Oh, Dear. . . A BigFoot Hunter

Cut me some slack. I’m actually the Father of Modern Bigfootery and the Most Hated Man in Established Bigfootery. It’s not because I type in snooty CAPS. My keyboard is Freudian but not smug. I don’t believe in what the others promote. I’m not just a Bigfoot hunter. I seek a little more than a thrilling glimpse at a badger in a tree that I can swoon over and believe was a hominid. I seek the ultimate hunt.

Expeditions are frightfully British in character. It’s not intentional. The English simply have a higher sense of serious adventure. I won’t have an Eaton man along if he admits he learned anything at college. A gentleman learns nothing at Eaton except how to gamble and play the horses. Some appear to learn wenching, but they already knew that. They just have more opportunity now.

A gentleman is the only thing to be with in the wilds; that or a Frenchman.  The Dutch do well, but they are hard to manage.

Well, the true life pursuit is something very different from the plodding reality TV rubbish. Think in terms of the recent Search for the Lost City of Z, only not so langsam, and not so much whispering. I dig that kind of adventure.

Z-1

In this case, the backdrop are the deep and dank forests of the Pacific Northwest. Unless it is the Torngats, nowhere else . . . with the odd exception there may still be something in Arkansas.

Let’s talk about the Traverspine Gorilla. This is the name that Elliot Merrick gave two beasts who terrorized the small Labrador village of Traverspine at the head of Lake Melville in the 1930s. The citoyens there had never seen anything like them before. They were hairy beasts that could walk on their hind legs, but went down on all fours when in a hurry. He wrote of their encounters in his book True North. These two creatures, a male and female, were hideous. One girl came across them, one of the Michelins as I recall, and she insists that one of them smiled at her and then beckoned her with its finger. She bolted back to momma and the cabin. One thing seems certain: they left a strange 3-toed print, like some ghastly giant sloth.

Professor Bruce Wright later traveled up there and tried to explain the beasts in his book Wildlife Sketches Near and Far. He had spoken with the people involved in some of the most horrific encounters, like the Michelins. Despite them insisting that it was no bear, he later tried to explain the Traverspine Gorilla away as lost polar bears. The explanation didn’t wash.

One hears very little about the Traverspine Gorilla today. Bigfooters and “Cryptozoologists” really don’t exist in the field. They are armchair enthusiasts or plodding about the fringes of a forest with game cameras for so called reality-TV. It would take a lot to go into the Torngat Triangle in Labrador. But it would be a real expedition into largely unexplored territory. It requires guns, a chopper ready to Medivac, some whiskey, lots of gear, some more whiskey, stiff upper lip, and most importantly toilette paper.

The Torngats are the object. The Traverspine Gorilla of the 1930s was an exception. They didn’t come back. They came from somewhere, traveled in a male-female pair, and must have gone back into the Torngats. There’s a lot up there that would shock people. It is a true land that time forgot. Bruce Wright knew the following story was reliable. One hunter in the area quickly scampered up a rock when he saw a red bear coming. He sat there frozen, watching as this bear snuffled at his canoe. It was snuffling at one end and its tail was at the other. The canoe was 15 feet long! That’s a big bear!

This is the wonderful type of adventure that awaits the true adventurer, the true lover of worthy junkets. The Traverspine Gorillas must be explained. They sure aren’t Bigfoot, but then that “chimera” is a combination of many things.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

Manson Family in Context– Excuses vs Actions

Those who follow me know that I seek out mysteries with an eye to solving them. . . or contributing to that end. To document, or re-document as the case may be, a famous true crime case doesn’t really interest me. The Manson Murders are one exception. The historical backdrop is exquisite– the era is the Kodachrome brightness of childhood mixed with the innocence of the counterculture. Manson was the alchemist stirring in the darkness, the ingredient that was always ample within reach of the caldron of hippie movement.

But it is not historical interest or sentiment for the crimes and times of my fledging era. There is a possibility that there are undiscovered murders– this means mystery awaits us. I have mentioned this potential in posts before, but lets get down to context here. Just when could these murders have taken place?

Students of the Manson Family and resulting saga know that it was in January 1969 and then especially in July that Manson began to change. He was all love before that. Before this, “Everything we did,” had said Paul Watson, “was for f—ing.” So it would seem that any undiscovered murders could only have taken place after July.

