The Manson family and their
crimes raise many sociological questions. With the varying stories and the many
people involved, why these murders were committed don't always
yield clear answers. There are a number of motives, some believable, and others
with little or no evidence to back them up. Was there one true motive? Or were
the murders the result of a combination of events? Everyone seems to have thier
Gary Hinman, born on December 24, 1934 in Colorado and associated with the Manson Family. |
Hinman:: There seems to be some confusion as to why
Gary Hinman was killed. One story goes; Manson was under the impression that Gary
had inherited a large some of money. He told Bobby Beausoleil, Mary Brunner, and
Susan Atkins to go over to Hinman's and get the money, and Gary was subsequently
killed after he refused to give them anything.
The other story, which Beausoleil
himself never brought up in either of his two trials, was that Hinman had sold
him some mescaline, which Bobby sold to some bikers (the Straight Satans) that hung around Spahn's Movie
Ranch. A day later the bikers returned claiming the mescaline was bogus and demanded
a refund. So Beausoleil went over to Hinman's to get his money back.
an OUI magazine interview Bobby recalled, "I didn't go there with the intention
of killing Gary. If I was going to kill him, I wouldn't have taken the girls with me.
I was going there for one purpose only, which was to collect $1,000 that I had
already turned over to him, that didn't belong to me."
When Hinman refused
to give up the money a three-day conflict began during which time
Manson himself came over and took his sword to the side of Gary's face, slicing
On the third day, Susan remembered, "Mary and I were in
the kitchen. Bobby walked in and said quietly, "You two stay in here. I'm
going to have to kill him."
"I couldn't stop myself. I ran into the
room. Gary was standing, holding his stomach, and Bobby clutched a knife."
one of his trials, Beausoleil stated that he hadn't killed Hinman, Manson had.
But in the OUI interview he said Manson wasn't even there. "You see the Sheriff's
Homicide Department wanted to get Manson involved in my case, which was very difficult
because Manson was not involved." Beausoleil continued and said that Hinman
was killed because "he told me that he was going to the police [and tell
them] that I had come and assaulted him to get money from him. I had my back against
Bobby Beausoleil after years jailhouse tattoos.|
Copycat:: After Bobby
Beausoleil was arrested for the murder of Gary Hinman the family began to panic.
Susan Atkins remembers, "Instantly the atmosphere at Spahn's tightened even
more. We figured it would be only hours before the police came down on us. But,
additionally, we all were affected by Charlie's obsession with getting Bobby out
of jail. Bobby had been driven by a need to prove himself as tough as Charlie,
and now Charlie was possessed with the need to prove his loyalty to his 'brother.'
To die for him if necessary."
"Out of all the confusion and the
mass of words, the constant use of drugs, came a vague sort of scheme to try to
convince the police that Bobby could not have done the Hinman killing. It was
a plan for "copycat murders" that would make the police believe they
had the wrong man in jail."
To this day Charles Manson states this
as the true motive and that it was the others at the ranch that came up with the
plan. However, this whole story is suspect because it didn't surface until after
the murder convictions. It was first brought up in the penalty phase of the Tate/Labianca
murder trial. A series of family members testified that not only had the murders
been committed to get Bobby freed from jail, but that Linda Kasabian, the prosecution's
star witness, had come up with the plan. Many years later some of those who testified
admitted they had lied in an effort to exonerate Charlie.
Melcher:: Terry Melcher - the son of Doris Day - and his girlfriend Candice Bergen lived at 10050 Cielo
Drive before Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski. Terry had met Manson at a party at
Beach Boy Dennis Wilson's house in Pacific Palisades. With time, Melcher's associate
Greg Jakobson became fascinated with Charlie's philosophy and life style and began
urging Terry to record him. Jakobson talked Melcher into coming down to Spahn's
Movie Ranch to hear Manson and the girls play. After hearing them play once Terry
returned to the ranch with a friend he thought might be interested in recording
Manson and company.
Jakobson recalled, "I think Terry showed some
interest in the music, but there was nothing positive. There was never any, 'Yes,
I will record you' talk going on. It was like that was the preliminaries and nothing
ever came of it."
Manson felt otherwise. Tex Watson recollected, "Terry,
Charlie told us, had made him some big promises and then never come through. Terry,
Charlie said, didn't care about anything but money. Gradually, it seemed clearer
and clearer, at least to us, that Terry Melcher was the one who had failed Charlie,
who had led him along and then betrayed him, who had kept his music from the world."
dinner on August 8, 1969 Charlie took Tex aside. According to Watson, Manson told
him, "What I want
I want you to go to that house where Melcher used
to live - [we knew that by now Terry had moved down to a beach house in Malibu]
- I want you to take a couple of the girls I'll send with you and go down there
totally destroy everyone in that house, as gruesome as you can."
Susan Atkins' December 1969 published confession she said, "The reason Charlie
picked the house was to instill fear into Terry Melcher because Terry had given
his word on a few things and never came through with them."
theory has been applied to the Labianca murder. Phil Kaufman - who Charlie befriended
in Terminal Island prison before being released in 1967 - had connections to the
music industry and was trying to help Manson get a break. Kaufman also used to
hang out at the home of Harold True, who until September of 1968 lived on Waverly
Drive next to the Labianca house. None of Kaufman's music industry connections
panned out for Charlie and Phil suggested that one possible reason why Manson
picked the Labianca house was to send him a message.