Clang, Bang, Clang…Again…For Old Bruce…
California Men’s Colony Window – Todd Heisler, Photo Montage of Davis Prison Mug Shots, Cell – kcoy.com
Not surprising in the least. At least, not to me.
Bruce is the epitome of a Manson killer “mystery wrapped up in a…” Manson killer “ riddle” for he never quite found the desire to ‘fess up to all the details he knew in murders in which he was implicated nor for the ones of which he was convicted.
He told as much as he needed to, legally, then became as a clam whose pearl might be grabbed – shut tight - and as silent as his victims in their graves.
I’m sure his lawyers told him decades ago when he first surrendered himself to authorities at the Hall of Justice, to be just that – mum - and as invisible as air and as unremarkable as he could be once the prison cell doors clang, bang, clanged behind him, with the ever-hopeful thought that his rep would somehow slowly sever from the group horror that was, and is, The Manson Family killers.
But, to no avail.
The Public, from which stems Parole Board members AND California Governors, has a Long-Term memory and the stain that was Davis’ young adulthood can’t be merely washed away with time and distance, nor with being married, having a conjugal-visit kid, nor thumping the Bible from stem to stern.
While many on the outside closely watching this case thought that Davis would be the “One” chosen to finally spring free all the cell doors of the Manson killers (Parole Boards have twice given the “nod” while “Arny” and Governor Brown have rightly vetoed), I knew darn well such miraculous freedom would not start with Bruce.
No one has forgotten his legal ploy, along with Leslie, to sue the prison system citing that the pair were now “Political Prisoners” and were being kept incarcerated illegally because of same (even after Sadie’s attempt at same failed) . Yes siree, that’s what you do, get the ire up even more with the California Prison System if you want a Manson Family Member Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free-Card. Way to go Brucey! But hey, we never said this gang was chock-a-block full of rocket scientists, now did we? It’s just comforting that stupidity achieves the same goal of continued imprisonment for these old-aged-single-cell kiddies when maybe the legal system might some day fail.
I was rather amazed, but then again, not really, that the current D.A., Jackie Lacey, cited all the points to Governor Brown as I’ve been saying all along - that details of Bruce’s involvement in the Hinman, Shea, and Haught murders, not to mention his possible involvement in the London Pugh mysterious death and the murders of scientology students Gaul and Sharp, were definite reasons NOT to trust this aging Mansonite. Davis remains evasive on the details as per his part in these deaths and therefore it can be assumed that he has never really shed his core belief that what they were espousing at Spahn Ranch was anything but the right thing to do. And, of course, who can forget Bruce’s rhetoric-filled verbal vignette on the Hendrickson film, “Manson ‘73”, this Second-In-Command pompous ass taking on the role as current-sitting Guru while The Family’s true Patriarch sat in jail (a now 44 year “sabbatical” has been enjoyed by The Soul), free from the rigours of Family leadership.
And, of course, there was his age at the time of these murders. He was the oldest member under Charlie, aged 27, when these crimes were committed and if you wish to give a General Pass to the other murderers, citing as a meek excuse their immaturity (mean age at around 21), the same then cannot be given to Davis. He “should” have known right from wrong at 27, which convinced The Bug, Stephen Kay and now Jackie Lacey (and, of course my lowly self) that Bruce was well aware of and approving of the behaviour of the group, and more importantly, the orders cast down to Bruce and others directly by Manson.
On the Manson ‘73 film, Bruce is actually sporting Charlie’s Vest – the embroidered, locks-of-hair-festooned evil-may-care garment the Manson Girls had made for their Prophet, giving no one pause as to who would become the next de facto Family Leader if Charlie was headed for San Quentin’s Green Room.
I myself, along with the D.A.s, were never convinced that Davis just played a secondary role in the Shea and Haught “Zero” murders. It was either that he was the most murderous member of the Manson clan OR he was the most unlucky, for he was always “around” when deadly crap hit the Family fan. And his involvement with Doreen Gaul - she had been at one time his girlfriend and had spent some time at the Ranch, with other Family members stating that Bruce was enraged when he found out Doreen was later dating a black fellow - gives him a strong motive to murder her, a murder that was particularly gruesome (an overkill passionate attack) to say the least. What the killer did to Gaul can only be described as even worse than what was done to Tate, so if Bruce killed Gaul with his own hands, he was more than just a Manson killer, he was a Manson monster, easily over-shadowing Tex’s acts as Knifer-In-Chief.