Well . . .

Let’s backtrack.

Too much emphasis has been placed on Manson’s “change” and not how easily his “Family” adapted to brutal murder. It is hard to believe that only “love” was dominant in the guru’s preaching before this. He had returned from the city, visibly disturbed and warned them that Helter Skelter was about to come down and they had to be prepared to help the “little ones” escape.  This sounds like a man preparing his acolytes for action. In other words, ennobling something that otherwise would be considered barbarous. Manson-ad

By the end of July, Manson had shot Lottsapoppa Crowe and along with  Family members they had killed Gary Hinman. It really wasn’t for Helter Skelter, but the “political piggy” and blood palm print was more of an alibi, something done to blame the Black Panthers, a group whose vengeance Manson feared for the Crowe shooting. Bobby Beausoleil (the “Frenchman”) was arrested on the 8th of August for the Hinman murder and that night the Helter Skelter murders begin.

Although it is hard to believe that universal love was preached, the actions of the Family reveal that Charles Manson had taught them a lot of his version of love. He certainly inculcated in his “kids” the strong feeling of bond. More than one member of the Family plainly declared that the Helter Skelter murders were to get Beausoleil sprung from jail. They were done in imitation of the political sentiment Beausoleil wrote on the wall. This would make it look like the same killers– Black Panthers– were still afoot and Beausoleil was innocent.

Some of them certainly believed this, and Manson made sure they did. It was the bond of love for one of their own–Bobby Beausoleil– that motivated them. They may not have had hate preached to them, but a manipulative mind had solely taken control. What is amazing is how well they pulled it off.

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Bobby Beausoleil

More than Manson’s “change,” the change of the “Family” is intriguing. The guru’s control had always been there, but they seemed capable of some of the worst acts with very little preparation. The murder of Gary Hinman was obviously not to free one of their own. It was vengeance, an act that Manson solely blamed on “the Frenchman.” Beausoleil was more than capable of it. Bruce Davis stood by, as did Manson, and Susan Atkins had more than a passive role. This does not argue for total love having been preached prior to the July of Change.  This was rather a hippie-esque gang of dopers and Hollywood hopefuls manipulated by a man who had Hollywood contacts in the music industry.

Following the Helter Skelter murders (Tate/La Bianca), there was the Shorty Shea murder. Officially that’s “it” for the Manson Murders because Manson was still a part of the act. After he was arrested, the crimes were perpetrated by the Manson Family.

And death and mayhem continued to follow the Manson Family even with Charlie in stir at prison.

There was the shootout at the store in Hawthorne to get weapons for the mass assault. There was the attempt to murder a family member with a poisoned hamburger. There was that unusual death of another so-called member– “ZERO” was it? There was the killing in Stockton. There was Squeaky packing heat ostensibly just to talk to President Ford in 1975.

We’re speaking about years after the Manson Family convictions. Manson and 7 Family members were in prison. But other members still rated news regarding other diabolical deeds.  With each news report Manson grew more of the bogey man, more of the controlling cursed cult guru whose clan continued their reign of terror.

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Members of the family who weren’t in prison, here appearing in a photo shoot. They had a song, sung frequently in Merrick’s documentary, how they would stay together forever.

But are there other murders? Manson personally need not have been out and a part of them. His “apostles” seemed more than capable on their own. If there are undiscovered victims out there, we have to consider the Family’s pattern in order to estimate where and when some murders might have taken place. Their terrorist acts and attempted murders all revolved around a particular motive: silencing traitors or helping each other out.

This is a pretty heavy attitude for just one month of programming (July 1969) for the cult of love to change to a self-protecting band of self important gangsters.  Yet in understanding that “love” of each other was strongly preached, one can figure that any murder they did was along the lines of self protection and vengeance.

Who else could have fallen victim, and where might they be buried?

It also takes understanding who might have been in contact with them, and if those that vanished were the kind to be a threat to the Family.

I have mentioned before the irony of “Clem Tufts” turning evidence in 1977 as to where Shorty Shea had been buried on Spahn’s movie ranch. It wasn’t Bruce Davis or Tex Watson, Manson’s lieutenant and head butcher respectively, though both had undergone a religious conversion. It was poor, simple Steve Grogan.

