Exit Charlie.

I woke up a few minutes before the alarm this morning and reached for my bedside iPad, to catch up on the mayhem overnight. Learned Charles Manson had shuffled off the mortal coil, as all of us will, one day. For some reason, my sleepy brain took a hop and a skip to a newspaper in southern Indiana somewhere, whose editors used lurid headlines to describe the deaths of Soviet leaders: HELL’S POPULATION RISES BY ONE AS ANDROPOV KICKS THE BUCKET, for instance.

No, I don’t know if they did the same thing for criminals like Manson. Wouldn’t surprise me. As Charlie’s body reaches room temperature, it’s worth looking back on that crazy time in 1969-70 when the Manson family really and truly brought the peace-and-love part of the ’60s to a crashing end. I had an editor once tell me he went to bed at night convinced it was only a matter of time before John Dillinger came creeping through his bedroom window. Manson had nearly that effect on kids my age, almost-teens enthralled with the romance of the counterculture but too young to participate. The Manson crimes were so awful, in their randomness and savagery, that the bloodstain seeped from California all the way to Ohio and beyond.

Why that house? Why that other house? (Light a candle for the often-unmentioned second night of the spree, when Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, a couple of L.A. nobodies, were stabbed to death with bayonets.) Was Sharon Tate’s fetus really sliced from her body? The group at that house in the middle of the night revealed it as some sort of upmarket crash pad, with a hairdresser, an actress, an heiress and some random visitors in attendance when doom arrived. And the killers themselves were mostly women, with Manson not even in attendance at the Tate home. So many details to pore and obsess over. I took our household copy of Time magazine to my bedroom for weeks, reading about the crimes and, later, the manhunt, arrests and the insane trial. Manson initiated girls into the family with daylong sex marathons, I read, which sounded simultaneously intriguing and terrifying. (All day? Really? How does that work?)

And then, just when you thought you’d heard all you could hope to know or even handle about the case, the acts continued to reverberate, as when un-convincted Manson girl Squeaky Fromme pointed a gun at President Ford. (The other would-be Ford assassin, also a woman, that same month, was Sarah Jane Moore, who had her own weird attachment to California subculture; she is a minor character in the Patty Hearst kidnapping saga. You could look it up.) Of course, by then, the crimes had become a touchstone of late 20th-century American culture. Joan Didion’s essay about the case, in “The White Album” connection, gets it as right as anyone did, or ever will.

Manson was the bogeyman behind so much free-floating fear, even after he was revealed as another shitbird criminal, who chose the Tate-Polanski house because it had once been rented by Terry Melcher, a music producer Manson believed had stunted his destiny as a rock star. His infamy has transcended time and place; I chuckled when I watched an old Sopranos episode recently and Tony tells an angry mobster giving him the stinkeye to turn off “the Manson lamps.” Everyone knows what he’s talking about.

Manson is the rare case where I can come closer to agreeing with people who claim criminals commit lurid crimes to become famous. He was your basic white-trash west-coast sleazebag, who had the gift of attracting broken souls, at least for a while, and in horror gained a sort of permanent infamy that he thought was his due. We won’t forget him anytime soon.

This where are they now is instructive, if you haven’t kept up.

Did Charlie scare you? Or is it just me?

Posted at 11:08 am in Current events |

70 responses to “Exit Charlie.”

  1. coozledad said on November 20, 2017 at 11:20 am

    If Plutarch were writing his Parallel Lives today, he might do worse than placing Trump along with Charles Manson. Manson’s formative years in juvenile detention centers and prisons taught him the same lessons about cognitive empathy that Trump learned from his daddy when he accompanied him on rent collection shakedowns- both of them talentless white supremacists banking on the Stockholm Syndrome for a steady diet of sexual prey, both of them prophets of a coming racial Armageddon, and both of them starfuckers.

    The only difference is one of scale, both in terms of family membership, and the victim count in their pursuit of stochastic terror. The Manson Family was small, dogged, and blind to their own viciousness.

    The Republican family is much larger, but committed to the same goals. They’re part of a White Wheel that spun out of the fringe-trash sixties with a shared pathological sense of victimhood and privilege.

