For the past forty years, Charles Manson has languished in prison for his participation in the Manson family murders of 1969. He is America’s icon of evil, the one who brought down the curtain on the 1960s. He has never been a quiet inmate, however. From his unbridled outbursts of rage to his tender acts of generosity, he makes his presence felt to everyone around him.He inspires awe in other inmates, he cozies up to prison guards who are eager to do him favors, and he is responsible for countless staff transfers within and outside of the institution.This book details the dramatic journey of Willie Mendez, a troubled inmate, housed next to the serial killer for more than a year. Willie became institutionalized after repeated violations of the law, including attempted murder and armed robbery. He is serving a sixty-eight year prison sentence.From his initial feelings of contempt toward the aging killer, Willie, nicknamed, “Boxcar,” by Manson, traveled to a place of openness and acceptance of the old man’s ideas. Over time, he began to defer more and more to Manson without reservation.This is a tale of growth and maturity that contains intimate details and shocking jailhouse secrets. Willie shares an insider’s view of Charles Manson, his crazy behavior, his whispered confessions, and his sometimes profound wisdom.“Charlie” speaks openly about his sexuality, shares some details of the Tate and LaBianca murders, and relates his childhood experience of being forced to wear a dress to school. CHARLES MANSON BEHIND BARS: The Crazy Antics and Amazing Revelations of America's Icon of Evil-Mark Hewit
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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You are now listening to true murder, the most shocking killers in true crime, history and the authors that have written about them: Gacy, Bundy, Dahmer, the night stalker Btk every week, another fascinating author talking about the most shocking and infamous killers in true crime, history, true murder, with your host journalist and author Dan Zupansky it evening. For the past forty years, Charles Manson has languished in prison for his participation in the men's. And family murders of nineteen. Sixty nine is, Erica's icon of evil, the one who write down the curtain on the 1960s, his
in a quiet. Inmate, however, from his unbridled outburst of rage to his tender acts of generosity. He makes his presence felt to everyone around him. Fires all in other inmates? He closes? the prison guards who are eager to do favors and he is responsible for countless staff transfers. Within a outside of the institution, this book details of dramatic journey of Willie, Mendez a troubled inmate house next to the serial killer. For more than a year, Willie became institutionalized after repeated violations of the law, including tempted, murder and armed robbery is serving a sixty eight year. Prison sentence from his initial feelings of contempt toward the aging killer will nicknamed boxcar by Manson travel to a place of openness and acceptance of the old man's ideas over he began the defer more and more events and without reservation. This is it l of growth and maturity that contains intimate details and shocking jailhouse secrets police here, An insider's view of Charles Manson is cool
is behavior is whispered, convey. Options and is sometimes profound wisdom. Speaks openly about his sexuality share, some details of the Tate in LA Bianca murders and relates his childhood experience of being forced to wear a dress to school. The book to we're featuring receiving his Charles Manson behind bars the crazy antics, an amazing revelations of America's icon of evil. With my spell yes, journalist and author Mark Hewitt welcome to refer Gramma. Thank you very much. Agreeing to this interview Mark Hewitt. Thank you Dan. Thank you for having me appreciate it Thank you very much. Thank you for coming and talking about a subject that is important to people actually true crime, readers, and listeners for Many many years again just a statistic that some people talk. About true crime, books and- and it seems that the lesser educated
we'll talk about in cold blood, but really helter skelter, even just for the beginning of the number of great books about Charles Manson sold, seven million copies to date, so it is subject that many many people are interested in? So thank you for coming on and talking about this book, Charles Manson, behind bars, now the one of one of the questions, I normally ask him without giving too much away what brought you to this project, Charles Manson, behind bars. Before we get into all the details. How this came about this faithful turn of events, How you came why you were compelled, and why did you want to write Charles Manson behind bars? Well, it's a fascinating story than the first book that I published back in two thousand and four was actually a self help book entitled. Yes, I can change and in the process
brainstorming, about ways in which I could promote the book. The idea came to me who could benefit more from a self help book, then somebody who was behind bars yeah, especially a high profile criminal, and so from that idea. I begin to write a number of high profile criminals throughout the United States, and I put a lot of thought into how I would get letters back from them because I'm sure they get a lot of letters from media from fans or from whatever, and I wrote and suggested that they read my book offered to have them read my book in in part of my brain storming, I thought in writing. Manson. How could I get him to write back, and so I began the letter. Dear mister Manson. I need your help and a few weeks later, he he wrote back to me and then from that we begin to correspond a little bit. I told him of some of my ideas about changing, asked him some ideas of what his thoughts were on change in in the process of interacting with him. He introduced me to a man who was cell next to him. I he became quite incident where they would regularly spend four to six hours in the evening or at night time talking with one another between cells, and this is Willie Mendez. My
co author I begin to correspond with Mendez and in the course of our interactions, I began to realize that Willie had an awful lot of interesting stories about Manson and that began our collaborative effort of putting this book together. Now how many years did you did you write Charles Manson before you met to this Willie Mendez?