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Steve Grogan aka Clem Tufts

 

He was pardoned in 1986, the only member of the Manson Family involved in the murders to ever achieve pardon. He disappeared under another name.

Bruce Davis and Tex Watson continue to be denied parole to this day.  Why did they not offer to get Shorty Shea’s burial grounds off their conscience? I have asked this before. Was it fear another body might be found in the process? Steve Grogan obviously had no such fear or he wouldn’t have told the fuzz where to look.  But the judge thought that Grogan had the intelligence of only an animal. He would not have been involved in all of Manson’s dealings.

Spahn’s Ranch has been dug up before by the police looking for remains. Cadaver dogs had made at least 3 hits I’m told. But the bodies, if there were any, appear to have vanished before the police got there. Yet doubt still lingers about other victims, perhaps more over the state, that were murdered merely to protect the Family. No one even knows where to begin to look.

There is the mystery– where to begin to look? Not near Shorty Shea’s burial. If Grogan had known, I doubt he would have offered the location. But there is the Barker Ranch, a location many suspect. Manson liked another valley, and they even journey there on film for Merrick in his documentary. Perhaps it is time to start looking.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

Family Reunion: The Manson Chronicles

It’s been a long time since I have had a post on my Manson Family research. Much has happened since then: Leslie Van Houten comes up again for parole. Bruce Davis seems perpetually to be up for parole. . . and perpetually denied. There’s the irony of Bobby Beausoleil still being in prison for one stabbing. I’m not minimizing the first “Manson Family” murder. I am simply highlighting the irony. Due to the fame and infamy of the Manson Murders he is still in prison. All other killers with only one victim to their record from that time have long been sprung. This is true even of celebrity killers, like Sal Mineo’s murderer.

The Manson Murders cannot be divorced from the period in which they occurred, the state of fearful flux society was in due to the counterculture, Vietnam, cold war nerves, and every other type of fret. But it was especially the counterculture. Manson destroyed the image of the hippies. This is commonly said. But he could only have done so because society was on the whole nervous about the hippie image and movement already.

Haight-Ashbury-Quasar

Manson murdered the 1960s and the peace movement, it is frequently said.  This is probably true, of images anyway. But it is not frequently said that Manson created the 1970s. In image, I think this to be true. Press coverage shifted. The press had loved the counterculture image and the flower power look. Popular culture followed suit and TV and movie plots incorporated the changing mores of the time, from serious films like The Graduate to comedies like Bob Hope’s How to Commit Marriage.

All this ended with the Manson Murders. Hippies were vilified and the dark urban reality of the 1970s became the focus of the press. There was, actually, very little else they could focus on. They couldn’t continue to drumbeat peace, love, and psychedelica. We were left with the gritty, urban reality of the 1970s– Dirty Harry, The Zebra Murders, and chic urban guerillas like The Symbionese Liberation Army. There was nothing redeeming in popular culture. Without the ideal of youth seeking peace and a new way, they were written up as dropouts and dopers, and each hippie commune or long-haired kid (which was most every youth) was a potential acolyte of some devil Manson-like cult.

In fact, Satanism became a focus of the media. Satanists were blamed for cattle mutilations. That hippie hitchhiker cut the heart out of the man who gave him a lift. They were blamed for missing children. They were altars in the woods. So we heard.  Or, for a kid from Gilroy like me, they were in covens up Mount Madonna, the mountain range that separated Gilroy from Watsonville, haunted orchards, and then Santa Cruz, the hippie mecca.

I was rather intrigued to see an article recently that Quentin Tarantino was looking to make a movie on the Manson murders. From what I recalled from years ago he was the director who lamented that Hollywood had lost its ability to make the gritty urban reality pictures that so dominated the early 1970s. If so, he is the perfect one to bring the authentic flavor  to such a film and not just a facsimile of its historic image.

I have no idea, of course, if the film will be similar to Helter Skelter, or if it will focus on more than a dramatizing of the whole affair. Manson’s rise within the hippie culture and then within Hollywood was never portrayed in Helter Skelter, and it is quite fascinating how it happened, and his success crucial to understanding how he could become so intoxicated as to plan to the nights of August terror.

