August 9, 1969…2009…The Middle…
Tex pushed the exit gate button (don’t freak, this isn’t the real one!) with his bloody finger, leaving a print to dry in the hot morning sun yet to come and ultimately to flake away as the Tate house keeper, Winifred Chapman, pushed that very same button, for the first time after Tex pushed it with his finger,
[Officer Jerry DeRosa, with the powers vested in me as Founder and Chief High Mucky-Muck of TLB2, I do hereby officially exonerate you from all charges stemming from the 40 year assertion that it was you who, on the morning of August 9th, 1969, destroyed Tex’s bloody finger print on the Tate exit gate button.
…“all drippy with blood” (Thanks Sadie! I know this is the second time I’ve used your “Two Nights of Murder” clothing description reference, but it has so many wonderful applications!), in her panic to escape that House of Horrors, yelling, “Bodies, Blood, Murder!” to anyone who would listen and answer her pleas. (Right, Mr. & Mrs. Kott?!!!)Hence forth, you are released from your shackles of shame and are free to leave my court room by whichever NON exit button monitored door you wish.The Los Angeles Police Department, the City of Los Angeles, and I, on behalf of all prior DeRosa mockers everywhere, extend our heartfelt apologies for the reckless defamation of your good name.BANG! Court is adjourned!]
But that was still to come…
“What are you doing? I didn’t tell you to start the engine!” Tex barked to Linda, as he slid into the front passenger seat, Sadie and Katie in back, as Linda floored the accelerator, Tex’s black turtleneck sweater, “all drippy with blood” (Sorry, I just had to use it one more time!) laying beside her as she drove in silence, her new-found fear of Tex and the girls keeping her emotions in check as she drove.
“Geez, my knuckle hurts somethin’ awful, Tex.That chick was more bone than flesh! How come I kept hitting bone? You gotta re-do those lessons for us ‘cause I don’t think I got what you were teachin’ us the first time.” mumbled Katie, rubbing her hand over and over as she attempted to get out of her blood-soaked jeans. (The pain was excruciating, wasn’t it, Katie?)
“Yeah, and that goddamned big Mother-f—ker just wouldn’t die, just like Gary! He pulled my hair so hard, I think he actually yanked some of it out. Thanks to him, I have a raging headache and a bald spot in the back of my head!” Sadie complained, as she pulled off her black sweatshirt, covered more in blood than sweat. (The gall of some people, huh, Sadie?!)
Tex had a sore right foot from all the cowboy boot kicking but he manned-up and kept his complaints to himself, at least until he exited the Ford at Spahn’s limping and boasting of his “war” wound.
Killing was hard work. And these kids had abandoned their families and Middle-Class America and gravitated to Charlie, in part, because they didn’t want to work hard or really work at all…go figure…and this wasn’t even a paying gig!
This night could have been called the Night of the Great Green Garden Hoses, as Gibby tripped over and dropped blood onto the Tate pool-side hose, and now, with only the swishing off and on of clothing, the rattling of weapons and the moans and the groans, that same Ford found its way back down the Canyon,
to 9870 Portola Drive and the great, green garden hose festooned house of Brentwood Country Club Chief Steward, Rudy Weber, located just 1.8 miles from the Tate house, on a side street just off Benedict Canyon Drive.
It was close to 1 a.m., August 9, 1969…
As the murderous trio stepped out of the Ford and tip-toed onto Rudy’s front lawn, a noise was heard from inside the home,
…which Rudy immediately recognised as the sound of his own water running somewhere outside of the house.
In no time, he and his wife were on the lawn and face-to-face with three kids using their great, green garden hose.
“What are you doing?” asked Rudy.
“We’ve been walking and we needed a drink.” Tex replied. (Leave it to the football star to think up the best academic retort!)
And as Rudy tailed them to the Ford, his wife could be heard saying, “Get the license number; get the number!”. And as they quickly climbed back into Johnny Swartz’ trusty jalopy, Tex flooded the engine in his haste to retreat and had a tussle with Rudy over the keys until he cranked up the driver’s side window, now managing to start the engine and drove off, never thinking to kill Rudy like he had all the others. As Tex put it, (in his 1978 book “Will You Die For Me”),
“…he didn’t live on Cielo Drive”…(Why didn’t I think of that?!)
As Tex drove on, Linda proceeded to throw out the front passenger side window the black clothes, “all drippy with blood” (Someone, anyone, please help me! I think I’m addicted to Sadieisms!!!) over an embankment somewhere off Mulholland Drive and the Buck knives out one by one as Tex drove along, throwing the Buntline with its two unused bullets out the driver’s side window. The foursome then stopped for gas somewhere in the Valley, paying for it with Gibby’s monetary “donation”, inspecting themselves in the washrooms for any traces of blood, Tex getting Linda to drive the rest of the way home.
The old Ford finally arrived back at Spahn’s, no doubt as mechanically weary as the zombies who rode in her. Charlie and Brenda were the killers’ welcoming party and after a general blow-by-blow account of events from Sadie and Tex and a swishing of sponge and water over the Ford by Sadie, the foursome melted away into separate parts of the ranch, bone-chillingly exhausted and licking their physical, if not emotional, wounds.
No tears were shed that night by anyone, I imagine. Not even Linda.
Can you be too tired to cry? Can you be too cold-hearted to cry?
As Tex told Charlie,
“Yeah, it sure was Helter Skelter”, the four killers let go of their in-the-NOW, conscious beings and slept the sleep of the damned…their first of many such nights to come.
It was somewhere around 2 a.m., still August 9, 1969, possibly the longest 24 hour day these “Slippies” had ever had.
The clock kept ticking and the calendar wanted to flip but August 9th wasn’t over just yet…