I actually met Willie after Manson stopped writing to me. Willie wrote me after he had been transferred out of court ground. He was in pleasant valley, state prison at the time that he started to correspond with me, but he said you know I got my. I got your address from Manson and he said you were an interesting person. In fact, in some of our correspondence with my correspondence with Manson Manson said that my outlook on life, my positive nature, reminded him of of Box Car Box car is the the nicknames that Manson gave to Willie. Why is it made him think of Willie, Nelson or Willie Boxcar Nelson? So he just started calling Willie Box car. That was his nickname, and so
I had. I had corresponded with Manson, maybe ten years and then and then I began to get letters from Willie. Now the obviously the letters that the revelations will say that that Charles Manson imparts to Willie are we're different then? What he would correspond? The course it's in the mail with you over a ten year period. What was the content. I. I know you talked about ways of change in terms of I'm going say the diff Because we can go into a long thing about that, but what? What was your spawn, limited to will say before we get
into what this other these other revelations all include. Might my correspondence with with Charlie was very very limited. Manson is on his own wavelength and you ask them a direct question. He doesn't give you a direct answer. You try to engage him on something, and he he's on he's on his own. He has his own message and frequently the letters that I would get from him would be a series of scraps of paper, and it wasn't always clear which scrap was first in witchcraft was second and it wasn't clear that there was any theme running through anything that he was saying so even to try to quote Manson or to try to make sense of a lot of what he said to me is probably a very difficult, difficult task. It wasn't until I began corresponding with Willie that I began to get. What I would say would be
Clear clean, concise stories with a coherent theme- I guess, did you find it was well worth that ten year correspondence to sort of warm you up to the character of of Charles Manson, and that will and did that really help you and terms of the kinds of if in that you wanted get from Willie Mendez, and you were able to
to comprehend Charles Manson any better. With this previous ten years of correspondence yourself to a limited degree, Charles is kind of stuck in the nineteen sixties and nineteen seventies. His ideas, his vocabulary is turns of phrases are all from the nineteen seventies and according to Willie, that's what happens to people were in prison for a long time they get stuck in the generation that they went into prison. I I don't know that I got a whole lot of profound insights into Manson in in corresponding with him, but I did get kind of a sense of who he is and what he stands for and, and a lot of it is not, is not clear. Not it's not not a direct and a direct statement. He he meanders so much in his writing in this talking that it's it's hard to really understand his philosophy. I guess I would describe this philosophy is being very eclectic ill bit from Christianity. You'll take a little bit from Scientology, he's studied him. Hypnotism enemies been involved in the church of Satan, and so he,
collects a few ideas and phrases from each of these and kind of melds them together. It's more of a philosophy of I would describe as being a utilitarian, whatever useful he'll, throw out a quote or he'll say something yeah, so certainly a mixed bag of a little bit of eastern philosophy, but sometimes it almost seems confused because it's such a mix of sometimes Even almost contradictory taken philosophy, so I would say. Now, let's talk about Willie Mendez Guidare Mo E Mendez. Your coauthor tell us first before we. Like I like to talk a a bit about because of the hit the actual. Dissipation in this. Obviously he gathers this information but before you were see you do
decided to do this project? You must have! wanted to get a very articulate, prisoner. Not a inarticulate prisoner. Tell us about that decision, making process, of course you're getting what Thank you is you're, getting information that you couldn't get yourself in no shape or form but at the same time, was he vetted for any in particular that you anything that you are particularly looking for, like being particular
Articulate, that's a that's a very important question. You ask because I would first say that I wasn't looking to write this book until I got to know Willie corresponding with Manson. Never gave me the input. You never gave me the idea that any book could come out of it and it wasn't until discussing with with Willie and hearing some of the stories that the the idea came about to put together a book. I think one of the strengths of the book is that it's the first book that actually comes from behind bars. It was largely written by Willie. It's Willie story. I am the one who kind of edited it. Willie wrote to me pages and pages and pages of stuff and really tiny print. Sometimes it was difficult for me to actually to read and comprehend what he was getting at, but I put a lot of time into re. Writing it and re organizing it Willie doesn't have a lot of education, so he just kinda jump from topic to topic and it was up to me to sort it all through and and write a comprehensive story. That's the strength of the book. The weakness of the book is that, because it's from behind bars because it's from prison, there's a question about, did the truthfulness of anything that will you said to me. He could have made up some of the stories he could've exaggerated, so you kind of have to take it with a grain of salt. This is one prisoner writing about another prisoner, well and and compounded with. That is the fact that anything that Charles Manson told him may have been true or not true, and so you get a bit of a Chinese yes chain of communication of trying to pass this information along, but in in all things I tempted to be as truthful and honest as possible. Even going back to Williams, saying here's the story that I'm writing and and showing a rough draft and saying: no, is this accurate? Can you testify? Can you verify that what you've told me is true or not, and so we would discuss a lot of things that way so they're they're always. Is that that question of you know how true is it? I have found Willie very, very honest in dealing with me. I think, as far as him being in prison and being a prisoner. What he probably deals with is a certain amount of impulsiveness he's a guy who does something first and then thinks about it later. If at all, and so he tries to be honest, he tries to be a good person and I would describe him as somebody who was attempting to be good. He may
