Showing posts with label Charles Manson Burned by Jan Holmstrom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charles Manson Burned by Jan Holmstrom. Show all posts

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Eventually... Everybody meets their Match.

Jan Holmstrom
The other day, I was thinking about the dude who set Charles Manson ablaze in September of 1984. (Tuesday, September 25, 1984)  

I thought to myself: 

Who was this dude, and what was his real motivation?
How much do we really know about him?
Turns-out... Holmstrom was a real twisted sister.

Here's the basics of Holmstrom's attack (on Manson), for anyone unfamiliar:

-Manson, then 48 years old, was in the hobby shop of the California Medical Facility, the state's prison for psychiatric prisoners. 

-Manson was drenched with paint thinner and set on fire. 

-Manson was attacked by Jan Holmstrom, 36, who was serving a life term for second-degree murder. 

-Holmstrom claims Manson threatened him because of his membership in the Hare Krishna religious sect.

-Manson suffered burns over 18% of his body, concentrated on his face, scalp and hands, in the 8:45am attack.


Here's a small tidbit, that I didn't know about the incident:

-In January of 1985, authorities dismissed the assault charges against Homstrom, citing "self defense".

Jan. 16, 1985 11:50 PM ET
 VACAVILLE, Calif. (AP) - Authorities dismissed assault charges Wednesday against a state prison inmate who allegedly splashed convicted mass killer Charles Manson with paint thinner and set him ablaze.

Inmate Jan Holmstrom apparently acted in self-defense, said James Highsmith, deputy district attorney of Solano County.

It would ''be a waste of time and effort to pursue the case any further,'' and it appeared ''unlikely that we could get a conviction'' against Holmstrom, 36, Highsmith said.

It appeared probable that Holmstrom acted in self defense, in view of Manson's prison record, in which attacks on other inmates have been reported, he said.

Prison officials said Manson was in the hobby shop of the institution, located 50 miles northeast of San Francisco, when the other inmate drenched him with paint thinner and tossed a match on him.

Manson was burned over 18 percent of his body, mainly on his face, scalp and hands, in the attack.

He had threatened Holmstrom, a member of the Hare Krishna sect, because of his religious beliefs, Holmstrom told prison officials.  Full Associated Press Story Here

Lighting a man on fire, seems like a pretty extreme form of "self defense" to me. You really have to wonder, if this incident would have been dismissed as "self-defense" if a correctional officer had been assaulted thusly.


At this point, I began to study Holmstrom's personal background.  It's quite a rap sheet of insanity, to say the least. 

Shall we?

- Born in 1949

-In his late teens he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia -- a mental disorder accompanied by a distortion of reality and a fragmentation of one's personality. His family was told that he needed medication to curb his mood swings.

-Beginning in 1967, at age 19, Holmstrom was in and out of jail on charges ranging from marijuana possession to disturbing the peace -- in one case helping himself to gasoline at a service station to douse his jacket before trying to set it on fire.

-His behavior became more bizarre as time went on, his family said. He dropped out of his circle of friends, hallucinated a great deal, became unkempt and seemed detached and uncaring. He had a fascination with fire and an obsessive fear of swastikas and crosses.

-One night his family came home and found that he had placed lit candles throughout the house, some of them on the carpet. Another time, he tried to set fire to their church.
They grew to fear him. They decided he could no longer stay at home. "We were so frightened of him we had changed all of the locks on the house," the family member said.
-Holmstrom went to live at a nearby halfway house. He was only allowed near his family's house to walk up his parents' driveway to the mailbox to retrieve a monthly check for rent and food.
-In 1971, after Southern California was rocked by a severe earthquake, Holmstrom had a "vision" that told him to join the Hare Krishnas. 
-During an October 1973 incident, Holmstrom allegedly stabbed another Krishna member in a temple kitchen in Venice, Calif.  He was arrested for the knifing but was later acquitted of the charges. He was banished from the temple.
-Three months later, he killed his father, nearly decapitating him with a 12-gauge shotgun as the elder Holmstrom returned home from work.
-With four shotgun blasts, Jan Holmstrom ended his father's life in the driveway of his family's fashionable Pasadena home.
-The gun Holmstrom used was turned over to police by a Cub Scout who told police he had been sitting in a car with friends about a block away from the scene of the shooting when Holmstrom walked by and handed him the weapon.
-Family members believe a dispute over money between Holmstrom and his parents the previous week may have precipitated the murder. They also believe that Holmstrom was trying to lure his mother out of the house that day to kill her, too. During the trial, his mother testified that right before the shooting her doorbell had been rung frantically several times but that she had found no one there when she answered it.
-Sketches police found in Holmstrom's room at a halfway house after the killing depicted two bodies lying in a driveway.
-In December 1974, he was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Behind bars, he remarked to a prison guard that killing people was "just like stepping on spiders."
-In 1984, at the state's prison facility for psychiatric prisoners, Holmstrom's path crossed that of mass murderer Charles Manson (See Above).

