|How Grogan looked around the time of his release.|
This is only a portion of Steve Grogan's Parole Hearing (after he led law enforcement officers to Shea's remains) - but here it is for discussion:
INMATE GROGAN: First, it was 10 years ago. I’m a completely different person to this point. I was young, 16 years old, you know. I was vulnerable to any hustler that would want to hustle me, really, because of my lack of street experience, my lack of just being out in the world, period. I probably would have gone for anything hook, line, and sinker, any salesman or hustler that wanted to hustle me, because they caught me at that age, that point of vulnerability. I was manipulated very easily. My defenses for what he had for me were, you know, almost nonexistent. It was two years after I was already incarcerated that I realized the games that he had run on me, psychological games. It was over my head, out of my awareness. It was just, you know – and now that I have been around hustlers and all types of people in the criminal line of existence there is no way I could let anybody hustle me into anything, into believing a certain philosophy.
HEARING REPRESENTATIVE VINEYARD: Well, according to the most recent report, staff is still describing you in terms of your passivity and your dependency. Whether or not this is still at that same degree it was 10 years ago can be debated, and probably isn’t, as you say. But whether or not it has reached a place – what could you offer as a demonstration of the fact that you have become your own man in the past 10 years that this kind of influence couldn’t be exerted over you again?
INMATE GROGAN: Well, I think the records state that if I’m so dependent as they suggested, I would most likely be in one of these gangs or cliques and my dependency would be on the group itself. But overt these years I haven’t joined any cliques or have any desire to join any cliques.
MS. SAMUELSON: There is a letter in fact in the file to indicate that there was a reference that he was a member of one of the white groups, and that was corrected to show that there is no such affiliation. That’s also in the file. I’m sorry; I just wanted to bring that up.
INMATE GROGAN: The fact that – I think my record states that I’m more or less a loner. It’s like I don’t hang around with a lot of groups of people. I have managed to complete a trade by myself with no help from nobody. I managed to come to the point from a fair guitar player to take off the state competition in the music field. And that was – nobody helped me do that. That was all my own effort. I managed to put together a nice portfolio of artwork. I managed to become fairly versatile with art at this point.
INMATE GROGAN: Well, it was like a growing hostility. They didn’t like him. Charlie didn’t like him because he was – he was always drinking, and he thought he was a slob. He was, you know – was always talking about messing with the girls that were there. And it was like, you know – it was kind of subtle at first, the way, you know, he voiced his dislike and disapproval of the man. Like he would bring it up in conversation at dinner when we all sat around and ate. Over a period it grew worse until – and then we were raided by the police where everything we had was taken, that we had bought legitimately. All our tools and cars and all the possessions that we had accumulated. And plus the children were taken, too. Everybody was arrested on the ranch. In fact the only person left was George Spahn, and he was blind. And they had Carl’s brother come in and watch him so he would have someone to take care of him.
PRESIDING MEMBER BROWN: Why were you arrested?
INMATE GROGAN: I was under the – because Mr. Shea had told the police that we had a stolen car ring. Okay? Well, we spent three days in jail, and we were released. And we didn’t get back none of our property. The pink slips were confiscated – along with our property – to four or five dune buggies that we couldn’t get back from them: the children put into foster homes. And what it really did is made everybody really upset at this guy, because I was led to believe that he was doing it to get us evicted off the ranch, to get us thrown off the ranch. And that was the only place we had to stay at the time. And it was through his actions that he caused us this trouble. I think it’s – you know – excuse me. It goes – you know, it goes – it’s kind of hard for me to talk about this because there are a lot of emotions that I have experienced, guilt and stuff, you know, what I did. But there was, you know, a feeling almost of hatred toward the guy because of what he made us go through, the children and stuff. Like we had held the children in really almost the highest position. They were home delivered and breast fed. It was like – our feeling for the children was really the highest thing we felt. This was mostly the whole reason we was all together, to put the children in a good environment, free from social indoctrinations and stuff, try to raise them as natural as we could. And then to have someone come along and form a false story and have them put in foster homes, it was really a blow to the women and men that were at the place at the time.
The incident in Ventura County concerning the indecent exposure, could you explain that to the Board, what that entailed?