dealing with fetal alcohol syndrome. I'm not sure if that's, if that's operative in his life, but it's it's his impulsiveness that I think got him into trouble. He is, he is in charge with over a dozen felonies, including armed robbery and attempted murder. He is likely a lifer. He there's a good chance that if he ever does get out, he will be a very old man if, if at all, so that's kind of a little bit about who he is- and you know I just I did the best I could and with with what I had to work with and that the book is what came out of it. Okay, don't terms of credibility. I understand the thing is the people that say it on and make a lie. You know and Manson has been notorious for changing stories and locally lying as well. At least that's the impression that most people have that he can certainly lie with the best of them, but the
thing is: is that a real evidence? That's compelling to most people? Is that how much of a well. I, driving force was Willie in terms of this. Was he one of these kinds of people that goes into you? He didn't he got transferred because of this murder of his cellmate, who was a pedophile, almost murder of his cell mate. He gets transferred to where the bad guys are, and that's Charles Manson, but was there any indication. Was there any evidence that he was the kind of guy looking for publicity looking for a book deal had aspirations to the write. A book had connections like that somebody planted the idea,
any evidence of that. That's the kind of credibility that I think would be in question: yeah yeah, I son. None of that. He did tell me in our correspondence that being next to Manson, Manson would say things to him like well. You're gonna, be famous now because you're friends with me and your part of history and you're you're, really important person, probably some of the same stuff that he did to build up the members of his family back in sixty nine, who went so far as to carry out murders for him. But Willie, and talking with me, didn't didn't reach out to me and say: hey, let's write a book: let's do this. Let's do that. It was. I was the one who made the suggestion after hearing some of the stories in. In fact, I don't think he he's ever ask me for anything as far as sending him things giving in cash or whatever it's. It's never been a relationship like that. So
I didn't get the sense that is a gold digger and that he was looking for fame or looking to write a book. As I say it was. It was my idea now the will set the environment here, the background of how this all occurred and under what kinds of conditions in terms of living. Arrangements in you vividly portray that in the book and and it's again very, very vivid portrayal. Talk about Corcoran state. In California, and there's fifteen other high profile inmates in this Protective Housing unit tell us about life in this active housing unit for Charles Manson and what first where they're Willie, basically observes upon
meeting, Charles Manson, in this environment? Why appreciate that you? You were pointing out that it was a very vivid picture that we paint in the book of of prison life, because that's one of the things that I regularly asked will need to do. Is to say what he saw what he felt, what what colors? What pictures can he paint with words of exactly what he felt when he experienced, and I I think we did a pretty good job of getting that. Putting that in the book I'm going for is a notorious building in Corcoran, core friends and Central California, about half way between LOS Angeles and San Francisco in the California's Central Valley. It's the building for is designated for high profile criminal. You, you need to do an awful lot to get housed in building for did the occupants of building for watching the Michael Jackson, for
very closely way back in when was that fiver? Oh six, something like that, the reason being is because of Michael Jackson had been convicted. It's quite likely that he would have ended up in building for building for has a higher ratio of guards to prisoners. Each prison cell is solitary confinement. There's only one prison or per room per cell. Each cell has additional pre cocked precautions against breaking in from other prisoners. Each cell has a padlock on it. That needs to be manually open with the key. In addition to the the the the mass electronic door, openings is controlled from a distance. The did did the building is patrolled by officers who have rifles and shotguns and a whole host of other weapons with them, because they know that at a moment's notice, something could could break out to get the building for you either have to be a high profile criminal and you know, as Charles Manson is there, but also sir hands or hands the person who was convicted of assassinating Robert Kennedy. Yes- and there are other members who other people who were there, who have left prison gangs or or left gangs, the reason is because they are marked individuals and they are other other gang members are attempt
to kill them for having left their gang, and that was Willie situation as well. He left his gang as well as being involved in these very many felonies. So, as a as a marked man, that's why he ended up in building for, and why is Charles Manson a mark mad, because the heinous heinous miss of his crimes of the eight eight months pregnant Sharon, Tate or is it because he's a celebrity, and somebody can gain notoriety by just by killing him that the latter of what you said, anybody who killed Charles Manson will have their name go down in history as the killer of Charles Manson. The same way we never would have heard of Sir Han Sir Han. If he hadn't killed Robert Kennedy, we never would have heard of Mark Chapman. We never would have heard of you know these other individuals who have killed high profile and pray,
high profile people. So there are regularly death threats on Charlie. There are a lot of lifetime criminals who would love to make a name for themselves just by killing him, and there have been numerous attacks on his life over the past forty years in prison. He is, he has been poisoned, he has had acid thrown at him. He is had people run at him and swing with their faith, so he lives a very pretty existence and Charles Manson's eighty years old. I believe this year in November, he will be. Now tell us about to what Willie Mendez observed about Charles Manson being this person that had all these death threats. That is a frightened being poisoned off stealing.
