Showing posts with label Kitty Lutesinger. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kitty Lutesinger. Show all posts

Friday, December 20, 2013

Kitty and her part in the Beginning of the End for the Family

The Girls on the Corner: (L to R) Nancy Pitman, Sandra Good, Kathryn Lutesinger and Cathy Gillies

Now, over forty years on, those following the crimes of the Manson Family are familiar with reading about alleged connections betwen the Family and organised crime, the expansion of their drug dealing enterprise to the Hollywood elite, even CIA involvement in promoting a nationwide backlash against anti-war protestors and the hippie-peace movement by manipulating the Family to present them as the paradigm of hippies as drug crazed murderers to a horrified conservative public (the Family as "useful idiots").

What can be demonstrated is that even before 'Helter-Skelter' had a chance to get fully underway it had already been compromised by a pregnant 17 year old named Kathryn (Kitty) Lutesinger who found it difficult to get along with Manson.

Lutesinger's July/August 1969 interviews with the police would initially prove helpful to LASO detective Gleason, who at the time was involved in building a case against the Family (then residing at Spahn ranch), with regards to auto theft, credit card and other frauds, underage runaways, gun and drug offences. She assisted in Gleason's efforts to gather evidence with regards to the application for a warrant to raid Spahn ranch, ironically causing her own arrest.

She would once again, two months later, voluntarily offer information, this time to Inyo County police, regarding similar activities by the Family after the Barker ranch raids.

More importantly, in interviews with LASO homicide detectives Guenther and Whitely, she would confirm the involvement of Susan Atkins, and one other female, in the murder of Gary Hinman. She also named those she believed responsible for the murder of Donald Shea, and unknowingly help to implicate Atkins in the Tate murders. In addition she mentioned Manson's attempt to encourage closer ties between the Family and the Straight Satan's motorcycle club, including naming Danny DeCarlo, who would go on to give testimony against her boyfriend Beausoleil and Manson in their respective murder trials.

Unfortunately for Lutesinger, by directing police to Susan Atkins she had begun a series of events that would shortly link Beausoleil to the Tate murders by association. Something that would have serious consequences for Beausoleil's second trial, as well as his sentence once convicted.

Lutesinger would go on to implicate several other Family members in crimes as diverse as theft, arson and murder, and then surprisingly would return to the Family during the Tate-La Bianca trial as one of the Girls on the Corner during the long running vigil outside of the LA Hall of Justice, alongside several people she had only a few months before named to the authorities.

Lutesinger was introduced to the Family in 1969 as the latest girlfriend of Family associate Bobby Beausoleil. She had first met Beausoleil at Gregg Jakobson's house on North Beverly Glen. The couple expecting their first child together, had already spent time living with Lutesinger's parents on their Devonshire ranch, and apparently Manson believed that Beausoleil was being lured away from the Family by the seventeen year old.

Lutesinger came to live at Spahn ranch in early summer 1969 (sources vary from late May to early July), apparently because Beausoleil was assisting Jakobson (and Terry Melcher) with working on the soundtrack for a proposed film to be made about the Family. By 30 July 1969 she left suddenly without warning or announcement of her intentions (the same day Beausoleil returned to the scene of the Hinman murder). For the first of two times that year Lutesinger asked a non-Family member to assist her in safely getting away from the group (claiming Manson was threatening to carve her up).

Once away from the property, but before being taken back to her parents, Lutesinger was taken to the police, there beginning a series of interviews with Gleason that would continue until at least 10 August 1969. Lutesinger was apparently concerned for the safety of her mother and sister as Manson had threatened to kill them both if she left the ranch.

Even though she was present at Spahn ranch during the weekend of the Hinman murder, and was aware of it to some extent, it appears the interviews she gave to Gleason were primarily concerned with the Family as an auto theft ring. Although Lutesinger did discuss her fear of Manson and his death threats towards her and other Family members.

By 15 August 1969, Lutesinger was experiencing difficulties with her parents and contacted the Spahn ranch by telephone and asked to be picked up. She was collected and returned to the ranch, only to be arrested the following morning as part of the raid that her information had partially helped to justify.

