It is amazing to consider that Charles Manson’s crimes (stemming from religious cultism) are still under investigation. Apparently, there will be some digging at a ranch occupied by “The Manson Family” because there is suspicion that there are more bodies to be found.

…police are to carry out excavation work at a Californian ranch to search for more possible victims of notorious mass murderer Charles Manson.

They believe more bodies may be buried at the ranch in the Death Valley national park where Manson and his followers hid after the killings.

Manson was convicted in 1969 of killing seven people, including the actress Sharon Tate, who was pregnant.

She was married at the time to the film director, Roman Polanski.

Initial surveys of the remote ranch some 200 miles (320 km) north of Los Angeles in February proved inconclusive.



  1. #1 Art
    May 11, 2008

    The popular view of the Manson and his ‘family’ is that the story is a morality tale to avoid cults and madmen. It also drove a spike through the perceived hart of the hippy-free love movement.

    But looking a little closer I get different messages. Warnings of what happens when people accept a narrative unquestioningly. When someone or something provides answers and seeks to isolate people from other inputs. When people forget, or give up, thinking critically.

    I am also struck by how Manson, for all his alleged craziness, isn’t all that unusual. He shares a lot in common with many charismatic figures who who weave dense mythological hero-messiah stories around themselves. The only difference between him and many of the charismatic preachers is that when his philosophy reached the point of emptiness, as almost all do if you dig deep enough, he shifted to homicidal nihilism. Instead of sidestepping and diverting his energy into religious empire building and/or financial aggrandizement. The usual course for so many of the big time preachers.

    The only major difference is that when if became clear to the leader that his philosophy was a crock he defaulted to ‘kill people’ and cause a break down of society. Faced with a dead end he wants to play Sampson and bring down the temple of reality in what amounts to a temper tantrum.

    Your more normal charismatic preacher defaults to trying to make a load of money and building an empire.

  2. #2 Ellery
    May 11, 2008

    They’ve already done more thorough surveys at the ranch than most archaeological sites ever see. First, researchers from Oak Ridge National Lab surveyed the area using a new handheld instrument that detects hydrocarbons emitted by decaying bodies. Then they did infrared spectrometry on the soil. Then they collected soil to take back to Oak Ridge for further analyses. Lastly, an archaeologist from Cal State used both ground-penetrating radar and magnetometry to survey the area — he took over 5300 readings, one every 4 inches. And they found nothing… But they’re not satisfied, so now they’re going to actually dig. What are the chances they’ll find bodies after all that?

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    May 11, 2008

    Given the way remote sensing can work, any where from 0 to 100 percent, I’d guess…

    … I do hops someone is writing this up!

  4. #4 Romeo Vitelli
    May 11, 2008

    Anyone think this might be an issue at Charlie’s next parole hearing?

  5. #5 the real cmf
    May 11, 2008

    Charlie still gets parole hearings??

    I remember hearing from a former inmate how every time there was a riot at San Q (?) someone in the crowd tried to set Charlie on fire. He would hunker in his cell jabbering to himself until the melee had ended.

    The guy told me that it was commonly believed by many that Charlie actually was the devil, if only because he is flameproof.