I could go on, you know, offering tidbit after tidbit that rightfully places Davis where he is today, points that would have been vehemently discussed between the D.A.s and the Governors as the years and Hearings went by. But a more productive slant, I think, is offering MY take on what should be asked of Davis in future Parole Hearings, if the Board truly wants to catch him in his own lies and see into the true psyche that is this man. In my opinion, the “right” questions have never been asked of Bruce by ANY of the sitting Parole Boards, and this maybe why he has got so close to freedom.
Sooo, without any further ado, I bring you>>>
Bruce Davis’ Pretend Parole Board Hearing 2013
Yep, I’m THAT arrogant, I am. Hey, why not me? Oh, yeah, not an American nor a Californian…well, the fact that I’m not may be of some objective advantage here, if you ask me. My questions will stem in large part from the 1993 Parole Hearing Davis underwent.;
1) Bruce, you opted out of Hinman, Tate and LaBianca, so why did you opt IN for Shea? If you had your own mind back then, and I gather you did by the mere fact that you felt you could just pick and choose what orders to obey from Charlie, then why decide to opt out of the TLB kills yet feel the Shea murder was a good kill and something in which you definitely wanted to participate? Your lack of desire to participate in the first three kill events (Hinman, Tate, LaBianca) highlights even more for me your zeal for the fourth, which then shows an over-the-top premeditation on your part to do in Shorty above all others. Defend yourself from my assertion here, please?
2) You drove Manson over to Hinman’s when Charlie had that cutlass – a two to three foot long, curved blade with hilt – you “claim” you had no idea Charlie was going to hurt Gary nor did you admit you knew Charlie had brought that cutlass with him over to Gary’s house. How do you sit so close to Manson in the car and NOT see this sword either as you two got into the car at Spahn’s, sat in the car on the way to Gary’s or walked up the stairs to Gary’s front door?
3) In your 1993 Hearing you, several times, stated that Charles “Tex” Watson was at the Shorty kill, yet Tex has always asserted, and I believe the timeline shows, that he was already back in Texas with his family, or at least on the run from The Family by then (Tex, by the way, has always denied he participated in the Shorty kill). Do you still avow that Tex was there at the Shorty kill and what proof, if any, do you have to provide? And if not, why did you feel compelled to lie and put Tex in on this kill?
4) You and Steve Grogan have put Tex Watson as the fatal stabber of Shea but you do so in your version of the timeline that suggests Tex was still in the car when the fatal attack began? Can you explain this timeline discrepancy?
5) In the same Hearing you said, in reference to the Shorty kill - “They took Shorty out. They had to go down the hill to a place.” - you “claim” you never knew the burial site of Shorty, and we know it was Clem who buried him, so are you telling me that the place where you men rolled him down the hill, after he was dead, could NOT have been the place where he was buried? Considering how large a man Shea was and coupling that with only Clem and a wheel-barrow for burial ability, do you honestly believe that you could NOT have led authorities to at least the last site you KNEW Shorty was at, so a narrowing of the search field could have been achieved? Were you or were you not being purposely difficult with the police and therefore directly contributing to the continued desecration of Shorty’s remains, and by extension, the suffering of his surviving family members by refusing to help with the search?
6) You further state, “...I cut Shorty on the shoulder with the knife, after he was – well, I don't know – I – I don't know if he was dead or not. He didn't bleed when I cut him on the shoulder...” , then you state later on in the same Hearing that you touched him with the knife on the back of the NECK after Manson imitates a decapitation move with his finger across his neck, a silent order for you to decapitate Shea. Which was it? Shoulder or neck? And why should we believe you when you say you could not go through with the decapitation or the lethal knifing of Shea if this was the one kill you purposely WANTED to be involved with?
7) You have also been quoted as saying, “…the price for this was going to be more than I ever want[ed] to pay. I didn't – I didn't count the cost. I didn't – I didn't even consider it.” , so now that you DO know the immense cost of your actions, do you feel you should now be freed from paying it? Really? Defend your stance on this? Whether you realized or not, back then or now, if you plays, you pays, Mr. Davis, is that not correct?