Beausoleil was arrested for the Hinman murder on 6 August 1969. Lutesinger eventually became aware of his arrest but not of the charge for some time. LASO homicide detectives were aware of his connection with Lutesinger and were keen to interview her as Beausoleil had named females as being present during the murder (Sadie and Mary). Unfortunately inter-departmental communications were lacking and Lutesinger would, along with all those who been arrested with her, be released 48 hours later.

(Some sources state that Beausoleil did not name a 'Sadie and Mary')

Giving evidence at the preliminary hearing to decide whether or not to proceed with a second trial on 12 November 1969 Hinman homicide detective Guenther testified "We were hoping once we found her [Lutesinger] she would be able to give us more information as to Sadie and Mary").

She would then disappear with the Family for the best part of two months, until her arrest on 10 October 1969.

In the meantime, LASO homicide detectives Guenther and Whitely, who were investigating the Hinman murder, had contacted Mary Lutesinger, who in turn  confirmed that her daughter was the Kathryn Lutesinger who was in a relationship with the Hinman murder suspect Beausoleil. She also informed them that the couple had lived with her for quite some time, but that her daughter had since disappeared.

They convinced her to approach her local Devonshire Division police and report her as a runaway. An All Points Bulletin was also issued with regards to Lutesinger possibly having information regarding Sadie and Mary.

10 October 1969, shortly after the initial arrests had taken place during the first raid on Barker ranch, police officers were approached by Lutesinger and Stephanie Schram (another summer 1969 addition to the Family and also pregnant) who voluntarily turned themselves in claiming to be in fear for their lives because of threats made by Manson against them. Together they had runaway under cover of darkness only a few hours previously.

12 October 1969, more arrests were made in a second raid on Barker ranch. Even though all those arrested would be taken to Independence, Inyo County, Lutesinger and Schram were kept away from and confined separately from other Family members.

13 October 1969, Inyo County police had informed Devonshire Division that they had the runaway Lutesinger in custody, who in turn informed LASO homicide detectives Guenther and Whitely. They drove to Independence to return with Lutesinger for what would become a four hour interview in which she implicated several Family members for various crimes.

Her knowledge of the Hinman case was her presence at the Spahn ranch during the telephone call Beausoleil and Atkins made, in which they admitted to having "screwed up", and that they had killed Hinman. She also recalled Atkins later conversations regarding having had a fight with a man who had pulled her hair and whom she had stabbed three or four times in the leg.

One of the incidents that prompted the Barker ranch raids was the arson of a Michagan loader belonging to the National Park Service. Lutesinger named Charles Manson, Christopher Jesus (John Philip Haught), Manon Minette (Catherine Share), Diane Bluestein (Dianne Lake) and Rachel Morse (Ruth Ann Moorehouse) as being responsible. She also helped to prove this by revealing a grease gun had been taken from the loader, an item that was later identified when found in possession of the Family.

As to additional vehicle thefts, she named Nancy Pitman as being responsible for a Hertz rental car (hired with a stolen credit card) and later abandoned in the Barker ranch area. She also stated that this was the car used by the arsonists.

As well as who was responsible for the thefts of three of the dune buggies and another vehicle, burglaries, stolen credit cards and various other crimes.

She also spoke of life at the Barker Ranch, how Manson had become wild out in the desert, beating Snake (Dianne Lake), or everybody all of the time. Lutesinger claimed that when she had fallen asleep one evening during one of his fireside raps, he had punched her in the face. Threats also included being hung from a tree and having her tongue cut out. "Now when I start thinking about it I remember how bad it really was. How he just talked about it so much that you know...about snuffing people and torturing them, and all kinds of orgies. You get so you just can't listen to it any more. It really was pretty bad."

Lutesinger was held for several days in Juvenile Hall and then released in to the custody of her parents.

Lutesinger was later informed by Inyo police that they had a Death List found in Manson's possession at the time of his arrest, and her name was the last one on it.

On 15 October 1969, fourteen suspects were arraigned on 20 felony charges including the arson.

On 23 October 1969, Manson, Share, Lake and Moorehouse were held to answer on the arson charge, Haught was not as there was insufficient evidence to hold him, he was released.

