Did Charles Manson Visit the Scene of the Crime?

H. Allegra Lansing
9 min readFeb 19

A theory that Charlie went to see how well the killers followed his orders

In the pre-dawn hours of Saturday, August 9, 1969, four people drove from Benedict Canyon in the hills above Hollywood, to Chatsworth California and the ranch where they were staying. One man (Charles ‘Tex’ Watson) drove while three women (Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Linda Kasabian) were passengers.

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

Along their route home they stopped several times — to throw weapons out of the car, clothes soiled and soaked with blood, and to stop to drink water out of a hose at a random person’s house. They were tired — all but one of the people (Kasabian) had actively participated in the murder of five people: stabbing, kicking, shooting. Patricia Krenwinkel complained during the drive after about how badly her hand hurt — she had hit bone during her stabbing frenzy. Watson was loaded up on LSD and speed, and all four were coming down off drugs as well.

As they drove home, they stopped for gas where Atkins noticed some blood on the car. When they arrived back at Spahn Ranch, an old horse ranch sometimes used by film studios as a backdrop for Western movies and tv shows, she reminded everyone about the blood so that it would get cleaned up. The car was on loan from one of the ranch hands.

Approaching Spahn Ranch, Charles Manson suddenly appeared in their headlights. He was naked, and dancing with another member of his so-called Family, an 18-year old woman named Nancy Pitman. It was around 2am.

Charlie immediately asked everyone, “What’re you doing home so early?” He had told them to leave around 10:30pm, and to hit house after house in a bloody murder spree. There are many reasons why he wanted them to kill the people who lived at 10050 Cielo Drive, including exonerating another Family member sitting in jail for a separate murder, one that Manson himself was an accomplice to. A copycat murder might get him off the hook. But there were other reasons perhaps.

H. Allegra Lansing

Author of the “More to the Story” true crime nonfiction series. https://www.mansonfamily.net/