From Newsweek, September 22, 1975:
Leaves From a Family Album
SANDRA SALMANS with MARTIN KASINDORF in Death Valley,
MARY ALICE KELLOGG in Sacramento and WILLIAM SCHMIDT
in Milford, N.H.
One week after she aimed a .45 automatic at Gerald Ford, Lynette (Squeaky) Fromme stood before a judge in the Federal courthouse in Sacramento and was arraigned for the attempted assassination of a President. A slight, hooded figure in a red robe and matching sneakers, Fromme told U.S. Judge Thomas J. MacBride that she had something important to say. "There is and are an army of young people and children who want to clean up this earth," she began in a firm voice. "You have the jurisdiction over the redwood trees, will you think about it?" He would, MacBride promised, but not right now. "The important part is the redwood trees, we want to save them," Fromme said. "The gun is pointed. When it goes off is up to you all."
Fromme's vague threats were echoed more luridly by Sandra Good, who had shared her Sacramento apartment—and her devotion to Charles Manson. Flourishing a list of about 75 executives from such well-known firms as Georgia-Pacific, Union Oil, and "all automobile companies," Good warned that "anyone who pollutes the earth, destroys wildlife or cuts down trees had better stop now or they and their wives will be terribly murdered." Most firms withheld comment, but some, such as General Electric, tightened security around their top executives; the FBI, meanwhile, was investigating to determine whether Good's threats had broken the law.
FBI officials announced, however, that they did not expect to arrest any more suspects in the case—and that included roommates Good and Susan Murphy. Investigators were cautiously confident that Squeaky's encounter with Ford was not a Manson-inspired conspiracy. Nor did the affair seem to herald the formation of a new Manson family. NEWSWEEK correspondents who sought out former Mansonians found them scattered from coast to coast, with the most notorious in jail for murder and lesser crimes. The rest are trying to make new lives, and they want desperately not to get involved with the escapades of the girl in red.
The last person to be caught in the Manson web was perhaps the unlikeliest: Harold Eugene Boro, who owned the gun Squeaky had wielded. Boro, a 66-year-old divorced grandfather, was described by investigators as Fromme's "sugar daddy" and by his suprised Jackson, Calif., relatives as "a very quiet man." The daughter of Boro's Sacramento landlady recalled that Fromme once borrowed his Cadillac and later accepted a used Volkwagen as a gift. He also let Squeaky use his name in letters urging Charlie's release. But he didn't become deeply involved, Boro reportedly told Federal agents, until he bought a .45 automatic from a friend and showed it to Fromme—who stole it and fled. [sic]
Squeaky's real family tried to go about their lives last week as if their daughter had not tried to kill a President. William Fromme (who pronounces his name "Froh-me") went to his desk in the engineering department of Northrop Aircraft, his wife held down her sales post at J.C. Penny's and both retreated nights to their condominium in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., where they were visited by their parish priest and refused to talk to reporters. But some old friends were soon remembering Lynette as "a little doll" who failed to get the love she needed from her family. "I don't know what's wrong," she once told Dr. Tillman Hall, her community drill team teacher. "My dad won't speak to me. He won't let me eat with the rest of them." As she grew older, Lynette was regularly thrown out of the house until, finally, she stayed away for good—with Manson.
Retreat: One of the best known Manson girls is Linda Kasabian, who in 1970 turned state's evidence and helped get Manson convicted for the murder of actress Sharon Tate and six others. Afterwards Kasabian went home to Milford, N.H., changed her name to Linda Christian and worked as a short-order cook. "Folks used to joke about going down to the place and ordering a Kasabian sandwich," recalls one resident. But in recent months she has virtually disappeared from Milford, retreating to a remote farmhouse where she can be glimpsed, long-haired and ruddy, hanging out the laundry of her four children. "All I want to do is keep a low profile," she said last week. "If it was just me, I'd talk to people. But I have to think of my children. I just want folks to leave me alone."
Another publicity-shy Mansonian is Kitty Lutesinger, 23, who lives in Van Nuys, Calif., with her 5-year-old daughter—fathered by Bobby Beausoleil, a Manson follower convicted of a murder prior to the Tate killings—and is studying to be a school teacher at Pierce College. "They were just goonybird kids when they started this," says her mother. "But love is blind." Lutesinger, who like several girls carved an X into her forehead during Charlie's trial, has turned against Beausoleil and Manson. She has also visited two cosmetic surgeons to have the X removed, but was told that it would fade completely in five more years. "I just live with it," she says unhappily. "Not a lot of people notice it."
Cathy Gilles, 26, who joined the family in 1968 and found them a ranch in Death Valley County that they later used while on the run from [sic] the Tate killings, has gone back to the valley to find her home. After Manson went to jail, Cathy married a red-bearded Texas biker named Dave Barton and moved with their son Elf to Death Valley two years ago to prospect for silver and gold in the barren mountain range. They work hard and live simply, in a small cabin without electricity or toilet. On Sundays they take Elf—"my life," says Cathy—to country-music jam sessions at a nearby resort called Indian Ranch. But the memory of Manson dies hard, and when word of Fromme's attempted assassination flashed through the valley, a storekeeper drove over to bring Cathy the news. "Do you know what your friend just did? She tried to take a shot at the President," he blurted, and studied her reaction. "I see by your suprise that you didn't know anything about it," he said—and left satisfied.
Arsenal: Like other Mansonians, Cathy found herself the object of wild rumours last week. FBI agents and county police showed up to check out reports that the Bartons had cached an arsenal in the shaft of an old mine and were recruiting new family members from unsavory-looking passers-by. Barton led a tour of the mine, disclosing cartons of food and children's clothes hoarded by local Mormons against a depression—but no weapons. "After a day or so," Cathy says, "I got very defensive."
Cathy concedes that she has kept in touch with Fromme and Good, who dropped by last March with used clothes for Elf. Although she believes that Squeaky meant to kill Ford, she says, "I'm not going to turn a friend away." She regrets neither her time with Manson nor the X on her face. And she still views Kasabian as a traitor. "It's lucky I don't hold grudges," she says, "or I could do things I'd get in trouble for."