Stop from mementos from his his cell What does this manifest itself? in terms of behavior, for Charles Manson
I don't really know him that well or will we noticed a lot of paranoid behavior on the chart on the part of Manson. He was afraid of people coming into his cell. He was afraid of going out of his cell. In fact he could go for months at a time without coming out. You would just wash up in the sink in the cell and stay inside. It would only be every couple months that he would get out to go for a shower or go for a walk around the out in the yard. In fact, he bragged to Willie one time that he could go for a year without leaving his cell and when you didn't leave the cell when he got back, he was always paranoid that somebody had gone in guarded gone in our guard. Let somebody go, and so he was a. He asked all kinds of questions like you know, because my stuff and mess with says anybody been in here so there's a certain amount of paranoia that Willie Observer Willie Alt was also quite surprised that Manson was so old and so frail his memories of Manson or video clips on television of Manson during its heyday during this trial, how he was a a young, vibrant person in his thirties. Well now that he's seventy nine Willys, you know quite shocked at what he looks like. I just got a letter couple weeks ago from Willie. He has been transferred back to building for in Corcoran, so he still has contact with Manson. He is not sell beside him and doesn't have a close relationship with them, as he once did, but he still
able to. Let me know what's going on and he said that Manson is confined to a wheelchair almost totally now he can get out of his wheelchair and walk a few steps, but then he gets winded, and so he gets back into his wheelchair and he generally gets pushed around the yard when he does go up to the yard, for some exercise or for some fresh air now tell us about Four letters to so much information in this book that it's somewhat surprising, but you dedicate a whole chapter. Two mail for Charles Manson tell us about the situation of fan mail and again, if people when listening lately, there's news, you know Charles, is always in the news. So. Tell us about mail, yeah,
yeah. I came to learn that no prisoner in the United States receives more male than Charles Manson. He practically needs his own postmaster general to take care of all the mail that he received.
In fact, now I understand, as of the last year or so he's got a number of his fans who live in the area on the outside, who receive the mail for him and sort of for him and correspond with people that they feel that they need to do so, because there is just so much mail that he gets when Willie was with him. He was still receiving his own mail, which would be several packs of mail a day and he would sort through it to I. I guess he'd been receiving so much mail for so long that he was able to put it in the categories and a lot of it was just junk mail. He got letters from music groups rock and roll groups from around the globe who wanted some a tune from him or some lyrics from him to write a song. He would get a lot of mail from people involved in a religious organizations, whether they be christian organizations are buddhist organizations or whatever on some of them asking for donations, some of them asking for his endorsement, some of them asking for ideas. He was just astounded, sometimes at all the mail he got, because he never went out and solicited mail. It was simply because of his high profile nature that people would be contacting him. Reporters would contact him from around the globe. Authors would contact him. There are a lot of people who want to write books on Charles Manson. In fact, over a hundred books now been published on on him, and so he was just. I I'm amazed at how much mail he got some of it was personal mail. He would correspond with various individuals if a letter interested him, he would write back to somebody, but even back then, in his younger years he couldn't correspond with everybody who who he wanted to just because they were simply so many letters coming to him. Yeah incredible, credible fan mail, it was really interesting. Is he would use the materials the that were sent to him? I if it was a magazine, he would use the paper for some of his artwork behind bars, or he would
save cardboard or he would blank pieces of paper you would use in sending letters. Some of the letters I received were like a page from a magazine and little bit written on, or somebody would have sent him a note, and so he would scratch off what that person had written him and then write something to me on on that slip of paper. So he was. He was very aware of the material use of all of the stuff that he received. Now, how exactly did it when you first talk about the first sort of intimate conversation that Charles Johnson has it Willie Mendez. The stage for that, because they really are they seeing eye to eye or the or they talking around the corner. Tell us about how this conversation goes down. Really what is convey? In that initial intimate conversation, that seems to start
the ball rolling in terms of a relationship and report between the two
them their relationship? Yes, a well the the first time Willie saw Manson was when he was led to the cell in the first place. He walked by any saw right if people and he noticed that the man in the cell next to him was kind of a flight short man who is very pale and a little little little grandpa, because I think the way you describe him and didn't think much of him and then once he got into a cell, they began to talk back and forth. They couldn't see one another from cell to cell there's a a large wall between the two of them, but by talking out of one side of the cell, they they could talk to each other Willie described Manson as being very hard of hearing, and so that there were times that he had to raise his voice quite a bit just to be heard, even though they were only you know, a foot or two apart from each other, when they were trying to talk in indifference to other prisoners, they tried to keep her voice down as much as possible, so they wouldn't interfere with anybody else and nobody would overhear their conversation. It still Manson regularly asked him to speak up because he couldn't couldn't hear him. When will he first met Manson and was told that he was sell beside Charles Manson? He was kind of shocked and he was a little bit suspicious too. He didn't know whether this in May and beside him really was Manson or not for all. He knew that it was a. It was a joke from new prisoners at on Charles Manson yeah,
so am I so he waited till his first shower time and when he went to his first shower time, he peered in that sell again to see the person that was talking to him and sure enough. He could he notice that it was Charles Manson and that he had the the scar on his between his eyes of the swastika right and how is what was the first conversation. What was that first exchange between the two that seem to be on just a small talk, a prison, but they seem to then I like, I say, a sort of a group and in that Willy knew that
Charles at least trusted them more like him enough to impart what he did well, when you first got there, he was impressed that Manson reached out to him. It was Manson who knocked on the on the wall and started talking to Willie and kinda, welcoming into the building and and being very friendly to him. Manson was very generous with a lot of the things that he had because of the high profile nature and things that people send him. He has got quite a large bank account in prison and is able to get as much goodies from the canteen as he wants, and so he's very generous in giving soups and packets of food in chips and what not to other inmates, and so even before yet actually met Willie. He was sending him some stuff between the cells, I'm not exactly sure what what the first shipment of goods was buddy piece
provide them with a lot. A lot of good stuff and Willie was quite impressed with us and began to tell like Manson right off just from his generosity. As far as it will be sure has we had no way just from the the the original. I I'm not sure which story did he shared with Willie that they gave an indication that he was being honest or that he was he was being real, but in it at all times, Manson demanded that other people be real with him and tell him the truth, and you really got the sense that at least at first that Manson was being very honest with him and telling him things like they were, and so he he came to trust Manson an awful lot at the beginning and he was suspicious at first. He you know he being in prison for so long really is not. I have a very trusting person of others because he knows inmates abuse and use one another. So he was a little bit wary, but he did come to trust, Manson and and in fact, to cause problems for him, because he began to trust them just a little bit too much and just assume that everything that he was saying was was true, and it wasn't until much later that Willie,
a look back and realize that you know maybe he placed a little bit too much faith in Manson and maybe he was being manipulated. Much like his followers. The the members of the Manson family were back in the nineteen sixties. Sure no did he ask you any quick questions, or was it Manson again dictating and, and so it was just questions in response, but was it man and felt like talking, and then all of these subjects came to pass and what we the first one was one of the first subjects that Manson touched on you
No! I I don't know if what what the first subjects were. You did the picture. I've gotten from Willie is an on going relationship where they would just sit and chew the fat as they were talking between cells and as they spent more more hours. They just talked about this that, and everything and and Willie wasn't the type of person. He is not the type of person to try to pry into other people's lives and to find out this of information. Of that bit of information. It was more just getting to know each other in their lives and what's going on and how prison works and- and I I had the sense I get- is that it was just a very gradual relationship that grew, but it became overtime, very intimate and and shared with one another and a quite deep level. No, some of the information that the that I found.
