Another ‘celebrity’ who spent time in the district where I live was Charles Manson, infamous leader of the ‘Manson Family’. The Family was responsible for several gruesome murders in the late sixties including that of Sharon Tate, Roman Polanski’s then wife. The Family moved around a lot but one stop was 636 Cole just of Haight.

Manson lived in the centre house. There is still a reddish glow in the window.

Remarkably, on our recent drive around Death Valley, after 20 miles of serious off road driving, we come to a trail that leads to the house where the Manson Family was finally arrested.

The road to chez Manson

The house and workshop were burnt down in May 2009

Charles Manson was here. Note toilet paper that a fairy puts next to every toilet in the USA

The ranch is a very, very remote place. They must have had a good truck to get there.

I sometimes wonder if a better knowledge of English fairground equipment would have saved several lives. Manson interpreted the Beatles’ Helter Skelter’ as a call for interracial war.  To him Helter Skelter was  chaos, disorder, confusion whereas the song actually talks about a fairground ride called the Helter Skelter. I rode on one as a child.

“When I get to the bottom I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and I turn and I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again
Yeah yeah yeah hey”

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