Juan Flynn (Witness)

John Leo “Juan” Flynn, Ranch Hand

Juan Flynn was a ranch hand and manure shoveler whom spent time with the Manson family while they lived at Spahn Ranch.

John Leo “Juan” Flynn was born on November 9, 1943 in Panama. After serving in the infantry in Vietnam in 1968 he went to work at Spahn Ranch for $2.50 a week plus room and board. Like Steve Grogan, Juan had already been working at Spahn Ranch when the Manson gang arrived. He was employed as a “ranch hand” and “manure shoveler” and spent time with the Manson family while they lived there. Although not officially a family member, he participated in turning stolen cars into dune buggies, which became a regular source of income for the family. In return, Manson would often allow Flynn to have sex with some of the female family members.

“I loved the place. It had the most beautiful trails. It had horses, ponies, and a goat. There were red foxes, red-tailed hawks, and peregrine falcons. Marvin Gaye, Lou Rawls, and Jerry Garcia came to ride there. And there were beautiful girls. I was Mr. Spahn’s right-hand man. I cleaned 16 stalls a day and handled the horses. It was a joy. Then Charles Manson and his people came and trashed the place.”

During the Tate and LaBianca murder trial, Flynn was a key witness and testified that Charles Manson had confided in him and admitted he was doing all the killings and that Manson had bragged about killing as many as 35 people.

“…He grabbed me by the hair…he put a knife on my throat and he said ‘You don’t you know I’m the one who’s doing all these killings?’” Flynn recalled Manson saying. “I can’t say anything good about that guy … he tried to kill me twice, and tried to take over the ranch and everyone in it,” Flynn said. “We still don’t know what happened to one of our ranch hands — I’ve told police about that.”

Flynn retired after a career as a miner and heavy-equipment operator. In a 2009 for Los Angeles Magazine, Juan Flynn was interviewed and said this:

“Charles Manson got away with everything. People will say, ‘He’s in jail.’ But Charlie is exactly where he wants to be.”

Flynn died of natural causes on January 3, 2014 in Pahrump, Nevada.

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