Ode to VHS: Manson

When people ask me which VHS covers stood out to me the most in my local Mom and Pop video store, Manson is always on that list. This Continental box is massive, like most Continental releases. I remember thinking the three people on the cover were boys but they were actually Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, Sandy Good, and Nancy Pitman. If you're looking for a documentary that focuses on the horrific crimes, you will not find it here. Manson puts the spotlight solely on a day in the life of this twisted family. The girls upchuck their deranged philosophy thanks to Charles Manson's brainwashing and mind-altering substances. This overlooked documentary is absorbing and beyond disturbing. I had to pick my mouth up off the floor a couple of times. Paul Watkins also recounts stories of child birth, orgies, drugs, and rock-n-roll while calling Manson Jesus Christ.

As the box description clearly states, there are NO actors in this film. These are interviews by the real family and a clear warning sign that the world was dealing with dangerous people who will kill anyone who gets in their way. It baffles me that these girls were not being watched. Just two years after the film's release, Lynette Fromme attempted to assassin President Ford and succeeded in killing at least two other people, that we know of. There's no telling what the authorities do not know. After the Ford incident, the film was banned temporarily in California so Fromme could have a fair trial. Lets be honest here, that film should have been used as evidence against Fromme. Her threats captured on film shouldn't have been taken with a grain of salt.

Worshiping mother nature wouldn't be complete without ceremonial robes. Good and Fromme. 

Ginger elves around the world, horrified by this discovery.

Good and Fromme posing nude. You know, for the animals. 

Mary Brunner, the first member of the Manson family and mother to Manson's son, was also involved with another murder and petty crimes. Fromme, Good, and Brunner go into long rants about Charlie's innocence. Charlie the revolutionary. Charlie the scapegoat. They argue that the world is focusing on Charlie and taking their eyes away from war overseas, riots, and murder. It's hard for me to swallow this bizarre logic. Why should innocent people have to pay for what's going on in the world? There is no excuse for Sharon Tate and her baby. The girls show no remorse for Sharon Tate and her baby. To them, people die every day and babies are born every day. In love there is no wrong.

Good and Fromme. Best friends forever. 
Charles Manson stole their innocence. He taught the girls that it was 'groovy' to kill. "Love is death." Death is the most beautiful trip in the world. The ultimate climax. It's clear that brainwashing and drugs play a major part in these murders as the girls recall crazy Charlie's acts while under the influence. The three women who carried out the Tate and LaBianca murders; Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkle, and Leslie Van Houten felt as if they were sacrificing themselves to fight for air, trees, and water. These girls had excellent grades in school, along with talent, and they all had a bright future ahead of them. How could these bright girls give in to such a way of life? The girls laughed during the trial when the horrific description of the murders were announced. They were always laughing, singing, and smiling.

Perhaps the most horrifying realization for me is that Lynette Fromme was released from prison in 2009, after serving 33 years in attempt to kill the President. This crazy lady who dressed up in ceremonial robes and took the lives of innocent people is FREE and living in New York City. Charles Manson defines her as the most caring member of the family that was happy to give anyone the clothes off of her back and that she was the "definition of love." How could this woman who is soooo caring not show any remorse for her victims and Manson's victims? How are you going to save the Earth by killing innocent people and children? It's said that the rifle she used wasn't even loaded. There are erroneous stories as to why she did what she did. Loaded or not. She's a basket case that is out there roaming the streets of New York City.

They say they never called themselves "The Manson Family" and this title often annoys the gang, Manson included. To them, it was a title given to them and exploited in the media. That may be but Manson himself has called the group his family in interviews and I strongly believe 'family' is the correct term, media or no. I call my friends family. This is a group of people that did everything for each other and loved each other unconditionally. They no longer had families.

If you have spent as much time going over this subject matter as I have, you know that there are many misconceptions regarding Manson and his family, gang, whatever. For instance, he lies A LOT. He even lies about his mother. The childhood of Charles Manson isn't as grim as he lets on. There was plenty of love passed around between him and his siblings. Manson spent almost his entire life behind bars, unable to accept responsibility for all the crimes he committed, putting the blame on authority figures instead. During one lockup, he took a course wherein he read a book that you could say is the reason why it's so easy for him to manipulate idiots like Fromme, Good, and Atkins around the world. The man even took some of his ideas from passages in the bible and Scientology. When you have so much time to spend, alone with your thoughts, then you are released to a world of hippies and LSD, this is the outcome.

Charles Manson used his family and threw them away. Now his attorney argues that he did nothing wrong. This attorney is just as crazy as his client after making statements like, "If you tell someone to beat someone up, and they end up killing them, it shouldn't be your fault." That's the most ridiculous excuse I have ever heard. If Manson really just wanted to scare these people then why send the group to another house following this gruesome scene? This is just his way of wanting to put the blame on others and failure to accept responsibility once again. If it weren't for Manson and his jealous rage against Beach Boy Dennis Wilson and Terry Melcher, Sharon Tate and her baby would be alive today. The only thing Dennis Wilson got out of the Manson Family was a venereal disease and stacks of bills. This musician allowed Manson and some of the girls to stay with him. In return, they wreck his car and basically rob the man. Wilson then kicks the family out. That is the real reason why Sharon Tate was murdered. It's unfortunate that she and husband Roman Polanski were renting out Melcher's home.

In closing, the documentary is a hidden gem that rarely gets a viewing. The grainy footage and split screens add to the grimy effect that's already set in motion by those crazy ramblings from the family members. I wish I could spend more time focusing on Manson's lies and logic but I don't want to beat a dead horse. For all of his followers and this woman "Star" who has a website that fights for the deranged man's freedom, stop and think about the man you are trying to save. Not only did he admit to shooting a man and leaving for dead (thinking he was a Black Panther,) he strongly dislikes authority figures, is a sociopath, and a racist who feels absolutely NO remorse for the harm he has caused. You cannot blame society for your troubles. He talks about how the world butchers trees. It's insulting that he uses the word "butchers" after his "family" brutally butchered innocent people and a baby that only had two weeks before it would feel the warmth of their mother's arms. Lets also not forget that the man has a Swastika imprinted on his forehead. I don't know if there is an afterlife but if there is, I hope the victims are at peace and Sharon Tate is with her baby. Guess it's hard not for me to be hopeful after such a heinous crime.

In the past I have shown the horrific crime scene photos. Out of respect for Sharon Tate, I am going to post a picture taken before the murders so we can all remember her for her beauty. It's hard to believe she was only 26.

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