    Maybe Manson was onto something. He’d read correctly into the white zeitgeist, but lacked the capital, friends or the sociopathic chops to make the initial investment in a political career on the backs of stupid, resentful whites. I’m sure he was thankful to the Republican Party for taking the necessary steps to fulfill his dream. They, in turn, should celebrate him as the founder of their church.

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  2. Bitter Scribe said on November 20, 2017 at 11:21 am

    To me the most chilling account of the Manson crimes was the roman-a-clef passage in Jerzy Kosinski’s “Blind Date.” Kosinski IIRC was a friend of Roman Polanski and in fact was supposed to be at that house that night; his life was saved when his flight to L.A. was delayed.

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  3. Sherri said on November 20, 2017 at 11:22 am

    The podcast You Must Remember This did a series on the Manson murders and the Hollywood scene at the time: http://www.youmustrememberthispodcast.com/episodes/youmustrememberthispodcastblog/2015/5/26/charles-mansons-hollywood-part-1-what-we-talk-about-when-we-talk-about-the-manson-murders

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  4. Jakash said on November 20, 2017 at 11:31 am

    I’m just a tad older than Nancy, but my fascination with the whole Helter Skelter deal ended decades ago. I read that book and watched a few things about it, but I never really gave much thought to the idea that somebody was going to come creeping through my bedroom window one night. But, indeed, I found the guy himself pretty creepy and avoided looking at photos of him. And was just disappointed that he managed to get in the news as often as he did, via parole hearings, etc. through the years since. I didn’t give his followers much thought at all.

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  5. Jakash said on November 20, 2017 at 11:35 am

    Well, this time I barely missed the dreaded “final comment on the old post, buried forever” fate…

    This refers to a few of the last comments on the previous thread. Yeah, I have very poor spatial memory or awareness, or whatever, too. Which is why way-finding signage in airports and elsewhere is very important to me! The interesting aspect of this, as opposed to the annoying and disconcerting aspects, is that of encountering neighborhoods in Chicago. There are lots of unique neighborhoods, noted for different characteristics, and often they abut one another. Since the city is laid out as a very flat grid, one can usually approach somewhere in many different ways. I’m probably not explaining this very well, but I’ll often marvel, after spending time in one place, that some *other* place that I know of, or have been to, is only 3 blocks away from there, say, while to me it seems like it’s in a whole different area, because I arrive at the two destinations in different ways.

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  6. Heather said on November 20, 2017 at 11:42 am

    Et tu, Glenn Thrush? The worst part of this story is that after he made overtures to these women he spread damaging gossip about them. Maybe this is obvious, but part of the reason these guys go after young women is not just that they’re young and attractive, but because they don’t have much power. Hoping more young women will start to feel confident enough to throw punches in these situations. https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/20/16678094/glenn-thrush-new-york-times

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  7. FDChief said on November 20, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Nope. He always seemed to me to be just another remora, gobbling up the leavings of the wealthy ciphers he attached himself to. He was, and his people were, like an ocean or a fire, soulless things that would kill you if they could, casually, carelessly, randomly. Just because they were that way. But they weren’t the predators.

    To extend the Trump analogy, the Manson tribe was at least honestly nuts, as decerebrate as that cancer cell. Trump, and those like him, had and have the time, and wealth, and leisure, to look about them and see the various paths that a person can take…and they take the very vilest, the lowest, sociopathic, scummiest route that leads them to more wealth and power. The people they harm aren’t the victims of crazed confusion but deliberately, coolly, viciously harmed so that the predator may feed on them.

    Nope. Manson was just the remora. Trump, Ryan, McConnell, Gingrich…those are the sharks.

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  8. David C. said on November 20, 2017 at 11:48 am

    I was either too young, or too rural hayseed for Manson to have made much of an impression on me.

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  9. coozledad said on November 20, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Glenn Thrush has always been a transparent sucker for displays of power, and lately a lot of universities are following the rapist example. I remember how many rumored pervs sheltered in the various departments at my alma mater. You would have thought schools would have made it their business to kick those fuckers out on their asses, or at least to the administrative side where they’d have been more among their ilk. But hiring freaks in the interest of bothsiderism is a gesture of appeasement to old racist alumnae.