Politicalpiggy

I’m obviously not an admirer of Manson, but I can appreciate a complex, intricate moment in time and the various and sometimes ironic elements that come together to form exceptional events in history.  All that exists in the window in time in which his bizarre murders occurred. He was both a careful manipulator of what was around him, a logistic thinker, and at times completely fooled about real life by his years in prison and by his success at conning people in the counterculture in the brief time he had been out.

A movie capturing the real Manson, his rise and fall, I think would be something welcomed rather than just another gory attempt to portray the murders, devoid of cause and effect.

Few try and explain why Manson went out on the second night. Few highlight the fact that Manson had a horror of hurting children. The news that his toadies had butchered a pregnant woman might be one of the reasons he went out. Leslie Van Houten testified at one parole hearing about how Manson returned to the car from checking out one potential house and nixed the idea by saying there were kids in there. Then he wanted to go crucify a pastor on his own cross over his church’s altar.

Who could play Manson? Off the top of my head, I would say, academically at least, Jared Leto. He might be considered too old, but he has the ability to morph into the looks and he has the eyes. I suspect someone relatively unknown might be chosen, however.

I don’t usually write on popular culture or speculate on Hollywood affairs, but the Manson murders are a complex subject to recreate dramatically, and this has seldom happened despite the fame and significance of the murders in American popular culture.  The veneer can be captured, but can the complex and agitated spirit of the times and seasons?

The Family– an interesting lot. There was the freebooting they did. The coddling they had on the fringes of a luxuriant society, the superficial Hollywood wannabes they were. There are the 2 nights of terror as they happened, and as Manson wanted them to happen. There are the after-effects Manson wanted for his own protection, and there is the hypocrisy he used to convince his followers to do the murders.

Manson was a master manipulator, but it was because of the times of the crimes. It was because he was a good judge of character, and lack thereof, in people, and the use of drugs, that he could manipulate others. But how he convinced and manipulated himself is far more intriguing.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

EAR/ONS–Darkest Before the Dawn

I know many of you are very impatient. Understand I have stalked this ultimate stalker for years, starting all over from the beginning. I know how you feel. I share your feelings. It reminds me of Quint’s lines in Jaws— how he was never so anxious as when he was about to board the rescue plane. So many have waited, and we are now a step away.

If the DNA test response comes back positive, I suspect there will be delays, as several jurisdictions must collaborate to announce something of this a magnitude.

We must continue to wait. . . . for more than one reason now.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

The Bermuda Triangle II– a month after

It’s a month now after the hurried release of BT II. This didn’t give any time for promotion (yet). Sales continue and feedback is starting to come in on Amazon. Here’s a link for those interested in understanding this popular mystery.

https://www.amazon.com/Bermuda-Triangle-II-Unexplained-Disappearances/dp/0988850583/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1497196733&sr=1-1&keywords=Gian+J+Quasar

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

Tracking and Identifying A Serial Killer . . .

In an earlier post I highlighted a couple of cases down San Diego way. Some pivotal years of my life were in San Diego in the 1980s– the “decadent 80s”! The “Age of Excess”! It is a wonderful city, and its citizens are proud of it. So much so that suburbs like El Cajon, La Mesa, Chula Vista, Bonita (where I lived) identify themselves not with California but with San Diego. Radio announcers identify locations like the following “This is (call letters) Chula Vista, San Diego.”

Yet dark things have happened there, but San Diego doesn’t frequently report on such matters. It is very protective, to personify it, of its reputation as California’s premier clean and vacation city and as “America’s finest city.”

But the 1970s and ’80s had very dark undercurrents, all over California. In the earlier post I highlighted a couple of cases I had long had interest in. The composites show a perp very similar to EAR/ONS, and this is what led me to them. I wish to separate them here and add a third case where there was no composite, but the MO was similar.

I’m not saying it is EAR, but if these 3 cases are by one man he is a definite serial killer.

On December 27, 1980, Julia Wilkinson was taken by surprise in her corner home on Wightman by a stranger. Neighbors heard screams and rushed to her, finding her dying in her garage. She had run here and had been chased by her attacker. He beat her with her own hammer and escaped. She eventually died. But the neighbors were able to assemble a good composite for the police. The assailant had been hanging around the neighborhood for hours and appeared strange. He was wearing a military fatigue jacket. He was in his early to mid 20s, about 6 feet tall.