On 5 November 1969 Haught was found shot dead in the company of at least Bruce Davis, Sue Bartell, Linda Baldwin and Catherine Gillies (who were there when the police arrived). All four had been arrested (as was Haught) on the second Barker ranch raid on 12 October 1969 and subsequently released.

Manson later wrote that as soon as Family members were released from custody he passed on instructions for the group to clam up and find out where the police were getting their information from. Almost immediately word came back that amongst others it was Lutesinger.

On 12 November 1969 Atkins discovered during her preliminary hearing on the Hinman murder charge that she had been implicated by Lutesinger and not Beausoleil (whom she had suspected). Back in jail she stated that Lutesinger's life was "not worth anything".

Although Lutesinger only named two females as being involved in the Hinman murder three were taken to Los Angeles by the LASO.

Lynette Fromme was one, mistakenly identified as the red-headed Mary, and for the first time she was arrested on a murder charge. The second would occur when she would once more be briefly charged, this time with the murder of Lauren Willet.

The second was Patricia Krenwinkel. The Hinman detectives had reviewed the material on the 16 August 1969 Spahn ranch raid, they brought with them mugshots of the Family including their aliases. Krenwinkle had previously used the alias Mary Scott, and so on the strength of that connection to the 'Sadie and Mary' they were seeking, she was also taken back to LA. She explained to police they were looking for Mary Brunner. After her release she left the state.

The third was Susan Atkins. Some of what Lutesinger told the Hinman detectives was consistent with Beausoleil's statements, that Atkins was involved. Essentially Lutesinger's version of the murder was that Atkins and Beausoleil had, on Manson's instructions, gone to see Hinman to take money from him. A fight had occurred and Hinman had been killed.

The detectives returned to Independence to interview Atkins. She waived her rights, but declined to be recorded. Atkins incriminated herself, she was then transported to San Dimas Sheriff's Station and booked for suspicion of murder. Although charged as a co-conspirator and arraigned for the Himan murder she did not testify against Beausoleil during either of his trials.

Lutesinger was returned to her parents, and was visited by the authorities and was questioned about the Shea murder. She implicated Manson, Grogan, Davis and possibly Watson as being responsible. She also spoke of female Family members helping to cover up the murder.

Guenther and Whitely passed on Lutesinger's comments regarding Atkins stabbing a man in the leg who had pulled her hair to the Tate detectives who then interviewed Lutesinger on 31 Oct 1969.

Just over six weeks after the Barker ranch raids Beausoleil would receive a hung jury verdict at the conclusion of his first trial on 26 November 1969, before being arraigned to stand trial again on 12 December 1969. This trial would begin in February 1970 (the month Lutesinger gave birth to their child), and conclude with his conviction in April 1970. Lutesinger was present when Beausoleil received the death sentence, bursting into tears and finding comfort in the arms of Beausoleil's parents.

Although Beausoleil didn't testify at his first trial he had placed himself, Atkins and Brunner at the scene of the murder. In this version of events Hinman's vehicles were legally bought from an already injured Hinman whom they cared for over that weekend and who was alive when they left his residence.

Brunner would go onto to testify against Beausoleil in his second trial. Arriving to give testimony she was arrested and later jailed for 90 days for violating the terms of her probation on a check forgery charge, as she was without employment and was not maintaining a suitable residence (she had returned to live at the Spahn ranch).

Lutesinger, after informing several times on the Family, running away twice, and being generally regarded as untrustworthy by the group, also returned to live amongst them and became one of The Girls on the Corner, alongside Catherine Share, Catherine Gillies and Ruth Ann Moorehouse whom she had implicated for arson, Nancy Pitman, whom she had implicated for embezzlement, (mistakenly on the authorites part) Lynette Fromme for murder, Mary Brunner for murder, Steve Grogan for murder, and Bruce Davis for murder (twice). Not forgetting those females members she implicated as being involved after the fact in the Shea murder. As well as the burglaries, credit card frauds, etc. Many of those whom she implicated received death sentences.

Like the rest of those involved in the vigil she also carved an X onto her forehead and shaved her hair. Tate-La Bianca prosecutor Bugliosi now found Lutesinger so uncooperative that he declined to use her as a witness for the trial.

