Manson Family killer Bobby Beausoleil denied for parole

Beausoleil has been denied 19 times since 1976

Breaking News: Manson Family killer Robert ‘Bobby’ Beausoleil has been denied for parole.

This is the second time in just over a year that Beausoleil has been recommended for parole, but ultimately denied. Both in 2019 and this year, the recommendation for parole was remanded to the office of the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom. In 2019, Newsom stated that his reason for denying parole to Beasoleil was “While Mr. Beausoleil reports to have accepted responsibility for his crime, I am troubled by his lack of insight into his underlying motives for committing such extraordinary violence. I am also concerned that Mr. Beausoleil will relapse into substance abuse if released. Given the heinous nature of this crime and Mr. Beausoleil’s limited insight into his violence and substance abuse, I do not believe he can be safely released at this time.”

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A recent photograph of Robert ‘Bobby’ Beausoleil

Bobby Beausoleil was found guilty in 1970 of the murder of Gary Hinman, a musician and chemist. Hinman, who lived in Topanga Canyon, had befriended the Manson Family in early 1968 and was a loyal and trustworthy friend for many months. He provided food and clothing to the Family, allowed some of them to stay at his home on occasion, and permitted Mary Brunner to register her whereabouts at his residence with Social Services, to prevent her from losing her infant son, Michael (born Valentine Michael Manson).

But in July 1969, Bobby Beausoleil allegedly bought between $1500 and $2500 worth of mescaline from Hinman, on behalf of the Straight Satans — an outlaw motorcycle club that was known to hang around Spahn Ranch. Bobby brokered the deal with his friend, in hopes of being invited to the bikers anniversary party. Instead, the next morning, three bikers rode onto Spahn Ranch and assaulted Beausoleil, claiming the drugs were poison and demanding their money back.

Charles Manson called Gary Hinman, explained the dilemma and asked for return of the money. When Hinman inquired whether he could have the unused portion of the drugs back first, Charlie explained that there was non. Gary told him he could not refund the money, and Charlie later concurred that he understood — it would have been bad business.

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A photograph of Charles Manson, in police custody

But Manson needed the Straight Satans, to act as his ‘army’ in the event that Helter Skelter (his imagined race war) happened and the Family needed to skedaddle to Death Valley. He needed to appease the bikers, more than he needed this gentle and kind friend, Gary. So he ordered Bobby to go to Hinman’s and deal with the matter.

Charlie also sent both Mary and Sadie (Susan Atkins) with Bobby, because Gary knew and trusted the women, and because Manson had both of their sons in his own care. He knew the women would do what was needed, to get their money back.

When Gary did not immediately agree to return the money or give Bobby more drugs to sell to make up the difference, Beausoleil assaulted his friend.

Gary then ordered Bobby to leave. Bobby responded by hitting his friend with the gun and, handing the gun to Sadie, punched Gary as well. With a broken tooth, Gary fought back. He even managed to grab the gun away from Sadie and a struggle ensued. The gun fired, leaving a slug in a nearby wall.

Bobby was angry with Sadie and cursed her out for letting Gary get the gun. Eventually Bobby got the gun back but realizing he wasn’t getting anywhere with Hinman, told Mary to call Charlie.

Dianne answered the call that day. ‘I’m not sure why I was the only one in the vicinity of the public phone on that particular day, but it was ringing and ringing, so I decided to answer it… On the other end of the line was a very agitated Mary Brunner telling me to get Charlie. Something was wrong and she needed help… I got Charlie to come to the phone and he yelled at me for answering it in the first place… Following the call, Charlie and Bruce Davis got into the truck and sped out… Charlie had been cursing under his breath.’

A second struggle then took place between Gary, Bobby, Sadie and Mary. Gary wrestled the gun away from Bobby and again, Bobby fought Gary to get the weapon back. Shortly thereafter, Manson and Bruce arrived.

Davis was carrying a knife. Charlie held the cutlass sword, on loan from the Straight Satans.

— The Manson Family: More to the Story by H. Allegra Lansing, published June 2019 from Swann Publications (featuring citations from Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties by Dianne Lake, Deborah Herman ©2017 William Morrow)

When Charlie and Bruce Davis arrived at Hinman’s house, Gary was in the front living room with Bobby and Susan. Mary was in the kitchen, but overheard the events that transpired:

“They came to the door and it was just a big scuffle and they wound up in the living room and Gary wound up cut and Charlie wound up cut… I was in the kitchen… Charlie came back and he had a cut in his finger and I fixed it…

— Official Court Transcript: March 1970 trial testimony of Mary Brunner

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A mannequin used during the prosecution to demonstrate Hinman’s wound from Charlie’s sword

Charlie drew the sword down on Hinman’s head, nearly severing his ear. He then left the property with Davis, taking one of Hinman’s cars and a set of bagpipes with him. But before he left, he told Beausoleil that he better deal with the situation.

For the next day and a half, Bobby tried to reason with Gary, but the musician was afraid and no longer communicating. Finally, after being badgered for hours, and in pain from the wound at his temple, Gary agreed to sign the pink slips of his two cars over to the Family.

He might have survived if he had not, at that point, begged his assailants to take him to the hospital.

Bobby knew that if Hinman received medical attention, he would also potentially report this as a crime. Bobby had hit, punched and pistol-whipped Gary, and broke his tooth, but Manson had done worse damage, cutting Gary.

Panicked that:
• Gary would report Charlie to the police, and;
• Charlie would be arrested, and therefore;
• Charlie would unleash his vengeance on Bobby for getting him arrested and not taking care of Hinman as he should have, plus;
• Jeopardizing the Family by bringing down the Straight Satans after dealing them a bad batch of mescaline, thus;
• Sabotaging a very critical relationship when they needed it the most, and lastly;
• Knowing that Charlie was afraid of being arrested again (and would face a terrible sentence, believing that he was guilty of murdering a Black Panther that summer);

For these reasons, Bobby Beausoleil killed Gary Hinman, his friend. He killed Gary to protect himself from Charlie’s wrath.

— The Manson Family: More to the Story by H. Allegra Lansing, published June 2019 from Swann Publications

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Our book, an elaborate history of the Manson Family and their crimes, delves into the discovery of the real motive for the ‘Helter Skelter’ murders of 1969.

Before leaving Hinman’s home, Bobby daubed his fist in Gary’s blood and with it, made an imprint on the wall intended to represent a panther’s paw. This ‘clue’ was designed to implicate the Black Panthers. Manson had shot a black drug dealer just three weeks before and believed that the man was dead, and he was a Black Panther. Neither was true, but it was part of why Charlie had become dangerously paranoid and delusional, during the summer of 1969.

The shooting of Bernard ‘Lotsapoppa’ Crowe on July 1 was a major factor that led to the murder of Hinman, the Tate/LaBianca victims and Spahn Ranch hand Donald ‘Shorty’ Shea later that summer.

Bobby was found guilty of first degree murder in the spring of 1970 and sentenced to die in the electric chair. The California Supreme Court overturned the death sentence in 1972, and Beausoleil’s sentence was commuted to life — with the possibility of parole. He is serving his sentence at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville (many elderly prisoners serve at medical centers within the prison system).

Bobby’s first eligible parole date with in August 1976. Since then, he has been up for parole nineteen times. He has now been denied, again, for release. He will next be eligible for parole in 2023.

This article originally appeared at

You can read more about the shooting of Lotsapoppa here:

and you can read about the role that Susan Atkins played in Hinman’s death here:

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Author of the “More to the Story” true crime nonfiction series.

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