INMATE GROGAN: I was coming back from the Spahn Ranch where I was working before and I was going to my parents’ house. This happened on the same block as my parents’ house. I came back and I wanted to get some money because I had a traffic ticket that I had to pay off. My brother was living there and he offered to pay the traffic ticket. So there was nobody home. As I was leaving there was some neighborhood kids that were on the lawn and I was playing with them and the pants I was wearing had the crotch ripped out of them from riding on the horses and things at the ranch. So when I was playing with the kids on the lawn I guess one of the mothers had viewed it from one of the windows and had called the police thinking that I was exposing myself to their children. As a result of that, I was arrested.
MR. FOLEY: In fact, you were referred to a hospital for a period of time?
INMATE GROGAN: Yes. They referred it to, I think, it was Camarillo for 90-day observation.
MR. FOLEY: Also, one other thing crossed my mind. This ranch that you were living on, the Spahn Ranch, were you residing there prior to Charles Manson’s arrival on the ranch?
INMATE GROGAN: I was there when I was about 15 years old and lived in the back. They had a back ranch-house that I lived in and I worked odd jobs, guiding tours for writers and cleaning up the ranch and stuff. They’d give me food and clothing. The rent was free. It wasn’t really nothing to pay for rent. It was just an old shack. It had no electricity or hot water or anything. Just a place to rest.
MR. FOLEY: The next entry on your record is the auto theft, grand theft auto. Could you explain that? That’s in December of 1969.
INMATE GROGAN: I recall being arrested for grand theft auto because I had rented a truck. It was a half-ton truck, I think. I took it to the desert and it got stuck in the desert. At that time I was arrested by Inyo County. I had rented it for one day. So the company called up and thought I had stolen the truck. I went to court and I paid restitution for it, all the damages and the time overdue. I pleaded guilty, I think, to a breach of promise, a misdemeanor. Is that the same one?
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: About this incident helping somebody to go to Hawaii to avoid testifying?
INMATE GROGAN: What happened in that incident, one girl named Barbara Hoyt was scheduled to testify in the Charles Manson trial. She came to the ranch where I was living at the time in Chatsworth, California.
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: This is when you were on bail?
INMATE GROGAN: Right. And indicated to the girls and that came to me through hearsay from the girls that she didn’t want to testify that she wanted to, you know, go someplace and hide till the trial was over. So, I guess the girls suggested that they go to Hawaii. They bought her tickets.
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: On a stolen credit card or something?
INMATE GROGAN: I don’t know how they got it. I think the friend bought it on a credit card, his personal credit card. I think. I’m not sure.
Anyways, they secured the means of going to Hawaii. And one girl went with her. When she went to Hawaii, the girl gave her some hallucinogenic drugs and some food and left her and flew back to the States. And that scared her and she went to, I think, YMCA or something like that and told authorities and then went back to the police and told them that she thought everyone was trying to kill her or dissuade her from testifying. Consequently, everybody that she came in contact with at the ranch that time she mentioned and was mentioned in the indictment.
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: As a conspiracy?
INMATE GROGAN: Yeah. And can I add something to that?
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: Yes.
INMATE GROGAN: We were planning to take the case to trial because the evidence was really shaky on it. There was no evidence, as far as my participation was concerned, but due to the fact I was already in for murder trial, I thought it be best interest to go in with Ruth Moorehouse. Ruth Moorehouse, she was pregnant at the time.
So we all agreed those were charged with conspiracy plead nolo contendere to a misdemeanor, if they would let her out on her own recognizance to have her child in the streets. Because we didn’t want her to have her child in the county jail and have it taken from her at the early part of delivery. So the District Attorney agreed that would be acceptable to him, and that’s how the disposition was handled.
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: And then later on you were convicted of the murder?
INMATE GROGAN: Right.
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: Right. I’d like to thank you very much for providing that information. I know it’s pretty well covered in the pages I mentioned, pages 32 to 41 in the hearing of 1979.
BOARD MEMBER TONG: At a certain point after you’ve gotten married, your wife needed to change her unlisted phone number and indication because of threats from Manson family. Would you elaborate upon that, because this was sometime after you were incarcerated? Charlie Manson was incarcerated. Who was the threat coming from? What was it all about?
INMATE GROGAN: Well, after couple years being in prison, after reflecting clear in my head, all the cobwebs, what I call the drug residue, I just started thinking. I came to myself. Man, I started thinking, well, what am I doing with these people? Man, why am I still even letting them write to me?
So cut them loose. In the meantime, I had met, you know, met my wife and we visited over a year. I visited with her for a year because I wanted to see where she was at in her head, as far as for a wife, good wife, my children. It was more like a testing period. I let her go through to see if she would stick by me. Of course, there was no guarantee of that. It seemed that after a year of going through these hardships of prison life, visiting, coming back and seeing you, on the basis that she had left, you know, call it quits or she would stick by me.