8) Oddly at odds with your actions back then, you have also said, “I was not a kind of person at that point that would ask a question or challenge somebody around me directly...I was afraid of being rejected...”. How can this be true when you did indeed say No to the Hinman, Tate and LaBianca kills? Is this not in direct competition to then your next statement, “And when it came to the Tate-LaBianca they came to me and said come on, we're going on this caper...I said no, I'm not going. Because they were going to go out and do something really crazy. And I said no, I'm not going. And that was that.”? Which person are you, Bruce, the meek follower who fears rejection from the Group or the confident individualist, who does ONLY what he wants to do, i.e. pass on Hinman, Tate and LaBianca but Opt In on Shea and possibly Pugh, Gaul and Sharp?
9) You claim that you have only ever been married once and that was to Beth, who you are now recently divorced from. If this is the case, was your “marriage” to Nancy Pitman a fake marriage? (Relevant as to his penchant, if any, for obfuscation/subterfuge)
10) You’ve been diagnosed as suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (Dr. Yelberton) and Anti-Social Personality Disorder (Dr. Barsman), both of which are very rarely curable once adulthood is reached. With these disorders how do you think you would function outside of prison where societal demands are much higher?
11) You refuse to admit that a) you were ever Manson’s Right Hand Man/Lieutenant; or b) that you ever participated in group sex within the Family. Do you still deny these allegations and do you have anyone or anything to corroborate your stance on these issues?
12) You assert that one’s prison time should correlate to the NUMBER of people one kills and not the means nor manner of the murders. Do you still believe that and if so, why?
13) You believe, according to your prison math calculation, that 23 years is enough for what you have done, in your own words, I quote , “I think that's enough” – being convicted of two murders – BUT you readily admit that the FIRST time you disavowed Manson publicly to any Board was in your 1993 Hearing. The California Justice System calculated at the time of your conviction that 7 years was the minimum for murder and then doubling that amount if more than one murder was committed and then multiplying that number by however many murders were committed. Then, do you not agree that your 28 year sentence for the premeditated murder of two people basically should only begin in 1993, insofar that before this date, you still felt that what you had done under Manson’s tutelage was more than alright? Doing the math, the possibility for Parole, for you, should only start in 2021, and that’s based solely on the math and NOT on your psychological make-up (whether or not you can be rehabilitated), and NOT based one iota on the retribution society feels is due them for the damage you have caused. Are you in agreement with this “math” for you, Bruce? If not, please defend your calculation over mine?
14) Bruce, do you agree with Deputy District Attorney Jonas’ statement during your 1993 Hearing, “...that probably none of those people [The Manson Family] should ever be paroled just based upon the amount of damage that had been done…..the Manson Family was on the cutting edge of a new era in criminology, if you will.” ? And if you do not, please state the factors you believe go against DDA Jonas’ statement for your own part in the Manson Family murders?
Of course, I’m not completely Looney-tunes, you know, I don’t expect to receive a written statement from old Mr. Second-In-Command anytime soon responding to the above. But hey, it never hurts to ask, right, the obvious questions that should have been covered in far greater detail in all those Hearings past.The fact that two Boards have given the green light to parole for Davis proves to me that the “Image Spin” Davis’ camp has spewed over the years has definitely been bought by at least six Board members, sadly over-shadowing the facts in Davis’ case, the Born-Again-Forgiven-By-God-Bad-Little-Boy-Done-Good facade taking centre stage in the parole decision process.
The D.A.s know the real deal and thank God there is a second tier of appeal with the Governor of California beyond what the Parole Boards “think” they know about Davis. Personally, I think the Power Point Presentation would be child’s play to conduct and damn satisfying afterwards when you know the Governors “get” the truth, even if, with political pressure, the Parole Boards do not.
There, of course, will be more Bruce Davis Parole Hearings to come but this last one, for me, has basically sealed shut forever his particular Manson Family doorway to freedom. To be approved for parole twice by the Boards and then have it vetoed twice by the Governors suggests to me there is no more than can be said, that can be proffered as a defence, as per the reasons why Davis deserves freedom. You want to play big, you pay big, Bruce, and although you and your Manson killer cohorts had your day in the fear-mongering sun, that “tan” washed off decades ago and prison pallor will now remain your look.
“Clang, Bang, Clang” go the closing doors on Bruce’s cell, ‘til the “Creak, Groan, Clunk” closing of his coffin lid forever.
I’m fine with that.
God’s speed Bruce.