Charles Manson and The Black Muslims.
I think by now everyone knows about the so-called race war that Vincent Bugliosi brought forth as motive for the Tate and LaBianca slayings. Most people seem to accept this as truth and at face value. Bugliosi stated that Charles Manson thought this race war would be perpetrated by the Black Panthers and carried out against rich whites. Bugliosi went on to say this was a non-existent race war; a delusion of Manson’s.
So, was it really the motive for the slayings? Well, most of the Family members have denied that. Most of them state that the motive for the slayings were to create similar murders to mirror the Gary Hinman murder scene (writing on the wall in blood, multiple stab wounds, pillows over the face, slashed cheek) to make it look to investigators that Hinman’s slayer was not Manson Family friend Bobby BeauSoleil and still at large. Since the Tate/Labianca and Hinman murders were in different jurisdictions the link was never realized. In fact authorities refused to link the Tate and LaBianca slayings until Susan Atkins gave her bogus jailhouse confession to Ronnie Howard and Virginia Graham.
Truth is the prosecution was so bungled that they took the word of ex-Family member Paul Watkins without question. Watkins brought forth the Black Panther race war angle, despite being pushed away from the Family and sent to Death Valley before the murders even happened. In fact, he did not even know they happened until December, 1969. Vincent Bugliosi said the case against Charles Manson was weak, so he desperately needed someone like Paul Watkins. Paul Watkins only went to Bugliosi because when he tried to put himself back in the Family, Steve “Clem” Grogan became suspicious— that he was a spy for the prosecution— and tried to burn him alive.
Before the Hinman, Tate and LaBianca slayings Charles Manson shot a drug dealer by the name of Bernard “Lotsapoppa” Crowe over a dispute between Crowe and Charles Watson. Apparently Watson burned him on drugs and Crowe took Watson’s girlfriend hostage and with threats against her well-being tried to recover the money. The day after the shooting Family member Tom “TJ The Terrible” Walleman heard that a high-ranking Black Panther member was shot. He figured this was was Crowe and relayed the news to Manson. Manson became super paranoid about an impending retaliation from the Black Panthers. He armed the Family and created lookout posts with CB radios so the lookouts could radio in any interlopers. That was basically the extent on the whole Black Panther scare. Truth is Charles Manson spoke more about Black Muslims than Black Panthers. The media picked up on the Black Panthers and ran with it— that became truth through media lies.
Charles Manson stated in the book Manson In His Own Words that “Though I wasn’t black, I picked up on what the Black Muslims were practicing. I found them solid in their beliefs so I watched them and began to appreciate their rituals and traditions.” This shows that Charles Manson was interested in Black Muslims before he was paroled. Manson has also stated that some of those Black Muslims would tell stories about an impending attack on whites.
This obviously scared Manson and that is evident on his Family members spouting out a lot of Black Muslim propaganda to the news cameras during the trial. Even Charles Manson spoke about them in court. "The Black Muslims— they know the way, they’re ahead of us. Fifty years ahead. They are way ahead of the Black Panthers, dig. They know what’s happening. And I turn them on because I’m the only white guy in here that knows Mohammed. They got things going on in the sewers that you wouldn’t believe!”
These words were largely dismissed and called Charles Manson’s psycho-babble and delusional. When it came time for Paul Watkins to testify in court against Charles Manson he even spoke about the Black Muslims.
- Paul Watkins: “Then the Black Muslims would come out of hiding and wipe them all out.”
- Prosecutor Bugliosi: “Wipe the white people out?”
- Paul Watkins: “Yes. By sneaking around and slitting their throats.”
Even Sandra Good spoke about them to author/director Robert Hendrickson. She went as far as making a shocking threat of an impending attack by Muslims. "Islam is on the rise and Christianity is goin’ down. Mostly, they keep quiet. They’re smart enough to not run off their mouths. They lie low, they’re like snakes. They Lie Low and they wait and they strike when the time is right and nobody sees em." Again, these words really went nowhere and only surfaced in the last few years.
So, with all of that being said, you would agree that the Family spoke about Black Muslims and not Black Panthers. Truth is that after the trials were over, in 1972, the Black Muslims started attacking whites at random. This lasted a few years and started in San Francisco and branched throughout California. Only sixteen murders could be proven, but the more accurate count was 71 in California. There’s almost 100 suspected related murders out of the state of California. All the same; Black Muslims attacking whites at random. These attacks were dubbed The Zebra Killings and were largely covered up and ignored by the country afterward. But, it’s hard to ignore that Manson had mentioned Black Muslims, attacks, the murders started in San Francisco (where he was from after parole), that he befriended Black Muslims in prison and the killers were largely recruited from prisons.
So, is it possible that when Manson spoke to his Family about these Black Muslims that he met in prison talking about this attack that he was being serious? Is it possible that Charles Manson new this was happening? The words were spoke, you can’t erase that. It’s really hard to dismiss it as coincidence when there were a lot of Family members screaming it on the sidewalk during the trials.
"The black man is going to save this earth. Who’s always taking out the garbage? Been the black man, hasn’t it. They’re the love, but we haven’t treated them with love. We have whipped them. We have hung them, cut their nuts off, fucked their women and fucked up their whole blood line. We done everything we could possibly do to’em, except treat’em with love. And now, they’re gonna give us back exactly what we gave them, tenfold."
— Steve “Clem” Crogan, 1970
- (Info Source: Manson In His Own Words, Trial Transcripts, Exclusive Films)