ON MONTAG it will be 53 years since pregnant actress Sharon Tate and six other people died in a series of brutal murders.
Charles Manson – who orchestrated the killings – sent his followers to slaughter some of Los Angeles’ rich and famous in what prosecutors say was an attempt to start a race war.
The victim’s blood was used to scrawl the words “Pigs” and “Helter Skelter” on the walls.
Cult leader Manson – who died in November 2017 at the age of 83 – was later caught two months after his death at Barker Ranch, an abandoned gold mine in the California desert.
He was found hiding under a bathroom sink by national park police and rangers who responded to reports of arson, according to the NPCA.
“His hair was sticking up,” Sgt. Paul Dostie of the Mammoth Lakes Police Department told CNN in 2008. When asked his name, the man replied, “Charles Manson.”
The officers who made the arrest were initially unaware of the significance of their raid.
But after one of the arrested women told a fellow inmate the true extent of the family’s crimes, Manson was sentenced to life in prison along with four others.
Bob Murphy, the park’s superintendent in 1969, wrote, “It came as a terrible shock to Inyo officials when the family’s malicious records…came to light.”
Barker Ranch was forever linked to a deadly weekend shooting that would terrorize America and a crime that for many spelled the end of the Peace and Love movement of the 1960s.
Manson had rented Barker Ranch after spending time at another location, the Spahn Ranch film set, prior to the brutal murders.
Manson and his followers lived there like a commune, taking drugs and participating in orgies.
When they moved into Barker Ranch, the owner reportedly thought she was renting out the property to a group of musicians.
In return, Manson reportedly gave her a Beach Boys gold record.
But it would be allegations of arson, abandoning crashed cars and leaving piles of garbage at Barker Ranch – not murder – that would eventually arrest the group.
In 2008, investigators investigated the possibility that other Manson victims were buried beneath the ranch.
When asked about this, Tex Watson, one of those convicted alongside Manson, said: “I was the first family member to go into the desert after the murders, and the first to go too.
“I’m just saying this to let you know that no one was killed while I was in the desert. But I don’t know what happened after I left.
“I don’t think more were killed, I hope not! I have absolutely nothing to hide.”
Searches found no more bodies and a fire destroyed much of the building in 2010.
The Manson family killed five of their victims at Tate’s home on August 9, 1969.
They included pregnant Tate heiress Abigail Folger, famed hairstylist Jay Sebring, Polish film director Wojciech Frykowski and Steven Parent, a friend of the property’s caretaker.
The next night, Manson supporters killed a wealthy grocer, Leno LaBianca, and his wife, Rosemary, at the couple’s home across town.
Manson and three followers – Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten and Patricia Krenwinkel – were sentenced to death, but their sentences were later reduced to life imprisonment.
Another defendant, Charles “Tex” Watson, was later convicted.
Atkins also died while incarcerated in 2009. Krenwinkel, Van Houten and Watson remain in prison.
The barn finds its place in a story author Joan Didion said: “The ’60s ended abruptly.”
Lenox Powell – whose father Dick was part of the ranger team that helped apprehend Manson – said, “That the Manson people were making hell with dune buggies, destroying park lots and damaging pristine beauty? That really annoyed him.
“Death Valley is too special and too delicate. My father’s attitude was: If you want to mess with this place, we will hunt you down and we will find you.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/5934606/manson-family-ranch-found-bathroom-helter-skelter-murders/ On the Manson family ranch where the cult leader was found hiding in a bathroom cabinet by cops after the ‘Helter Skelter’ murders