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A Madman Gets His Fifteen Minutes of Fame, Part II

To continue from the previous entry, Dennis Wilson picked up two Manson girls hitchhiking. He agreed to let them stay at his residence for a while. Manson himself showed up the next night, and Wilson thought he was there to kill him. Instead, he kissed the Beach Boy's feet.

And no, I'm not making any of this up.

When Wilson entered his home, he found about a dozen more Manson family members who had moved in. Over the next few months, more Family members would find Wilson's plush digs a perfect crashing spot.

Wilson himself was caught up in Manson's charisma, and invited him into the recording studio to cut his own records. He also introduced him to insiders and execs who were also caught up with this fascinating little gibberish-spouting hippie.

But even in a drug-crazed mania, common sense can sometimes appear. Wilson realized that Manson and his cult members had cost him about a hundred grand of 1968 dollars with their destructive presence. So he had his manager boot them out that year.

Unfazed, Manson and company went to a former Western movie shoot location known as Spahn's Movie Ranch. The run-down area was his new base of operations. The ranch's owner, a doddering octogenarian, was also overcome by the charisma of the erratic hippy. The ranch, as well as a Death Valley acreage possessed by another elderly owner, were Manson's hangouts during late 1968.

The family expanded as other drifters showed up at both locations. As the LSD and the demonic possession increased, eventually Manson proclaimed that he had received a revelation via the Beatles' recent release of what has come to be known as The White Album. He told his family members that the Beatles had received insight of a racial battle that would require divine knowledge to survive. And he claimed to have that special knowledge.

The Family, absolutely in the control of a madman, listened intently as their beloved leader explained what they would have to do to survive the conflagration. And it turned out that the required actions would constitute one of the most heinous crimes in United States history.

Come back Monday for the final chapter in this sordid, yet somehow fascinating Baby boomer memory.

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