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I Picked Up "Tex" Watson Hitchhiking AFTER the Manson Murders

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
December 19, 2022 3:02 am

I Picked Up "Tex" Watson Hitchhiking AFTER the Manson Murders

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

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December 19, 2022 3:02 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, following the Charles Manson murders, Manson's lead henchman, Tex Watson, stayed in Los Angeles for almost two months before fleeing to Texas where he was arrested. But it’s those two months following the Manson murders, where this story from our listener (Patty Kingsbaker) picks up.

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Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. This is Lee Habib and this is our American Stories. And we tell stories about everything here on this show, from the arts to sports and from business to history and everything in the history and everything in between, including your stories.

Send them to They're some of our favorites. And this next story comes to us while Greg Hengler brings it to us. And actually the person providing this story is a listener in Colorado. Charles Tex Watson was just a young guy from Texas in 1969 when he came under the spell of drugs in Charles Manson and helped kill seven people. Watson attended Cal State Los Angeles but dropped out less than half a semester later, got a job selling wigs and began living it up in the party scene of Los Angeles. One fateful evening, he was driving home and picked up a hitchhiker.

In Watson's words, hitchhikers were pretty common on Sunset Boulevard and I pulled over to pick one up. When he told me his name was Dennis Wilson, it didn't mean anything to me. But when he said he was one of the Beach Boys, I was impressed. Wilson, the Beach Boys drummer, then directed Watson to his home on Sunset Boulevard in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles. Watson was shocked when he pulled up. In the living room, Watson found a man sitting on the floor with his guitar, surrounded by six young women. He looked up, Watson later recalled, and the first thing I felt was a sort of gentleness, an embracing kind of acceptance and love.

Another man at the house introduced them. This is Charlie, Charlie Manson. On August 9, 1969, under the direction of Charles Manson, Watson and three other Manson girls murdered pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four other people on Benedict Canyon. The following night, Manson accompanied the previous night's killers and supervised the murder of two more victims in Los Feliz.

These murders are considered some of the most gruesome and shocking in American history. Tex Watson stayed in Los Angeles for almost two months before fleeing to Texas where he was arrested. But it's those two months following the Manson murders where the story from our listener in Colorado picks up.

Here's Patty Kingsbaker. This story happened in 1969. I had graduated from high school in Miami and moved out to California to live with my brother who was living in Los Angeles at the time. And it was the 60s. My brother was 10 years older than me. So we kind of, you know, it felt like we had really grown up in different generations.

I mean, our ideals. And he was a little worried about me being hippie and maybe going down the wrong path with him at this time of my life. So I had been in Los Angeles for a year, had gotten to know a few people and, you know, was doing the things that kids in the 60s did. You know, one of the days I was with a friend of mine, and I'm not sure why I was hitchhiking either. I didn't have a car yet. It was kind of probably right after I got there. But we had hitchhiked from the valley, San Fernando Valley, over to the beach. And when my brother heard about it, he about lost his mind.

And he was like, no, no, you were not hit anyway. So I eventually got a car and, you know, it was a time when things were just more opened and a lot of people were hitchhiking. And, you know, we picked people up, you know, it was just what happened. But this one night I had been over in Malibu with some friends and I was coming back into the valley and it was coming through Topanga Canyon. And when I made the turn off Pacific Coast Highway, there was this guy, it was raining.

It was like torrential raining. And there was this guy on the side of the road. And so I pulled over.

A, he was out there in the middle of this rain storm and B, that's just what we did back then. So I pulled over. But as soon as he opened the door and got in my car, I just got this sick feeling. It was, I don't know what evil is.

I don't know what it is. But I felt it. I was scared. I was absolutely scared. And I was like, I knew right then I had made a mistake letting this guy in my car. But there was nothing I could do.

He's there. So we're driving through Topanga Canyon now. I mean, it is torrential rain and there are mudslides on the road. I'm scared. I'm having to go much slower than I would have gone through the canyon.

I'm just thinking, God, get me to the other side of this canyon. And he was going to Reseda. I remember that.

And I lived in Woodland Hills, which is another part of the San Fernando Valley. But I just wanted him out of my car. And he was trying to engage me in conversation. And I was just like, I finally just said, you know, I really can't talk. I can't talk.

I really just need to concentrate on the road and my driving. I just can't talk. I've never felt anything like that before. So when we got to the other end of Topanga Canyon, I just pulled over and I said, I'm really sorry, but I'm going a different direction and I need to leave you here. And he was like, okay.

And he got out and there was no incident. I mean, there's nothing, nothing bad happened, but it was just that feeling just stuck with me. And I was just like, I didn't get it. It was a few months later that I picked up the paper one day and on the front of the paper were the pictures of the Manson family. And the guy who was in my car that night was Tex Watson. Needless to say, I've never picked up another hitchhiker ever. That was enough. That night, just that feeling taught me not to do that. And there's been times I've passed people that I think, oh, that I just have never been able to bring myself to do it. Well, that's a heck of a hitchhiker story, picking up Tex Watson, one of the worst killers and murderers of all time.

And she could feel evil. Patty Kingsbaker's story, a great listener's story, a really awful hitchhiker story here on Our American Stories. Here at Our American Stories, we bring you inspiring stories of history, sports, business, faith, and love. Stories from a great and beautiful country that need to be told.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-19 11:52:32 / 2022-12-19 11:57:06 / 5

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