On October 21, 1997 the New York Times online Cybertimes published an article about Access Manson entitled "Manson Family Web Site: History Rewritten by Losers". The article is noteworthy because it included the first reaction to the web site from a member of the prosecution team that convicted Charles Manson in 1971.
Steven Kay was a young deputy District Attorney when he joined Vincent Bugliosi in the courtroom as a co-prosecutor late in the trial. In his book Helter Skelter Bugliosi mentions Kay only six times, at one point to recall how the inexperienced deputy DA "intemporately" rushed from the courtroom to repeat a supposed Manson death threat to the press. Manson once remarked that Kay's real role at the trial was that "he carried Bugliosi's pencils."
The reporter for the New York Cybertimes asked Kay to comment on several of the points raised in Access Manson. This exchange is repeated below, with additional commentary fromAccess Manson. Prompts from the Cybertimes are in "regular" print. Kay's comments are in italics. Access Manson's responses to Kay's reactions are in boldface.
To the notion that Manson was denied his rights because the judge did not allow him to represent himself in his trial:
That was always a sticking point. When he was denied pro per rights, he said he was going to get the worst attorney in L.A. Later, jurors had trouble deciding to convict because he had such a bad attorney.
The denial of Charles Manson's constitutional rights is reduced to "a sticking point". Note with this first response how Kay establishes a pattern of saying nothing of substance, of giving no detailed response to this or any other allegation contained in ACCESS MANSON. He offers nothing close to evidence or documentation in his answers, merely making statements and passing them off as fact, as if he was an acknowledged oracle of the truth.
On the Web site's section described as Manson "trial statement":
He didn't have the courage to testify in the trial. What they don't realize here, it says this was his trial statement. This is a statement he made out of the presence of the jury. He mainly wanted to testify so the press could pick it up.
Manson had the courage to do much more than testify in the trial: He had the courage (and confidence) to want to defend himself at the trial. The prosectution and the judge didn't have the courage to let him.
That "Helter Skelter" was a fiction cooked up by the state:
The "little Helter Skelter scheme" wasn't the scheme of the district attorney. That was the motive [for the murders].
As we have discussed in the "Lies" section below, the "helter skelter" motive was conjured up by the District Attorney's Office to provide a motive (and thus presumably evidence of guilt) for Charles Manson. The fallacy of this motive will be discussed in greater detail in a future enterprise from ACCESS MANSON.
On the general notion that Manson is innocent:
He thought if he did not inflict any of the fatal blows, he was not guilty of murder.
Or if he didn't plan or order the murders, which he didn't.
On a Manson quote from a parole hearing transcript -- "I do a lot of underworld things":
Yeah, that's true.
To the assertion that Manson is 5 feet 6 inches tall:
[laughing] Manson's 5 feet 6? Not a chance. Manson is 5 feet 2. I guess they don't like the fact that he's a short guy.
Access Manson was incorrect in stating that Manson is 5 feet 6 inches tall. It now looks like Manson is actually 5 feet 7 inches tall. Our evidence to back this assertion consists of the last California driver's license held by Manson before his arrest in 1969. Reproduced below, the license lists Manson's height as 5 feet 7 inches.
More evidence that Manson is really 5 feet 7 inches tall can be found in the book Helter Skelter itself. Two mug shots of Manson, reproduced below, both confirm his height at 5 feet 7 inches. The reproductions here are not of superior quality, although the "7" from "5-7" can be seen midway down on the left side of the first picture, just before the "140" weight entry. We encourage interested parties to personally examine these pictures in a hardback edition of Helter Skelter. (If you do not have a hardback copy, please examine one in a bookstore or library, or buy a used copy -- DO NOT BUY A NEW COPY OF THIS BOOK.) Use a magnifying glass. Your examination will not only reveal a "7" on both mug shots, it will also reveal how both pictures were artfully cropped for the book so that the "5" foot part of the height entries (not to mention the "M" in "Manson") is not there, and thus Manson's real height is not disclosed.
One might wonder why the dispute over Manson's height is important. It is important because it clearly shows the willingness of the DA's side to present a lie and back it up with phony evidence or to omit evidence to the contrary. In this case, as we have said elsewhere, they lie about Manson being 5 feet 2 inches tall because such a height is so short that it is almost a negative superlative. They couldn't say that the monster Manson is ten feet tall, so they made him five feet tall.
One might also wonder that if the District Attorney et. al. would lie about this, how many other lies and ommisions of truth are contained in the fantastic "Helter Skelter" story of Charles Manson?
To the contention that Manson was not present during the murder of Shorty Shea:
He actually stabbed Shorty Shea.
Kay prosecuted Manson for the killing of Shea, so you might think he would offer some evidence to support his assertion. But he doesn't, and can't.
On complaints about prison visiting rules:
Aha! That's what he's mad about. He can't visit with Sandra. And she can't visit him. This [Web site] gives her an outlet where she can do things for him.
Manson is mad about the denial of his rights, particularly the denial of his right to represent himself at his trials. He is also mad about the denial of his right to visitation with Sandra Good. Kay has addressed not one of the many legal arguments made in ACCESS MANSON concerning either of these denials.
That Manson was not obsessed by the Beatles:
He thought that the Beatles were the five prophets talked about in Revelations.
He thought that the Beatles were for teenyboppers. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
That the Manson Family did not abuse drugs:
Every drug imaginable. You name it, they took it.
First, we would differentiate between simply taking drugs and abusing them. That said, no one would deny that a wide variety of drugs was available at different times at Spahn Ranch, just as they were (and are) available in American society generally. But not everybody at Spahn Ranch was with Manson, and the people who were with Manson were certainly not responsible for any drugs which may have been brought onto ranch property by other persons such as ranch hands or motorcycle club members.
What kind of drugs did Manson use? He said at his 1992 parole hearing that he has "taken a few tabs of acid, I smoked grass, I smoked a little hash. I don't mess with drugs, per se. I don't do anything self destructive. I like the cactus buds. They're a spiritual experience.... (Peyote) and mushrooms are OK. I drink Scotch whiskey. I like Scotch whiskey and I drink beer occasionally. I'm not much of a wine drinker, but now and then some wine with meals is alright." At his 1997 hearing he qualified this earlier statement: "I ran the gamut of the streets, everything that the children do. (But) I never let anything over on me enough to get ahold of me. I tried to understand what it is. I've learned from everything I've done."
So Manson has admitting trying many things and favoring some -- a realistic response from an honest person.
It may be safe to assume that people who closely associate with each other over a period of years have similar tastes, and these shared tastes would probably include taste in drugs, although there would obviously be variations based on the individuality of the persons involved. But there is no evidence to suggest that anyone had any of the problems associated with drug abuse. Nor has there ever been any evidence from police records or anywhere else to indicate that large quantities of any kind of narcotic, even marijuana, were ever seized during any of the many raids conducted against Manson and his friends over a two year period. Nor is there any evidence of drug dealing on any large scale.
Kay's statement is simply a slanderous lie.
On another quote from Manson, "I did not break man's law nor did I break God's law":
Well, you broke both.
God's laws and man's laws have been broken by what state-sanctioned criminals have done to Charles Manson for the last 27 years.