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The Wilkinson perp.

 

Deduce from his behavior that he was looking for a victim, but what kind? Was he looking to rob or looking to rob and kill? He finally chose Julia’s home, a corner house on Wightman Ave. There is no indication she was robbed, but obviously he had gotten in the house and taken her by surprise. He didn’t flee when discovered but chased her down and silenced her forever. Had he not just surprised her in the house, but had he tried to kill her already and she broke free and fled?

Come forward now to October 1, 1985– the murder of Karen Taylor in Imperial Beach, San Diego’s lazy and low scale suburb at the appendix of Coronado. Karen Taylor is murdered in her home on Elm. How, we are not told. But her assailant stole her credit cards and car. He is later identified because he had her car towed into a shop in Bakersfield, north of Los Angeles. He does not wait for it but boards a Greyhound bus. On the repair order he gives a zip code of a rinky dink farm town of Richgrove. It sounds like a creep on the run and her murder merely a necessity in order to continue to flee . . . But cons on the run don’t flee from the border and one doesn’t need to murder someone in their house to get a car. Moreover, the composite done on the memory of those who serviced him in Bakersfield show a man remarkably similar to the perp in the Wilkinson murder of late 1980. He was not wearing a military style jacket, but he had two “military style” duffle bags.  He was in his early to mid 20s, but compared to the earlier composite he looks like he’s had a haircut. Same general height– 6 foot or a little better.

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Suspect in the Taylor murder

 

If this was the same perp, he got around California and San Diego was his southern terminus.

Come forward now to the murder of Marianne Jutta Amaya on February 18, 1988. She too was older, at 48 years of age. She was German and living with her husband on a corner house on Ute Street, San Diego. The perp caught her while she was alone. She was murdered in a particularly vengeful way. She had been struck with a blunt object, then strangled, then her throat needlessly cut.  When her husband returned from work in the afternoon he found her dead on the master bedroom floor.  There was no forced entry. The front door was found open. The house had been ransacked, but only a few items had been stolen, none of any great price. One of the items was a knife in sheath, possibly the one the perp used to kill her. A little gold bracelet had ben stolen and a pair of Chinese Foo Dogs.

The similarities to the Wilkinson murder are obvious. The killer struck a corner house, probably killed his victim with a weapon found on the premises, but having not been interrupted had time to ransack the house. Yet he wasn’t prepared to take much. In fact, he took things of little consequence. The perp in Wilkinson’s case had been hanging around the block for some time, time enough for neighbors to remember what he looked like. In Amaya’s case, there is no composite.

There are many who like to research the web and official cold case pages of various jurisdictions. For those interested, a search over this period of time in both Arizona, Nevada, and all of California and perhaps Oregon may reveal similar cases and composites of POIs that resemble these two San Diego composites.

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.

EAR/ONS– Waiting to Look Down the Balcony

My word, yesterday was the most hectic day on my blog. Thousands of views. Weeks ago I had told people that a jurisdiction was running with my info and that DNA would be obtained. Based on all I am told by seasoned law enforcement friends on how the system works, I updated in the last couple of days and the blog went wild with hits. I thought people had been following my posts more closely than that and knew that this summer should see an answer to the POI question.

What I dread is that a partial is returned. In that instance I will send the other POI names that were within the same hub of auto-wrecking. Not surprising, a couple match some of the composites.

If there is a DNA hit, I wonder how far the case will be taken afterward. There won’t be much press after the initial hoopla dies down, but I doubt the case will be closed immediately. No matter who is ever tagged with being EAR/ONS, I suspect that some detectives are going to want to probe certain properties or talk to certain business owners or family in search of all EAR had taken. It might still be around.

Then there are going to be the shrinker guys and profilers who are going to want to know his psychology. They are going to want to talk to people around EAR’s past.

But I don’t think this will be as important to people as finally identifying who the real life Michael Myers had been.

Believe me, I look forward, like Dr. Loomis, to looking down the balcony and this time seeing the villain still lying there. I don’t want to look down after firing so many rounds into one guy and see he’s gone and I have to start all over.

This is not the look I want on my face:

Myers-dead2

 

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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.