Completely new and actually kind of surprising was some of this, Steve on about his childhood, so tell according to what Willie, has said that Charles had told him about his childhood tell us about some
information that you have discovered in this book about Charles Manson's childhood yeah. This is there a lot of different stories about Manson childhood and it depends on which book you read, because right Manson has changed this story so many times and other relatives of Manson has told tales very different from him, but to Willie Manson said that has had a very difficult childhood. He was very, he was abused by his his mother. He was born to a sixteen year old, a young woman who had just turned sixteen and she not only being young, but she acted young. She was very much into partying and being very irresponsible, so she, during his childhood years, would often be left with a neighbor left with a relative left with a friend his mother would say: can can you take care Charlie just for a couple hours I'll? Be back in a couple hours! Well then, his mother wouldn't come back for a couple days or a couple weeks, and apparently this happened on a regular basis. At the same time, I understand that Manson's mother was interviewed before her death a number of decades ago, and she said that Manson was. This was a very, very privileged child and he was kind of spoiled and maybe some of his attitude. This happened because he was spoiled and given everything you want, wanted and was kind of pampered. So it's it's hard to say what exactly is true, but a couple stories that will be passed on to me and that I have read in other places, as well as the one in his his mother sold him for a pitcher of beer. I guess
Had an alcohol problem according Charlie and was more interested in drinking then and being a mother and thought one point she said you know: if you give me a pitcher of beer, I will I'll I'll. Let you have my son and raise him. I don't know exactly the circumstances, but I understand family members followed up and went and ran and got Manson and got Charlie and brought him back and said you know. That's that's not the way you behave as a mother is another story where this is what Manson told Willie is that Charlie was raised by an uncle at one point left with an uncle for at least several months, I'm not exactly sure of the time frame of exactly how it went, but on a day of school I think the first day the went to school at this new location. Well, he was being taken care of by by yeah. I had an aunt and uncle. I believe it was if I have the facts correct that Manson was picked on at school and with with with cheese or bullied in some sense, and that Manson ran all the way home and was crying well his uncle found in and noticed that he was crying and said. You know
boys don't cry. This is and how you behave and told him. This is what you need to do. I'm going to put a red dress on you and tomorrow you're going to go to school. Excuse me you're, going to go to school, wearing this wear a dress, you're going to find that kid who picked on you you're, going to go up to him and you're going to punch him in the face, and you were gonna, be him until he submits or until you get beaten up, but either way. This is what you need to do and, according to Manson, he wore a he was forced to war. Is this red dress to school and, of course, the next day when these shows up at school with the red dress? You got teased, but at some point during that day he went up to the kid who leave him the day before and punched him in the face and and totally dominated him. So how? How true that story is is is open to speculation, but will
it was not the only person who told me that story, I've, I've also read it and other books, and I I don't have a reference of the moment right right now, some of the philosophy of of imagine he is a spouse before but tell us what Willie some of the things that Charles Manson has said to Willie and the kinds of kind of language he uses to express himself? He is uses a lot of eastern philosophy, so he he's interested in ideas that contradict yeah. A lot of his philosophy is, you know what will work, what will help him get by in prison and what was interesting one one thing that he shared with Willie is the fact that he's not as crazy as he makes himself out to be. He is listed as a mental illness
case behind bars is that he has mental issues and that he is supposed to be taking medicine for it, whether that's paranoia or schizophrenia, were whatever it is that he's dealing with he openly
added to Willie that often he acts crazy to to benefit from it if he acts crazy than other inmates won't pick on him, they'll think he's just insanely cystic norm. It's probably a trip that he learned even when he was a child, because he spent a lot of time and reform schools and juvenile halls and the end and various lock up units, and so that, being being such a small person he's only about five three or five four, but even as a child, he had to learn to maneuver and negotiate and figure out a situation when there were a lot of people around him who were a lot bigger than him. So one of the tricks that he learned was to act crazy. Well today, if you talk to people about Charles Manson of a yeah, he's crazy he's insane he's just he's just completely whacked out. Well, I think he does deal with a lot of psychiatric issues, but I think he is also playing a part and he's he's very open about the part that he plays when he is interviewed on tv, for instance, he told Willie that he often dramatizes what he's doing he he plays to the camera. He knows more about producing tv programs and the producers of the tv program themselves now and he tries to set things up so that he's a star food. Is that he's a person who his attention and knows how to get attention?