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  10. basset said on November 20, 2017 at 11:56 am

    And another buried previous post… who was it that mentioned Greene County a few days back? Just curious about whether the reference was to Indiana or somewhere else.

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  11. Icarus said on November 20, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Joke: I guess marriage didn’t agree with Manson.

    Born in 1969, I guess the Manson thing passed me by, except for faded references.

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  12. Charlotte said on November 20, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Manson + Patty Hearst + Watergate all multiplied by my youngest brother dying of cancer in 1972 as my parents divorced and Dad bankrupted us (losing the fancy hobby horse farm). I was eight and it seemed like the entire adult world had cracked like an egg.

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  13. coozledad said on November 20, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    I can’t help but think if the current NYT was around in Manson’s day, there’d have been a slew of interviews and 30,000 word essays on “Why I hung with Charlie”

    Susan Atkins is a small, attractive woman with a surprisingly smooth tonsured head and a look of fevered concentration. She holds her serving of jello aloft in her right hand as we speak in the prison canteen.

    “Guards won’t let us have no forks or bowls”, she says. “They’re giving our tableware to the pachucos, motherfuckers. Charlie always let us have at least a spoon”

    “Charlie told me I was beautiful. That I didn’t have anything to be ashamed of. I’d do anything for him. Anything.”

    “If Jesus walked through that door and told me to quit Charlie, I would wish I had some tablware, because I’d be wanting to fuck him up.”


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  14. Deborah said on November 20, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Yeah, I know I’m breaking my resolve to stay away from the internet (already!) but I have to tell my one and only Manson story. I have been to the Barker ranch in Death Valley and still in the cabin there we saw the cabinet that Manson tried to hide in to avoid capture, it was tiny. A strand of his hair was draped outside the closed door, that alerted the cops that he was inside. My husband’s daughter’s husband off roads a lot in Death Valley, he and his buddies found the Barker ranch many, many years later and once when we went with them on an off roading adventure they took us there.

    That is all, now I will continue my quest to detach myself from the dang internet.

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  15. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 20, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    I went to a juvenile justice training a ways back, which had this as an opening slide on the screen.

    “A male child is born to a 15-year-old girl, father unknown. Her activities with a variety of men ultimately led to a five-year jail term for robbery when her son was 4. The boy is given to an aunt and uncle who are reluctant but willing to house him; she is paroled when the boy is 8, and they live for the next two years in a series of hotel rooms until she ends up in a marriage (possibly her third, or fourth) and the new husband demands the boy be placed elsewhere at age 12. The mother looks for a foster placement and cannot find one, finally asking the assistance of the court which places him in an orphanage for “problem children.” He escapes after 10 months and returns home, where his mother puts him in the car and takes him back to the state facility, saying “this is no longer your home.”

    In the community a few months later on a work release day, at 13 he robs a liquor store, and uses the money to get a one-room apartment, and keeps himself in funds with a string of petty robberies until arrested, when he is sent to a juvenile prison. At this state reformatory, he reports being sexually abused by older boys, but no formal action is recorded in response. Two years later, he escapes with two other boys and they steal cars and rob filling stations until arrested in Utah, heading west.

    As a 16 year old, he is sent to a federal facility for dangerous juvenile offenders where he is assessed to be effectively illiterate. While the facility attempts to provide educational and vocational training for him, he acts out dangerously enough to be sent to a federal facility when he turns 18, and is shuffled between federal prisons until he is paroled at age 19 back to his aunt and uncle in West Virginia. He has spent 8 of the previous 10 years in institutions, and leaves with the equivalent of a fourth grade education.

    What do you think happens to this young man?”

    The average age in the room was young enough that few figured out who we were talking about; everyone older than 50 knew right away.