So consequently after a year and a half, I decided we should get married. And some of the girls that were involved in Charlie’s in Sacramento got wind of the marriage and they threatened her with telephone calls. Telling her that she wasn’t good enough for me. They were going to kill her; send somebody over to get her, that she should leave me alone; get the hell out of there.
These are not quotes, just summations of the feelings. So I told her to change her address, move out of there. I wondered how they know where she lived.
BOARD MEMBER TONG: Pardon?
INMATE GROGAN: I was wondering how they know where she lived.
BOARD MEMBER TONG: At the time you got married, were you prepared as far as the consequences that that might be the reaction from the people that were still out?
INMATE GROGAN: Yeah. It was – I had those reactions to them during that relationship. We had told her, you know, relatively the same thing, leave me alone. You have no business with me, and I kind of half ass respected that from those people. Because in their eyes, here I am in the past involved. I am in effect getting out of the group. To them there’s no getting out. Because it’s – it’s kind of difficult to explain, I guess, the attachment they had to each person that was involved with them over the years and they didn’t want to let go of it.
BOARD MEMBER TONG: Okay. Maybe –
INMATE GROGAN: It’s like we’re supposed to be bonded together for life, you know, for eternity. Almost to a, like a vow, you know, to that. That was their viewpoint of my involvement with them and I didn’t see it that way. And they was highly upset that I would leave them and just told them to get the heck away.
BOARD MEMBER TONG: I think you indicated that at the time of the killing, correct me if I’m incorrect, that Manson said to mutilate the body and that you surmised that it was a means of bringing the group more under his control, because the group was beginning to shift away from him; is that correct?
INMATE GROGAN: Yeah. At the time – it wasn’t really at the time of the murders. It was after the murder, sometime after. The murder that he told me that, you know, circulate that story if anybody asks.
MR. ROBINSON: Just for clarification, he didn’t tell you to mutilate the body?
INMATE GORGAN: He told me to say that we had mutilated the body.
BOARD MEMBER TONG: Okay. Of the people that were involved in the Manson family, do other people have – at the time that the incident took place, people were very close to one another in terms of the psychodrawn path? At this point is there a spread in terms of individuals?
INMATE GROGAN: Yes. There’s a – there’s a –
BOARD MEMBER TONG: Where people are at in terms of their relationship with Manson or –
INMATE GROGAN: I was the only one that was, you know, saying – taking a good look at where they’re at. It took me a couple years because oriented myself in prison and then still work sifting though the distortion of the thinking I had. But, yeah, I think they were desperate to hold what they had, what little clique of a group they had left.
BOARD MEMBER TONG: Are some of them still pretty close to him in terms to the extent that you can be?
INMATE GROGAN: My contact with them over the years has been nill. I imagine probably couple of the girls are still with them, but that’s about it as far as I’m concerned.
BOARD MEMBER TONG: Okay. I don’t have any other questions.
INMATE GROGAN: Okay, I’ll start with the report that you read is pretty accurate insomuch as it describes everything that happened.
Few inconsistencies in the sense that, if I understood right, you said we enticed the victim to the car. I don’t know if it was understood how I explained it last time that he was taking us down to an auto mechanic place to change some auto parts in. So actually we were like hitching a ride with him.
I don’t know – is enticing the same thing?
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: Well, no, not exactly.
MR. ROBINSON: Well, let me put it to you this way: It begins for you, you’re waking up in the morning, right? If you could start at it from that point and just sort of discuss it. I know you discussed it so many times.
INMATE GROGAN: Well, that morning I was awakened by Charles Manson and still, you know, half asleep, told me to get to the car and handed me like a pipe wrench. Told me to hit Shorty in the back of the head as soon as Tex gave me the go ahead or gave me the signal.
At that point Tex and I entered the back seat behind the driver, which was Jerome Shea, and Tex was on his right hand side. We proceeded down Santa Susana Pass toward San Fernando Valley. And about a quarter mile down from the ranch there was like a turnoff where cars, you know like rest area. And Tex mentioned that he had some parts over there that he had to get, pick up before he went to the store.
I still haven’t got over, you know, the emotional part. You know, so sometimes it’s kind of hard to, you know, overcome the atrocity that I did.
BOARD MEMBER TONG: Would you like some water?
INMATE GROGAN: Yeah, if I could.
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: So Charles Manson was in the back seat with you?
INMATE GROGAN: No. No one was in the back seat.