He knows how to be an entertainer, and I think that that draws a lot of people to him so that when you see him interviewed on tv or you see video clips of him, it's important to take it with a grain of salt, because a lot of it may not be as honest as it appears right. No, he does get around to talking and we won't get into. All of that will leave it for, for the reader. To discover themselves, but he does mention the family. Obviously, talks about things like that they had gay men in their group using it as gay hookers bringing in money. He talks about. Bobby B. U talks about linear, because He talks about The murder of Gary Hinman
a lot of people that who are big fans of Manson sort of know the way you know how forthright again is he about his involvement, but tell us What some of the things that he has said about the family, itself and talk a little bit about that. Well, if there's one
Charlie is good at it, it's not taking responsibility. He to this day denies any involvement in the murders of nineteen, the nineteen sixties and blames it on the members of his family. He doesn't point out, nor doesn't acknowledge, for instance, that he was very manipulative and the way he he gathered members of his family and the way he he treated them and worked on them really in in thinking about Manson, came to the conclusion that Charlie was part crime boss in part cult leader. If you understand the role of a crime boss, you understand the role of a cult leader, how the two of those two work together. That kind of gives you an insight into how Charlie worked with the members of the family. He he he looked to gather people around him, and so he would in the sixties. He was not the only person doing that there are many people who are trying to portray themselves gurus and and at pier, very wise and and appear as leaders to try to get people to follow them. While he was sometimes successful and very often times he was not, but he would go to public locations and would get up and start to speak and people thought wow he's really cool. He would bring his guitar along any play. A song and different people who were looking for a group to follow. Some of them would consider him and listen to what he had to say and some ended up following him, but once he had people following them, he used a lot of classic cultic techniques to control them. He use sleep. Deprivation use food deprivation. He would use sex to control people. He would he do whatever he had to to control these other people. That became members of the Manson family. He was very good at sizing up. Somebody else he's extremely skilled in human relationships, because he can look at somebody get to know what it is they need, what it is they, what their fears are, what they're what they're lifelong desires are, and he would actually change himself and kind of become whatever he needed to become or do whatever you needed to do to gain control over other people, and so a lot of people who initially went to follow him and hang out with him were quite unprepared for what would happen next, but a lot of his actions appear like some of the things that David Koresh did this with his followers or Jimmy Jones did with his
hours in Guyana in in gaining control over them and manipulating them. But at the same time he was very skilled at using other people to make money and threatening other people and demanding that he'd be the top dog. And so you can understand his his activities as a crime by he was involved in stealing cars in fencing, stolen property and prostitution and working with other people who were involved in other crimes. So he was completely attached to the underworld as far as the illegal activities. No, he talks about what will likely happened in the the two separate incidents, the Sharon Tate and then the Labianca murders two separate days
but he talks about that. They were you know. The family itself was really just look. For cash and and stuff and not ready, kind of that know, violent mission was intended by him was instructed by him had been spoken about. Him what's and he talks about Just being you know these crazy girls and and again avoid suspiciously talking about Tex Watson, but tell us how he justifies were rationalize. How
could have possibly happened that these people are what you're well, he kind of puts up his hands in the air and say gee. I don't really know how this happened. These were just people that I hung out with, and they just happened to go and do this, but the truth that really kind of got kind of an covered was that you know he knew exactly what he was doing and he was wise enough to keep his hands clean of the of the evidence that he would have other people do things for him so that he wouldn't be accused of doing it, and this is something that he probably learned early from stealing cars and selling, stolen cars and fencing stolen property. Is that if you get other people to do it and they get caught, you don't get. You don't go down for the the crime so that you know the state of California has said that he is guilty of conspiracy to murder and you're guilty of murder by association, and so he has been given the death penalty, even though it was commuted to life. I think that's probably an appropriate it's sentence for the man who who has done these things and is responsible for them, even though, to this day he does not take
Ability he says that you know these. These people did what they wanted to do and it was their choice but yeah. I I think if you look very closely at the stories, you realize that he was very involved in these activities as well. The interesting part of after the initial stories about Charles Manson it over the years. I've followed this to a certain degree. I mean you never keep up with all the incredible information, but there was of of him being a musician and his connection with the beach boys and then later with that Axl rose? took a song that man We had fooled around with in terms of the lease lyrics and maybe a bit of structure. Lou let's talk about how at least earth theory just for a second on how This all could have happened, he's a musician. He he thinks maybe is going to have stardom people are
to me. He has again he's Blurt things in his in his extended stay in prison and in in the school of hard knocks out of nipple people. He needs things. He needs people to do things, he's a small, small man and needs to get a bye? But what do you really happened in terms of you know this musician that fails and can't get a contract, and then people are butchered
tell us how under what could have happened. Well, I I don't know that I have better theory of than anybody else. I I understand that when he murdered the Sharon Tate and her house guest, that location was where Terry Melcher had been living a month or so prior to that and Melcher was a person who had expressed some interest in Charles Manson. According to Manson, Melcher had agreed to give more recording contract and recorded music and make him a star, but Melcher later denied that and and and said that yeah he went and checked out the Manson family one time and listen to them saying and wasn't really impressed, and so he didn't you didn't follow up on it. So exactly what Manson heard or what Melcher said meet, maybe something like Milford said to him. You know yeah. That sounds interesting. I'll, give you a call if, if I'm interested in recording further or you know or I'll call, you don't tell me type of thing yeah but Melcher was living at the at the address that Sharon Tate was living at the time he was married to Roman Polanski and Polanski was in Europe filming Rosemary's, baby, yeah and Sharon. Tate was about eight and a half months pregnant and she had a number of friends staying with her at the house that day and it was to that locations that Charles Manson apparently sent Tex Watson and the three three girls to go there and do something in it: exact, revenge or whatever. What exactly manse was hoping to accomplish by that it would be pure speculation, but at the same time, Manson was telling a lot of its followers about coming race, war and part of his his role as a cult leader, as he was making these apocalyptic prophecies about what was going to happen in in the United States and in the world and was was painting the doomsday scenario for everybody. I'm part of playing into all of this is that he was making all these prophecies, but not a whole lot was happening and he had to kind of save face in front of the followers to show them that yes, bad things are happening, and so that that the murders may have been related to that. What what he did share with Willie was that one of his his followers.