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  16. Jeff Borden said on November 20, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    When I was a TV critic, I took something called the Grave Line Tour in L.A., which drove people to the sites of various celebrities deaths, both spectacular and mundane. William Frawley, I recall, fell over dead outside a movie theater. The daughter of Art Linklatter threw herself out of a high-rise window while tripping. The driver of our refitted gray Cadillac hearse drove us up into the Hollywood Hills to look at the scene of the Manson murders. It was as close as we could get as the roads near the house were private. I was mildly surprised that the house still stood. (This was in the mid-1980s.) I don’t believe in ghosts or spirits, but if I knew what had occurred under that roof, there’s no way I could live there. Clearly, others could.

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  17. Jeff Borden said on November 20, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    A sad commentary on the times…


    My former employer, Crain’s Chicago Business, will no longer allow online comments because of the ugliness of the commentary. Folks, this is a newspaper with a readership largely comprised of upper management, investors, entrepreneurs, etc. When I worked there, the marketing folks bragged on the high levels of education (most readers were M.A. and above) and levels of income (much, much, much higher than average) of the readership. And even so, the hate speech bleeds through. What a fucking mess.

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  18. Jakash said on November 20, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Re: The link at #17 and anonymous comments. On social media, “more often their identities are disclosed. If they’re spewing hate, at least you know who they are.” As someone who uses a pseudonym here and elsewhere and does not participate on the various social media platforms, I can only say that putting their name to something doesn’t seem to bother lots of folks who spew hate. I definitely understand how out-of-control some comment sections get, but still am disappointed to see another one shutting down, largely ceding the function to freaking Facebook. Though I never commented at Crain’s Chicago Business. And that’s an interesting observation about the likely demographics of some of the folks slithering through the swamp they’re draining, Jeff Borden.

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  19. Suzanne said on November 20, 2017 at 2:38 pm

    I had totally forgotten that the house of the gruesome Manson murders was owned by Roman Polanski. Was this before or after his messing up with an underage girl?
    I was all of 11 when it happened. I heard Vincent Bugliosi speak when I was in college. It was all very creepy and surreal.

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  20. Dexter said on November 20, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    When I arrived at Monterey to serve as a medic in the Fort Ord hospital (US Army) as a medic in January, 1970, one of my co:workers was an interesting gay dude from LA named Ken D. Ken was a tall dude, hair a little longer than army regs, drove a little beat Toyota, and was joined at the hip with his Japanese-American lover, a tiny short guy…all of us medics. Ken was an acid head, already a Vietnam war veteran, and the two of them were like Penn & Teller; Ken talked incessantly as the Mexican weed was circle-circulated, while his man sat and listened to him pontificate on all topics, to wit: Manson, the whole story. Ken was absolutely convinced Reagan and his henchmen up in Sacramento had orchestrated the whole event to discredit the counter-culture movement, thinking something so horrid as these murders would unite what Nixon later called the “silent majority” to rise up against the hippies of the nation and squelch them, lock, stock, and barrel. Of course Ken was sort of Kesey-esque, but a delight to listen to as he spun his tales. Anyway, I was never scared of any Manson type killing me. I was only afraid of snakes. All kinds, human, reptile, foreign or domestic. So what was more chilling? Remember this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marin_County_courthouse_incident I was only a few miles away when this happened, just goofing around San Francisco.

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  21. nancy said on November 20, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    There is a financial planner/advisor here in GP, whose anonymous online ID was revealed to me a while back. He spends plenty of time online, commenting on local news sites and blogs, frequently with racist overtones. So I’m not surprised at all that Crain’s is having a problem with that stuff. At Bridge, the same two or three people comment on almost every story, and never have anything constructive to add. I’d go back to the old Letters to the Editor days if I ran a news site. Got something to say? Write us a signed, verifiable letter, and we’ll run it. But comments on news stories are 99.9 percent garbage, and not worth the misery and extra work they bring.

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  22. Jeff Borden said on November 20, 2017 at 5:13 pm

    I know. Once again, my naivete betrays me. I keep hoping better educated people aren’t capable of being racist assholes, but clearly, education doesn’t trump ignorant tribalism.