-One sketch, apparently of his mother, shows a woman in a housedress with a large cross on her chest. The drawing includes scrawlings that read: "Peg: socialist, killer of babies, fanatic, drunkard, whore, wicked witch, evil, Miss goody two shoes. . . . Her days are coming to an end quickly. The white witch is going to be burned to ashes."

-Another, a depiction of Holmstrom's deceased father, shows a man wearing swastikas and holding a hypodermic needle in one hand. "Dr. Emil Gustav Holmstrom," it reads. "Gloomy Gus, Killer of babies, Herr doctor . . . whiteGod . . . He died on Jan 22 1974 No one can escape the wrath of God."
-Holmstrom is paroled.  Holmstrom was eligible for parole in 1982 but the attack on Manson and other inmates and guards kept him in prison for seven more years.
-"I just had a fit when they told me he was going to be sent to Los Angeles," a relative said. "I just thought that was absolutely ridiculous. I was frantic."
-Family members were able to convince state officials that Holmstrom would be a severe threat to the family and the community if he were paroled in the Los Angeles area. State law permits victims of violent crimes to request that a parolee be paroled at least 35 miles away from their victims.  So Holmstrom was sent instead to San Francisco, where he was under the dual supervision of the Department of Corrections and the Department of Mental Health for three years, said Miriam Joselyn, a parole agent with the Department of Corrections.
-It was 6:10 p.m., November 26, 1994  when police received a frantic call from the Hare Krishna temple at 84 Carl Street. The woman on the telephone told the dispatcher that someone in the temple had just stabbed another person.
-Holmstrom is charged in the November 26, 1994, stabbing attack at San Francisco Hare Krishna temple.

This information was found here:


Holmstrom received a 10 year sentence for decapitating his father, with four shotgun blasts (to the head).  That's pretty ridiculous huh?  Comparatively... Leslie Van Houten's continued incarceration seems a bit out-of-balance, no?

As for Holmstrom's 1994 stabbing charges... he was ruled insane, and found "not guilty by reason of insanity". (See Below)

Jan Holmstrom sat in a Hall of Justice courtroom yesterday in shackles the sheriff's department reserves for those considered too volatile for simple manacles.
A thick chain ran around his waist, connected to two handcuffs that bound his hands together in front of him, then looped down his body to his feet, cinching them so that the 47-year-old man could only walk in small, shuffling steps.
But Holmstrom was not the image of the raving paranoid schizophrenic that those who know him claim he can be. Having received psychiatric treatment while in jail, he sat calm and composed and listened intently as Superior Court Judge Lenard Louie pronounced that Holmstrom was not guilty by reason of insanity for the stabbing of a man inside a Cole Valley Hare Krishna temple in November 1994 -- an act Holmstrom has said he did for his God.
For a man whose life has been marked by violent acts committed against himself and others, including the shotgun slaying of his father in Pasadena over 20 years ago, the judge's finding was the most humane decision that could have been made, Holmstrom's lawyer said.
The ruling, which Louie based on the recommendations of three psychiatrists, means that Holmstrom will not be sent to prison for his crime. Instead, he will go to a high security mental facility that Holmstrom's lawyer hopes will provide him with extensive psychiatric care.
"We would not be where we are now, if Mr. Holmstrom had gotten the proper treatment the first time he got violent," said his defense lawyer Sheila O'Gara. "The mentally ill fall through the cracks. They don't belong is the criminal justice system, but there is no other system to put them in. The government has shirked its responsibility."
While Holmstrom was awaiting trial on the charges of assault with a deadly weapon and burglary for the Nov. 26, 1994 attack at the Hare Krishna temple, O'Gara and prosecutor George Beckwith came to agree that state prison was not the right place for Holmstrom.
Holmstrom was not given proper psychiatric care or medication for his illness, when he was serving time for the 1974 slaying of his father, O'Gara said. In prison, he sent death threats to family members and attacked guards and prisoners -- including fellow inmate, cult leader Charles Manson, whom he set on fire.
If the 1994 case had gone to a jury trial and Holmstrom had been convicted on the charges, the outcome would be the same as his earlier trip through the justice system, O'Gara said. He would be sent to prison, receive no psychiatric care, later be paroled and, without supervision, probably become violent again, she said.
Under Louie's ruling yesterday, however, Holmstrom can be incarcerated for as many as 25 years. His release will depend on the opinion of psychiatrists who will evaluate him periodically.
"Whatever sins were committed by Jan Holmstrom he has suffered like the damned. It is the curse of mental illness," O'Gara said. "Because he is medicated now, he is aware and living in a state of remorse. But every day he has to live inside his own head. Every day he has to live with Jan Holmstrom."
Let's recap the most "lightly sentenced" man on the planet earth:
-In 1973, Holmstrom stabbed a Krishna member and was acquitted.

-Three months later, he blasted his father's head to pieces with a 12-gauge shotgun, and received just 10 years.

-In 1984 he set Manson ablaze, and the act was deemed "self defense".

-In 1994, he stabbed another Krishna member, and was found "not guilty by reason of insanity".

Did that dude have "nine lives" or what??

Special Thanks to my dear friend Kimchi, who located the photos of Holstrom for me.