips is said to give tremendous insight into the early days on the road with Charlie when they just come out of jail as well as his experience using LSD.

Phillips is also a name that comes up often with research connected to various alternative theories when it comes to the whole “Helter Skelter” motive and where Charles Manson might have ‘originally‘ come up with his ideas and obsession of a black-white race war ‘coming down’ such as the one used by Los Angeles County assistant district attorney Vincent Bugliosi in his book which also became a movie about the crimes and trial, those of which would become the story and trial of the century. Helter Skelter, written in 1974, has sold over seven million copies, making it the best-selling true crime book in history.

For instance, while Bugliosi believed that Manson came up with all of this black-white race war on his own, some suspect that there may have been other connections to the idea, at least in Charlie’s mind, such as a connection to the California Zebra Murders of 1973 and 1974. The Zebra murders were a string of racially motivated murders that took place in San Francisco by a group of Black Muslims who called themselves the “Death Angels”.However, some authorities believe they may have killed as many as 73, or more, victims. Authorities believe they may have killed as many as 73, or more, victims.

Another possibility and talking point when it comes to Phillips has been from a connection to “The Black Muslims”, or aka “The Nation of Islam” who are believed to have encountered Charles Manson and Phil Phillips while they both spent time in McNeil prison. The Nation of Islam also believed that the black man was the rightful ruler of the Earth, and that the white race would eventually end their rein, and a Battle of Armageddon, a final struggle between the blacks and the whites, which would allow the blacks to prevail.


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