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  23. Dave said on November 20, 2017 at 5:23 pm

    The Manson murders had a bit of a Lancaster, OH, connection. I remember when I was attending OU-Lancaster, there were people there who knew this man: http://www.lancastereaglegazette.com/story/news/crime/2017/11/20/william-garretson-classmates-ex-wife-react-charles-mansons-death/881523001/

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  24. Colleen said on November 20, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    That was me from Greene county. Ohio.
    I read a lot of true crime stuff, and have never been able to read Helter Skelter. My parents had the book, and as a kid I looked through it. The pictures scared the crap out of me. I had a lot of fears as a kid that someone would come in the night and kill me. Those fears weren’t helped when the Osborne murders happened when I was in high school. Funnily enough, I never had a problem living alone once I moved out of my parents’ house….

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  25. basset said on November 20, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Been through Dayton a few times so I’ve probably stumbled into that Greene. Hope it’s more tolerant than the one in Indiana.

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  26. jcburns said on November 20, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    I saw Nancy’s headline “Exit Charlie”and I thought “boy, she got on the Charlie Rose story fast.”

    Perhaps not!

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  27. alex said on November 20, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Bummed to hear about Charlie Rose.

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  28. alex said on November 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    As for Charlie Manson, I was oblivious at the time of the crime. My parents probably shielded me from the story, as I was certainly aware of other things going on in 1969 like the Apollo moon landing.

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  29. LAMary said on November 20, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    I read Helter Skelter one summer when I was living alone in my ground level apartment and it creeped me out. Not enough to keep me from re-reading it, but that’s how I was about true crime books for a few years. Manson, Ted Bundy, Blood and Money (my fave. Years later I met a nurse at a convention and her name tag said Bugliosi. I asked her if she was related to the prosecutor and yes, that was her father. I told her how much he creeped me out that summer and she said she would pass along the message.
    Ted Bundy, btw, got one of his victims in the town where I lived in Colorado. Could have been me. Early twenties, riding a bike, long brown hair parted in the middle. I re-read The Stranger Beside Me a few times.

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  30. LAMary said on November 20, 2017 at 6:57 pm

    BTW. The LaBianca house where the “other” murder happened is not far from the Shakespeare Bridge we went over when you were in LA.

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  31. Sherri said on November 20, 2017 at 7:23 pm

    On a random tangent, we’ve been having instances of packages being stolen from porches in our neighborhood lately, and evidently I was hit last week. I do a lot of online shopping, so it took me a few days to notice that something I ordered hadn’t arrived and should have, and when I checked into it, tracking information said it had been left on my porch.

    Sadly for the thief, they didn’t pick a particularly good day to steal something off my porch. For their trouble, they got a pair of 10 lb dumbbells and a pair of 20 lb dumbbells. They probably weren’t that happy they had lugged away 60 lbs when they opened the boxes!

    Amazon customer service FTW: they extended my Prime membership a month for the inconvenience, and are re-shipping the dumbbells. And yes, Prime covers the cost of shipping them, which is why I ordered them from Amazon. I was ordering 10, 12, 15, 20, and 25 lb pairs, and other places I looked, it was going to cost as much to ship them as to buy them.

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  32. James said on November 20, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    My sainted mother used to joke about being one of two famous people who were born in McMechen, WVa, the other being Charlie Manson.

    … and that’s the REST… of the story.

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  33. Suzanne said on November 20, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    I read The Stranger Beside Me years ago. Incredible & scary story that made me look at almost everyone I knew with a different eye. Could they be hiding some horrific secret?

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  34. Jolene said on November 20, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    Ted Bundy, btw, got one of his victims in the town where I lived in Colorado. Could have been me. Early twenties, riding a bike, long brown hair parted in the middle. I re-read The Stranger Beside Me a few times.

    I was a twenty-something student at the University of Washington while Ted was operating. While not usually fearful, I was visiting friends one evening, and we got to talking about these disappearances. I ended up staying overnight with my friends rather than going home alone.

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  35. Dexter said on November 21, 2017 at 2:53 am

    I never watched nor could stand that pompous bastard Charlie Rose. Flashing his johnson around women, eh? Yeah, figures. Or not. Who’s next?