Was was charged with murder and was sitting in prison at the time, and he told Willie that he just speculated that. Maybe the girls had this idea that they were going to spring this, a member of the Manson family out of prison when another murder was took place. That also had been writing on the wall and so that it was set up to look like a copycat murder and then right. You know the Manson family member would be sprung from prison, but you know Manson, just kind of speculated that that was that was the reasoning behind it. Yeah this guy. This had something: thing to do at least with accessory after the fact. At the very very least, he knew that today- about the Sharon Tate murders. He knew about these things happening so. And you know in the eyes of the law- that's very culpable anyway.
They theorized that t. He was a man mastermind and people of you know use that fact, for years that you know maybe he wasn't, but certain everybody believes that he's in the right place, yeah and at very least he knew about it afterwards and didn't come forward and according to Tex Watson, he went the next night. He went along and said: I'm gonna show you how it's done, and so with the Labianca's he was actually present at the scene. He went inside and and and tied up the Labianca's and then left the house and then left it to his family members to go back inside and to do whatever so yeah. It's very least. He knew exactly what was going to happen to that to them because of what happened the night before then. Certainly, and indeed they were they were murdered that next night, what did Willie, because Willie has this experience again to
testing may be too impressed by the guys celebrity- and you know this patchwork of ideas that he's been reading about for years and years and again people learn he. Describe them as having sort of a presence even know he's. This dim unitive little man he had carries himself a certain way, so there's a certain admiration. Obviously, that's been built this relationship and he's very flattered, it's a Charles Manson is is, imparting all this intimate information to him. There are other things that are almost laughable in terms of him being an environmental. You know. Crusader and and his ideas on you know and brotherhood, but tell us, about some of those just for the heck of it, some of the
things Charles Manson's ideas and philosophies about some of those things that Willie had learned about up to to answer. The first part of your question: First Willie was quite impressed at how important he became just by his association with Manson. Manson is a very charismatic person and because of his celebrity and because of his charisma, people are attracted to him and noticed him and know what he's doing and know where he is when word got out, that Willie was spending a lot of time with Manson and Manson was becoming very close to Willie Willie begin to notice that other inmates started to treat him differently in here for a person who has never received a whole lot of attention in this life. It was quite something for him to be hold Willie notice that prison guards would come up to him and ask him questions about Manson or try to strike up a conversation to learn more about what Manson had been telling him and other inmates had been started to deferred to Willie and treat Willie like he was an important person, and I think I think this quite took took Willie by surprise when all this happened as far as philosophy yeah I environmentalism is, is a big thing with with Manson And- and I noticed that too, in my correspondence with him, I would ask him about protecting the environment and you would talk about how important old redwood trees are and how it is his his philosophy of life. He describes as Apt one eighteen, W a which is air trees, water animals and how human beings have to uphold these and and and and check them, and that Manson loves animals loves nature, loves wildlife, but he hates people. That's kind of what I really came to the conclusion of, because people chop down trees, pollute the air polluted water and kill animals. I tried to engage Manson a little bit on,
These these activities and kind of get a sense for more profound thinking on that those points, but I I didn't get very far. I made the observation that you know. Maybe if people planted two trees for every one trees that they cut down, we could make this world better than it is right now, while he was not interested in hearing anything like like that at all, he didn't want a single tree to be chopped down ever so. Was there anything you wrote, for ten years- and you say the course this was limited in its scope in terms of what you talked about Willie he About all kinds of intimate things, whether they were all completely true, but he did he did say a lot of things that would. No. He didn't really have much of a filter. If he's talking about the Gary Hinman murder he's talking about you know his
only the girls themselves, yeah was there anything that you found out of this entire project and you've been living with this for quite a while. Is there anything Surprising or let's say surprising, profound that Madison has had to say with
all this time in jail all those experiences serving profound. That Manson has to say. Well, I think almost every sentence that Manson others has a certain level of profundity to. It is a few satisfied about it. Think wow, that's really that's really cool or in the terms, in the words of the nineteen sixties. That's really groovy, where he talks about the importance of clean air and clean water for protecting trees, pretty much anything that he says you can say. Yeah there's there's some wisdom to that, but there is so much contradiction and so much hypocrisy in a lot of what he says that it's it's at the same time is this poll found a lot of what he says comes across as being quite foolish. You know he he talks about the importance of in the environment and doing all of these things, but you can say to him that, and all of the time that he was out of prison and living a free life. What exactly did he do to clean the air and protect the environment, and it becomes quite obvious that what he was involved in was breaking laws in controlling other people and that's what seemed really important to him to the point where you begin to realize that his philosophy of of of life is an opportunity for him to criticize other people and maybe even gain control of them by playing on their guilt. He will say something like well you're, accusing me of doing all of these things. But what are you doing? What? What are? What is the human race doing were involved in wars were involved in pollution were involved in killing people? Why is what I've done so bad, or even if I have done those how bad could it be because I'm on the good side, I'm doing these things for a reason, and you start to realize that that did this. There's kind of a lack of found thinking on his part, it's more of a defensive excuse, making and not taking responsibility for his own actions. So as far as his philosophy of life and I've, I've spent some time trying to untamed