Lutesinger first arrived at Spahn ranch around two months after Paul Watkins and Brooks Poston began the process of distancing themselves from the Family. It should be noted that along with Lutesinger, Watkins and Poston were also voluntarily making statements to police, in the aftermath of the Barker ranch raids, regarding the activities of the Family, and in particular Manson.

Watkins would also return to live amongst the family for a short while. But unlike Lutesinger he would not take part in serious criminal activity. On 20 October 1971 Lutesinger would be involved in the escape of Kenneth Como from the LA Hall of Justice, but along with Fromme and Pitman would be arrested but not be charged.

Ed Sanders mentions that Lutesinger was eventually helped to break away from the Family by the Hinman detectives Guenther and Whitely. Once again Lutesinger had assisted the authorities, this time regarding 'The Chicken Coop Kids', who were the children of Family newcomer Dennis Rice (who would be jailed for his part in the Hawthorne Shootout and had been previously jailed for his part in the conspiracy to prevent Barbara Hoyt from testifying).

Their mother had reported the children missing in February, and had approached Family members living in a van (possibly The Girls on the Corner), who had informed her they knew where her children were but would not tell her.

Rice had left his four children in the care of the Family. They and an infant (daughter of Onya Sipe), aged from one to ten, were located by police in July 1971 on a ranch in Lancaster, living in what was described as man-made plywood caves 3ft by 9ft beneath a dilapidated chicken coop.

Sandra Good, still on her vigil outside the Hall of Justice explained "we have children in hiding everywhere. We teach them to hide. People give them to us because they know we love them." Adding that the holes the children had been found in were actually bunkers in case of the impending revolution if Manson was not set free.
1min13sec in for brief Lutesinger interview
The girls on the Corner

Hinman Report 10-13-69
Barker Raid Report 10-20-69 from Motorcycle File S.U.B. Auto-theft
Barker Raid Arrest-Investigation Report 11/20/69
Bugliosi Helter Skelter
Emmons Manson in His Own Words
Gorightly Shadows over Santa Susanna
Sanders The Family
the usual nod to

Friday, February 3, 2012

Newsweek, Sept. 22, 1975:  "Leaves From a Family Album"

One week after she aimed a .45 automatic at Gerald Ford, Lynette (Squeaky) Fromme stood before a judge in the Federal courthouse in Sacramento and was arraigned for the attempted assassination of a President. A slight, hooded figure in a red robe and matching sneakers, Fromme told U.S. Judge Thomas J. MacBride that she had something important to say.

"There is and are an army of young people and children who want to clean up this earth," she began in a firm voice. "You have the jurisdiction over the redwood trees, will you think about it?" He would, MacBride promised, but not right now. "The important part is the redwood trees, we want to save them," Fromme said. "The gun is pointed. When it goes off is up to you all."

Fromme's vague threats were echoed more luridly by Sandra Good, who had shared her Sacramento apartment—and her devotion to Charles Manson. Flourishing a list of about 75 executives from such well-known firms as Georgia-Pacific, Union Oil, and "all automobile companies," Good warned that "anyone who pollutes the earth, destroys wildlife or cuts down trees had better stop now or they and their wives will be terribly murdered." Most firms withheld comment, but some, such as General Electric, tightened security around their top executives; the FBI, meanwhile, was investigating to determine whether Good's threats had broken the law.

FBI officials announced, however, that they did not expect to arrest any more suspects in the case—and that included roommates Good and Susan Murphy. Investigators were cautiously confident that Squeaky's encounter with Ford was not a Manson-inspired conspiracy. Nor did the affair seem to herald the formation of a new Manson family. NEWSWEEK correspondents who sought out former Mansonians found them scattered from coast to coast, with the most notorious in jail for murder and lesser crimes. The rest are trying to make new lives, and they want desperately not to get involved with the escapades of the girl in red.