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  36. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 21, 2017 at 3:09 am

    “Exit Charlie” . . . the headline extends its service, I guess.

    Just to hearken back this week to an earlier era of American political life, an enjoyable flashback:


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  37. ROGirl said on November 21, 2017 at 4:27 am

    Manson fascinated and scared me. The story of him manipulating people to commit horrific murders was so bizarre and surreal, it still is. The random attacks on glamorous, rich Hollywood types raised it to a different level than other serial killing sprees — they weren’t just anonymous victims.

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  38. Suzanne said on November 21, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Rogirl, I read somewhere that Manson targeted the house he did because it had at one time belonged to a record producer that he had sent a demo to (he wanted to be a rock star,of course. Didn’t everybody?) but his attempt at getting into the business through this producer was soundly thrashed. So if Roman Polanski had just bought a different house…
    The older couple, however, was random.

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  39. ROGirl said on November 21, 2017 at 7:05 am

    The house was targeted, the intended victim wasn’t there, the people in the house were random.

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  40. alex said on November 21, 2017 at 7:07 am

    Greene County, Ohio, was where one branch of my pioneer ancestors lived for a time before arriving in Indiana in 1832. They were millwrights who built water-powered mills in a place called Sugar Creek in Greene County. They set up mills on Cedar Creek in Allen County in the area that is known as Devil’s Hollow to the locals. Beautiful area of old-growth forest, much of which is now a forest preserve.

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  41. David C. said on November 21, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Sherri @ 31. Porch piracy has been getting a lot of attention around here. Unfortunately, not by the police. It’s just another in the long line of crimes they consider to petty to bother with. Pinch a $1.00 candy bar from the 7-11 and they’ll be all over you like ugly on an ape. Take a $500.00 package from in front of somebody’s house and they couldn’t care less. We’re probably all going to need lockboxes to stop it.

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  42. coozledad said on November 21, 2017 at 9:29 am

    Ethnic cleansing:

    Won’t never be no shitstorm about Haitians on this place here. “White” gonna stick together like a bag of hot marshmallows.

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  43. Dorothy said on November 21, 2017 at 10:56 am

    Suzanne @38 – that record producer Manson had a beef with was Doris Day’s son, Terry Melcher. http://people.com/crime/did-doris-day-save-her-son-from-charles-mansons-murder-spree/

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  44. susan said on November 21, 2017 at 11:35 am

    huhmmm. Both Doris Day and Manson were from the Cincinnati area. Better contact Alex Jones.

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  45. FDChief said on November 21, 2017 at 11:39 am

    What’s also worth noting is that Manson, either directly or through people he influenced, killed nine people.

    George W. Bush, another person who was supposedly a victim of his upbringing, either directly or through people he influenced or whom he let influence him, started a war of aggression, a crime for which the U.S. and its WW2 allies hanged German and Japanese leaders, that has killed tens to hundreds of thousands. Trump, another supposedly warped-by-his-childhood guy, has promised to continue those killings and even raise the ante up to nuclear war.

    So afraid of Charlie? Compared to those sonsofbitches Charlie was a piker, a petty crook, a small-timer.

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  46. Sherri said on November 21, 2017 at 11:40 am

    There is no level of economic security that would overcome resentment and racism.

    These supporters will not change their minds because this is what they always wanted: a president who embodies the rage they feel toward those they hate and fear, while reassuring them that that rage is nothing to be ashamed of.


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  47. Scout said on November 21, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    I’ll never forget reading Helter Skelter late at night while my (now ex) husband was working night shift and my two daughters were asleep upstairs in the creepy old farmhouse we lived in at the time. Scared me shitless. And sleepless.

    My step-son who lives in LA was invited to a Sharon Tate memorial exhibit a few years ago. They gave everyone who came a small string bracelet. He had to throw his away. He is young enough to have not known in advance the excruciating details of the murders and once he knew more he was creeped out for months afterwards. http://www.latimes.com/la-ig-tate9-2009aug09-story.html

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  48. Icarus said on November 21, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Sherri @ 31. Porch piracy has been getting a lot of attention around here

    I’m very lucky to live in a good part of Portage Park neighborhood and whenever Amazon, UPS or Fedex leaves a package, they take the time to hide it on my porch. Summer is easier since we have porch furniture out.