INMATE GROGAN: Thank you.
MR. ROBINSON: Tex was sitting in the front seat and you were sitting where?
INMATE GROGAN: I was sitting behind the driver.
MR. ROBINSON: In the back seat.
INMATE GROGAN: Then we pulled off the road. Tex got out. The car was still in gear. I think he just had his foot on the break, and they got out and they looked around the bushes like he was looking for some parts.
In the meantime, I was supposed to hit this guy in the back of the head. And like I never, you know, hit anybody or hurt anybody like that before, and it was hard, you know. I kept hesitating in my mind, you know, looking at the cars on the highway hoping maybe cause of traffic I wouldn’t have to hit him because it was just 10 feet off the lane.
And Tex was urging me, you know, come on hit this guy. I kept hesitating. He pulled out a knife that he had. I guess that’s what finally, you know, put me over the edge. I just hit the guy. I wasn’t really – there was no accurate shot or nothing like that.
MR. ROBINSON: Take your time.
INMATE GROGAN: Well, the blow stunned him but it didn’t knock him out. And he jumped to the passenger side of the seat. That was, the car door was already open and exited through there.
MR. ROBINSON: Steve, let me interrupt you. One of the things that was read in the statement was that the blow knocked him out of the vehicle. I remember that was discussed last year, and as you just said, he left the vehicle after being hit, right? He went out which side?
INMATE GROGAN: Right side.
MR. ROBINSON: The passenger side, all right.
INMATE GROGAN: The blow knocked him forward so he hit the steering wheel and surprised him and jumped out the side and I had to reach over the seat and get in the driver’s seat to stop the car, because the way it was parked there was an embankment, you know, like cul de sac ditch. And the car ran – drove into the ditch. So, meantime I’m jumping over the seat trying to put the brakes on, put the car in gear, stop the motor, he had already been stabbed.
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: Who did that?
INMATE GROGAN: I imagine Tex did. I didn’t actually see him stab him. My head was turned, you know. The car had left. My peripheral vision, I didn’t catch what was going on. Came out of the car and he was laying on the ground and semi unconscious state. He was already going or something. And at that point Manson arrived on the scene with another person.
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: They were in a different car?
INMATE GROGAN: I actually didn’t even see a car drive up. I just noticed to my right he came up. He might have gone through some back trails and in time – he must have been in another car.
HEARING REPRESENTATIVE EPPERLY: Was it Tex who initially said there were some parts over here and caused the vehicle to turn off on the side?
INMATE GROGAN: Right. And I came upon the victim in a semi unconscious state. And I was handed a knife and told to stab him, and I stabbed him twice in the chest. And some others were told the same.
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: Did Manson stab him too?
INMATE GROGAN: I don’t know. He might have slashed him. I don’t recall if he stabbed him.
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: So you stabbed him and Tex stabbed him. Anybody else stab him?
INMATE GROGAN: I think Bruce might have stabbed him in the arm.
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: Then what happened?
INMATE GROGAN: Well, at that point, couple minutes after that he was dead and I was told to take him, drag him into some bushes that were further from the highway, cover him up till night, come back at night and bury him. And the others left so I came back at night and buried him.
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: You came back yourself and buried him? How deep was the grave?
INMATE GROGAN: It was pretty shallow. It was just enough to cover his body. But in reference to the deep grave, over the years it was seven years or eight years and there had been rainstorms and mud slides in that area. And I think that’s what – they had trouble finding him when I initially drew a map. I had to go down with them, escort, and show them the direct vicinity. I couldn’t even remember the exact spot because, you know, landscape had changed.
PRESIDING MEMBER ROOS: How about all this talk, it was groovy to kill him, and all that kind of business?
INMATE GROGAN: Well, I was told that if anybody was to ask what happened that those were the statements I was to give them in order to – at that point in time, at the ranch there was a lot of, seems like there was a little bit of dissention and philosophy that was promulgated there. There was always – fear or love would pull people together from breaking apart. And I think it was, you know, meant to understood that this statement would bring more fear to the people rather than just stab the guy the way we did.
This is not the original transcription of Grogan's hearing. This document was sent to me in "word" format... but I have seen and read the original transcription, and I personally attest to it's validity.
One can safely assume the hearing was held after 1979, as Grogan and the Hearing Representative, both refer to the crimes as being committed "ten years ago". My best guess would be 1980.
(Courtesy of Backporch Tapes)
Below is a video shot at the time of Grogan's release
(Courtesy of Backporch Tapes)