I’ve been asked about my dealings with Manson and/or his supporters.
I’ve had no dealings or communications at all with Charles Manson himself. But I’ve had numerous communications with his supporters and other people associated with Manson Family members.
As best as I can tell, Manson’s closest confidante is a man by the name of George Stimson. Stimson published a book called Goodbye Helter Skelter in 2014 in which he argued, basically, that Manson’s crimes were to some extent excusable because they were committed out of an honourable desire to protect or help his “brothers and sisters”, namely other members and acquaintances of the Manson Family. I disagree with virtually every page of Stimson’s book. In my book, I will criticise some of his specific arguments with a view to proving there was no such honorable desire on Manson’s part, and that in fact all of the murders were cold-blooded executions in aid of a revolution which Manson prophecised – the so called Helter Skelter race war revolution. It will be seen in my book I make harsh criticisms of his book.
Now, before people rush to judgment about Stimson, I must point out these things. Stimson and I have had numerous communications. Despite knowing I intended to criticise him, he was nothing but gracious, decent and generous with his time. He answered several short questions I asked of him. He granted me copyright permission to use his words in my book. He wished me luck with my project. Thus, so far our dealings have been amiable. Whether that will continue after publication of my book is another matter, but I hope it does continue.
I have also had communications with one James Whitehouse, widower of Susan Atkins who passed away in 2009. For those unfamiliar with the story, Atkins was a core member of the Manson Family and, arguably, one of the most notorious murderers in the annals of crime. Whitehouse and Atkins met many years after the murders, at a time when Atkins had probably repented and shown remorse in many ways. Atkins had effectively renounced her relationship with Manson and the Family long before her death. Although I cannot be sure, I suspect Whitehouse and the remaining Manson supporters are not on friendly terms. Although not explicit about it, I got the distinct impression that Whitehouse deplored his wife’s former crimes, but forgave her and truly believed she was a reformed person. He continued to advocate on her behalf, and still does. He argues that she was duped by Manson. As will be seen in my book, in many respects he is right. In my dealings with Whitehouse, primarily about copyright issues (using the words of his wife’s books), he was unfailingly polite, civil and courteous.
Now, my dealings with the veritable army of pro-Manson supporters and conspiracy theorists who contend that Manson’s conviction was obtained by the conspiratorial collusion of the prosecutor (Vincent Bugliosi), and other institutions such as the judiciary, the LA Police Dept and the Establishment in general. I think what I say about these people ought to be segregated into a third part, which I undertake to do and I will post some things shortly.