    Serial Killer: I went to high school with a lady whose aunt(?) was the nurse who hid under the bed when Richard Speck killed her roommates. LD doesn’t like to talk about it so for years it was “act like you don’t know” bit of info. She finally shared on Facebook a few years ago and what a relief to have that secret out.

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  49. Suzanne said on November 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm

    I heard a piece on the radio recently about people who love to attend professional wrestling matches. Those interviewed said they know it’s all fake but they love it anyway because it gives them the chance to yell nasty things at the wrestler they don’t like and the chance to act in a way they know they can’t in polite society, at work, etc. And they get to be around others acting that way, too. They get to watch guys whomp on each other like they would like to do to the boss they hate, or the ex’s new boyfriend, or whoever.
    Kinda the same thing the article Sherri posted is getting at. Trump people like his rage more than anything because it gives them permission to feel the same. Never mind that it tears the country apart.

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  50. Peter said on November 21, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Suzanne, my dad really liked to watch pro wrestling when he was in his sixties, but I think he missed the nuance of the sport – he kept complaining to me that the referees seem to miss a lot of fouls and aren’t impartial….

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  51. Joe Kobiela said on November 21, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Checking in from San Diego, heading home from my tour it’s 79 here, hope everyone can find something to be thankful for Thursday.
    Safe travels.
    Pilot Joe

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  52. Jason T. said on November 21, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    I turned off comments on the news website I run several years ago, when someone kept posting under the name of a then-city councilman, and he would fire back, and people would call each other names, etc.

    I got tired of it. Otherwise, it was mostly spam from Chinese and Russian IP addresses, with a few exceptions.

    I am tempted, at times, to pull the plug on our Facebook page as well, because people write the same awful stuff and sign their real names to it.

    Apparently it’s not about anonymity — it’s about having a platform for your abuse.

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  53. Dexter said on November 21, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    Mike Love was frequently portrayed as a prickly celebrity; I vaguely recall interviews and fan-contacts in which he seemed like an asshole.
    Now he’s 76 and a gentle soul. I heard him on XM last week and today on The Dan Patrick Show (nbcsn TV). He’s a joy to listen to and has so many stories I can’t get enough.
    Dan asked him about his group’s connection to the Manson clan, and Mike bristled up and clearly stated it was only cousin Dennis Wilson who had that connection, although Mike said he had met Charlie once. Bryan Cranston also was a guest today; he also had seen Manson once at Spahn Ranch, when he was 12 and riding rental horses…said Charlie was dead-eyed and crazed and bobbing about on his horse like a madman, and everybody waiting for a horse at the stable went panic-mode and were screaming “Charlie’s on the hill!Charlie’s on the hill!”
    Mike Love looks like he’s 45 or 50…he said “food is your drug and drugs should be your food”, whatever that meant. He has a new book and album out. I may get the book. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wREBD2og5iY

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  54. Jason T. said on November 21, 2017 at 4:29 pm

    NN.c @21:

    I’d go back to the old Letters to the Editor days if I ran a news site. Got something to say? Write us a signed, verifiable letter, and we’ll run it. But comments on news stories are 99.9 percent garbage, and not worth the misery and extra work they bring.

    When I worked at the local newspaper (R.I.P.), the editorial page editor used to round-file about 99 percent of the letters to the editor, too. It was the same people, writing every day (despite the “one letter per month” rule), along with anonymous threats from cranks.

    People haven’t changed, for better or for worse.

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  55. Sherri said on November 21, 2017 at 7:24 pm

    How many people does someone have to kill to be considered a serial killer? I went to high school with a guy who killed his first wife (another high school classmate), though the authorities were never able to build a case against him. He remarried, and his second wife went missing, only to be found buried in the back yard. The first wife’s aunt died under mysterious circumstances, as well.

    I had multiple classes with the guy in high school, and had known his first wife since third grade, and knew the aunt. The guy was weird, but I was never afraid of him.