 The last person to be caught in the Manson web was perhaps the unlikeliest: Harold Eugene Boro, who owned the gun Squeaky had wielded. Boro, a 66-year-old divorced grandfather, was described by investigators as Fromme's "sugar daddy" and by his surprised Jackson, Calif., relatives as "a very quiet man." The daughter of Boro's Sacramento landlady recalled that Fromme once borrowed his Cadillac and later accepted a used Volkswagen as a gift. He also let Squeaky use his name in letters urging Charlie's release. But he didn't become deeply involved, Boro reportedly told Federal agents, until he bought a .45 automatic from a friend and showed it to Fromme—who stole it and fled. [sic]  (Harold Boro on left, scanned from Jess Bravin's book)

Squeaky's real family tried to go about their lives last week as if their daughter had not tried to kill a President. William Fromme (who pronounces his name "Froh-me") went to his desk in the engineering department of Northrop Aircraft, his wife held down her sales post at J.C. Penny's and both retreated nights to their condominium in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., where they were visited by their parish priest and refused to talk to reporters. (Squeaky's Dad on right, scanned from Jess Bravin's book)

But some old friends were soon remembering Lynette as "a little doll" who failed to get the love she needed from her family. "I don't know what's wrong," she once told Dr. Tillman Hall, her community drill team teacher. "My dad won't speak to me. He won't let me eat with the rest of them." As she grew older, Lynette was regularly thrown out of the house until, finally, she stayed away for good—with Manson.

Retreat: One of the best known Manson girls is Linda Kasabian, who in 1970 turned state's evidence and helped get Manson convicted for the murder of actress Sharon Tate and six others. Afterwards Kasabian went home to Milford, N.H., changed her name to Linda Christian and worked as a short-order cook. "Folks used to joke about going down to the place and ordering a Kasabian sandwich," recalls one resident. But in recent months she has virtually disappeared from Milford, retreating to a remote farmhouse where she can be glimpsed, long-haired and ruddy, hanging out the laundry of her four children. "All I want to do is keep a low profile," she said last week. "If it was just me, I'd talk to people. But I have to think of my children. I just want folks to leave me alone."

Another publicity-shy Mansonian is Kitty Lutesinger, 23, who lives in Van Nuys, Calif., with her 5-year-old daughter—fathered by Bobby Beausoleil, a Manson follower convicted of a murder prior to the Tate killings—and is studying to be a school teacher at Pierce College. "They were just goony bird kids when they started this," says her mother. "But love is blind." Lutesinger, who like several girls carved an X into her forehead during Charlie's trial, has turned against Beausoleil and Manson. She has also visited two cosmetic surgeons to have the X removed, but was told that it would fade completely in five more years. "I just live with it," she says unhappily. "Not a lot of people notice it."

Cathy Gillies, 26, who joined the family in 1968 and found them a ranch in Death Valley County that they later used while on the run from [sic] the Tate killings, has gone back to the valley to find her home. After Manson went to jail, Cathy married a red-bearded Texas biker named Dave Barton and moved with their son Elf to Death Valley two years ago to prospect for silver and gold in the barren mountain range. They work hard and live simply, in a small cabin without electricity or toilet. On Sundays they take Elf—"my life," says Cathy—to country-music jam sessions at a nearby resort called Indian Ranch. But the memory of Manson dies hard, and when word of Fromme's attempted assassination flashed through the valley, a storekeeper drove over to bring Cathy the news. "Do you know what your friend just did? She tried to take a shot at the President," he blurted, and studied her reaction. "I see by your surprise that you didn't know anything about it," he said—and left satisfied.

Arsenal: Like other Mansonians, Cathy found herself the object of wild rumors last week. FBI agents and county police showed up to check out reports that the Bartons had cached an arsenal in the shaft of an old mine and were recruiting new family members from unsavory-looking passers-by. Barton led a tour of the mine, disclosing cartons of food and children's clothes hoarded by local Mormons against a depression—but no weapons. "After a day or so," Cathy says, "I got very defensive."

Cathy concedes that she has kept in touch with Fromme and Good, who dropped by last March with used clothes for Elf. Although she believes that Squeaky meant to kill Ford, she says, "I'm not going to turn a friend away." She regrets neither her time with Manson nor the X on her face. And she still views Kasabian as a traitor. "It's lucky I don't hold grudges," she says, "or I could do things I'd get in trouble for."
Article Submitted by Katie!  Thanks Katie!