This is a look at the last of the four people originally given death sentences, along with their puppet master Charles Manson, for seven horrific murders in August 1969. Manson, Watson, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel & Leslie Van Houten were the main players in the crimes that shook the world. It appears that Watson took the lead in the murders, and the girls followed suit. As with the others, Watson did not come from a broken home, an abusive family, a ghetto or deprived neighbourhood, but from comfortable family backgrounds. Yet, they were able to commit heinous crimes against people they did not know, and do it without question when ordered to by Manson.
Watson was born in Dallas, Texas, on 2nd December 1949, and was the youngest of three children. He was an Honor Student, a good athlete and worked as an editor on the school magazine. It was in September 1964 that Watson went to Denton, Texas, where he attended North Texas State and joined a fraternity. Watson found employment as a baggage handler with Braniff Airlines in January 1967. He used perks of the job such as free air tickets to visit a frat friend in Los Angeles, where he became interested in the counter culture of the time, and the psychedelic scene. Inevitably, he started selling weed and LSD, and was arrested twice. It was at this time that he met Manson, and went off to join him at Spahn Ranch, venturing into Los Angeles frequently to peddle drugs and bring in money. It was March 1969 when Watson stayed permanently at Spahn Ranch where Manson was constantly preaching about a race war and he wanted to bring it about.
Watson took part in both murder scenes, but Watson disputes the claim that Manson went into the home of the La Biancas and tied them up. He claimed that Manson looked through the windows and then ordered them to go in and kill the La Biancas. Watson fled to Texas after the murders on 2nd October 1969 but was arrested on 30th November, and for nine months battled against extradition to California. When he was eventually extradited, he suddenly took a mental downturn, not talking and losing a great deal of weight. He was sent to a state hospital for a 90 day evaluation and at the end he was deemed as mentally fit, and faced trial in early 1971. Like the others, he was convicted and condemned but this was commuted to life.
1975 saw Watson take the well chosen route that many notorious criminals have done and that was religion. He became a born again christian and is part of a religious website. He also believes that God has forgiven him for his crimes, but does not say how he came by this. Back then there were no emails, cell phones, though there were letters, landline phones and fax machines. In 1979, he married Kristin Svege and fathered four children through conjugal visits. They divorced in 2003. Watson gained a BS in Business Management in 2009, but has been denied parole 14 times, the last in 2011. He was the leading player when they went into the Tate and La Bianca homes. Seven people slaughtered for no reason only because of the delusions of a manipulative little bastard, who did not want to get HIS hands dirty. He should stay in until he dies.
One point that I find that showed how delusional Manson became, was that it was said that he wanted the motorcycle gangs to act as his footsoldiers when the race war ended and he and his followers were going to emerge to take over. Does anybody seriously think for one minute that Hells Angels leader Sonny Barger would take orders from a little pip squeak? No, they would have simply buried him and his acolytes in the desert. Other outlaw motorcycle clubs of the time would have done the same. Yet the Straight Satans MC that hung around the family, do not seem to have had the mettle of other clubs. For example, it was said that some of them were scared of Manson and his clan. Would any self respecting outlaw biker have thought that? Where were his brothers to back him up if he felt threatened? Why did they not just walk in and take over? Tell Manson they are in charge and the women are there for THEIR pleasure. Apparently they could not. Not much of an OMG me thinks.
One former family member, Barbara Hoyt said that Watson slavishly carried out Manson`s orders and without question, but former FBI profiler John Douglas believes that Manson orchestrated the murders as a power move, to keep control and stop Watson emerging as a possible new leader. What do you think?