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  56. Little Bird said on November 21, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    That visit to the former ranch that Deborah mentioned? This was still in the 90s, and she brought home a handful of bullet casings (in the years since random people go out there to shoot their guns). They sat in my room for at least a month. And then I started making jewelry out of those shell casings. So far it’s just a bit of extra spending cash. But, that’s how I started making jewelry out of bullet shells. Charles freaking Manson actually ties into that story.
    It feels wrong.

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  57. Sherri said on November 21, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Uber under Kalanick was such an awful company. It’s hard to say whether the new CEO can change that.


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  58. Dave said on November 21, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    My sister says it’s a weird feeling when one of her teen idols dies but David Cassidy has done just that.

    I also went all through public school with two people who became a couple and married and then he killed her. It shocks me to this day but he did it.

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  59. basset said on November 21, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    Joe, do you fly that King Air by yourself or do you have some help? And what happens if you’re on an extended segment of the flight and someone needs to pee? (That is a major factor in my general worldview and mobility these days, just wondered how it might apply there.)

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  60. alex said on November 21, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    The murderer in this case was my classmate in military school in the 1970s. He was also one of the most intelligent of my fellow students. I remember him as being quirky but good-natured. He loved to freak people out by pulling earthworms out of the ground and kissing them. He came from money. He was good-looking. I thought he had everything going for him.

    Because his was a common name, it didn’t dawn on me that it was him until I saw news photos and video at the time.

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  61. Joe Kobiela said on November 21, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Always a crew of 2, both pilots are type rated in the king air, we have a small lav in the back.
    It’s a sweet flying aerial SUV.
    Pilot Joe

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  62. Sherri said on November 21, 2017 at 10:53 pm

    That was not the only instance of one of my classmates murdering another classmate, but the other case happened just a couple
    of years after high school and was a fight over drugs. One shot the other and put the body in a dumpster (neither of them were particularly bright.)

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  63. ROGirl said on November 22, 2017 at 4:10 am


    The victim’s family lived down the street when I was growing up, he was my age and went to my elementary school. They had a little girl who drowned in their pool when she was about 2. His father was a cop who became the chief in a local suburb.

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  64. Icarus said on November 22, 2017 at 4:36 am

    Seems so unfair that David Cassidy only got to his 60s but Manson made it to his 80s

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  65. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 22, 2017 at 7:19 am

    The Morgan Library in NYC has the original manuscript of “A Christmas Carol” on display; about to go see the Ohio U. Marching 110 on Today Show at 8:30 this am — they’re in Macy’s parade c. 11:00 am tomorrow. I’m the proud dad in an Elmer Fudd cap beaming on the sidewalk!

    “You’ve got to get up every morning
    With a smile in your face
    And show the world all the love in your heart…”

    Happy Thanksgiving, all!

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  66. coozledad said on November 22, 2017 at 7:48 am

    The Republicans lose another inning:

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  67. coozledad said on November 22, 2017 at 8:20 am

    This is to be expected from people with no imagination, and whose dream of a white authoritarian state has indentured us to the Russians. It’s another clue as to why they despise affordable higher education: if everybody is as stupid as a Republican, they’ll suck it up and serf out the inevitable cruel inequities.

    But the majority of us are nowhere near as stupid and intrinsically immoral as Republicans. It’s just that we’re slower to coax into a murderous rage.

    Well, we’re there now.

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  68. coozledad said on November 22, 2017 at 9:13 am

    That watershed moment, when passive aggressive racism begins to steamroll into full blown genocide.


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  69. Deborah said on November 22, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Jeff tmmo, there is a once in a lifetime exhibit at the Met of Michelangelo drawings, they only get shown in a blue moon because they’re so delicate. We’re going mid Jan mostly just to see them, but of course lots of other stuff too. Exhibit closes in Feb.

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  70. susan said on November 22, 2017 at 11:37 am

    coozledad – Richard Holbrooke called Mladic a Thug after dealing with him (and the other Bosnian-Serbian goons) at the Dayton Accords. I remember that because of what a refreshingly honest an assessment that was coming from a US diplomat. You never hear that kind of public language from people at that level.

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