get a clear sense of what it is that he stands for what it is that he believes. But there are so many contradictions and his and conversations in the dialogue jump around from Scientology to Buddhism, to Christianity, to environmentalism or to whatever that it's hard to say that as a cohesive whole that there is a well fought through philosophy of life that he a poll. What does I'm Charles Manson or profound and and what you were. You were hoping: no, no, I've I've never really read anything that really jumped off the page. That hasn't been written, probably better someone else. I mean. Obviously he has ideas that I would agree with it's just it's just ironic and almost laughable, because he will not ever be seen as an environmental crusader. Somehow it just won't fit
What is Charles Manson believe, Or what is Charles, Manson think about eyes, friendly, mend and Mendez being a co author of a book What is the what's? The re
in so far as far as you can tell, I wish I knew I had my publisher send Manson a copy of the book and I have not heard back since then I heard from a writer of the Rolling Stone magazine that Manson is terrified of other people writing books about him. So he will not cooperate with other people as soon as he finds out that they're writing a book and when he talks to the media, people first question Yassin is: are you trying to write a book on me because I don't want anymore books written about me? He doesn't, I guess, doesn't appreciate a lot of the books have been written already. I repeatedly asked me Mendez Willie if it was okay to for him to write a book on Manson because he had been so close to him and I repeatedly asked him if he was going to get into trouble for saying any of the things that he was saying, because I was worried about his safety because man, I have a lot of friends and if he at one time was very intimate with Manson and then was seen as betraying him. He could be in a lot of trouble, but we'll leave it at that.
He was confident that what he was doing was okay and that Manson would be okay with it now, whether whether he is heard that from him directly himself, I don't know right and in terms of what is presently. Where is Willie Mendez. All you say he's right back in
unit for again yeah I've joked around with him and saying that he's making a tour of the prison system and California because he goes to one jail in there for a couple of years and then request a transfer to somewhere else, and then he doesn't like it there and that's the worst institution he's ever been, and so he request a transfer to somewhere else. So he he does skip around a lot. But he is back in Corporan right now and has very limited contact with Manson. But I continue to write him and and Willie is very excited about writing a follow up book. He he's more excited than I am, but he wants to write a book month, a lot of the high profile inmates and guards the is met during his travels to the California prison system and he's listed for me, some thirty high profile individuals, including rock musicians and former NFL players, and a notorious inmates that he has come across
whether that becomes a book or not. I'm not sure my schedule is a little bit heavy right now, so I am not I'm not in the market for working on another book at this time with him, but it will. You know, we'll see what happens yeah very interesting Yes, very interesting to with all the programs. Now the killer speaks and all these programs, where you getting guys from prison cells talking so it's very I I talked to An author and someone and what the program- and they said all yeah. This is the line lineup of people that want to talk so. Everybody- wants to be famous. It's a phenomenon that really sort of helps. I guess you know when people want to talk as far as as far as a journalist, yeah that's great to to have people coming forward. So I I one of thank you for coming on and talking about this, but for those are
resident contacting you, you do the facebook thing. Do you have a website for people with more information and operate a blog or anything? I just give us your contact information. What where people can contact if so inclined the easiest way through Facebook? I have a page set up for it and title Charles Manson behind bars. I've posted a number of recent pictures of Manson there's a picture, a Willie there, and if anybody wants to contact me, they can contact me through that page. I'm also the editor of regions in inches, which is the quarterly journal. Sign dedicated to the search for the Zodiac serial killer. I am currently working on a a book on the Zodiac which may actually become a trilogy. I have about three books worth of information that I'm working on that currently and there's also a page on Facebook dedicated to that radians in inches. Or else you can.
My website radiance in inches dot com, yeah very interesting. You have to get a hold of us and- and let us know about that when that book is going to come out in. We'll have you on and talk about that because, again, that's one of the ticket Where's that has fascinated american and international audiences for years, so I wish you the best of luck with that and the interesting thing about that when it does happen absolutely great, I would. I would love to do that, and I thank you so much for having me today, Well, thank you very much mark people than been listening to Charles Manson behind bars with my special guest Mark Hewitt. Thank you very mark. Have a great night you're welcome bye, now, goodnight
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Transcript generated on 2019-11-05.