Wow — I saw some of that information a few years ago and discounted it, because the pictures I saw were of what was clearly a younger man. I was literally just telling someone today about Vance (or William Rex Cole or whatever his true name was) and his connection with Manson, with Spahn Ranch, with Ella Jo Bailey, Little Patty, Diane Von Ahn, Claudia Leigh Smith, and his involvement with the robberies of August 1969 after he came back to Spahn Ranch. It is definitely not Little Patty that he is with — I know where she is, and it’s in Pennsylvania. If you have any other information, and want to keep it private, please feel free to email me at — I use genealogy tools to help flesh out some of the information about the Family that has gone underground and if you know any other details, that might help to find verification. Vance did marry Claudia Leigh Smith, and she did give birth to a daughter in 1970 and it’s possible that daughter (I know who/where she is) could be Vance’s daughter as well. I also believe that Vance was directly involved in Shorty Shea’s murder, and possibly in Zero’s ‘suicide’. Vance is surely dead — he was supposed to be a couple years older than Manson who was born in 1934. He’d have to be late 80s by now if alive, and frankly he looked to be living too hard a life to live long — although nothing would surprise me now. Thank you for sharing this!

Written by

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

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store