In Which Nothing Quite Goes Together Like Pixar Movies and True Crime

She Doesn’t Use Jelly

by Molly Lambert

I have been taking estrogen supplements for a few weeks just because I thought it’d be fun to take menopause drugs experimentally. Besides, they’re herbal, so it’s not like they’re actually going to work.

“Ludella (live)” — Nick Moss and the Fliptops 

Nick Moss and the Fliptops website 

For a girl I’m not much of a crier. I’m not one of those hardliner “I never cry because I’m a tough bitch” girls (btw those girls are lying). But I’m also unlike some people I know who cry it out at least twice a week. I’d say I cry once or twice a month, usually over something random and hysterical that is like the last straw on a bad day.

Sharon Tate.

A friend of mine (a dude) recently talked about how he was driving home from somewhere early in the morning after being up all night and how he had a good cry and found it cleansing and invigorating. He ended with the pronouncement “I think every man needs a good cry.” When the story was relayed to his other dude friends one of them responded with “I think every man needs a good laugh” and then they all laughed a bunch. I’d like to open call for a series of guys writing about either their most recent or most embarrassing cry-fest. Given the emo babies I have for friends I’m sure you dudes will have plenty of material to mine from.

“Second to None” — Phoenix

Polanski and Tate.

Earlier today I found out that the grocery store I work at was originally the LaBianca Market owned by the couple who were the victims of the second murder in the (two-murder) killing spree of the Manson Family. After they murdered Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring (the inspiration for Warren Beatty’s character in Shampoo) and the rich couple staying with them at the house on Cielo Drive on August 9th 1969, they went back out again the next night.

“Old Simon Stinson” — Peter Mulvey

Peter Mulvey wiki &  website

They apparently drove around an area of the Los Feliz neighborhood where Manson had been to a party the year before. He targeted it because it was a wealthy neighborhood. They were trying to incite a race war after all. They ended up at the house of Rosemary and Pasqualino Antonio “Leno” LaBianca, two Italian immigrants who were living the American dream with their successful dress shop and grocery store.

Leslie Van Houten

Manson bound and gagged them and brought them in the house. Patty Krenwinkel, Linda Kasabian, Leslie Van Houten, and “Tex” Watson were ordered to go inside and murder them. Tex killed Leno by stabbing him in the throat with a bayonet and then carved WAR in his stomach with it.

Tex Watson. 

The girls stabbed Rosemary to death with forty-one wounds. Krenwinkel wrote “Death to pigs” “Healter Skealter” and “Rise” in blood on the walls and the refrigerator door.

Krenwinkel left a fork in Leno’s stomach and a steak knife in his throat. It’s amazing it took so long to connect the Tate murder to the LaBianca crime, given the similarities and the “pig” imagery at both scenes.

As a native Los Angeleno with an interest in the true crime genre, I was pretty astounded by this coincidence regarding my workplace. I knew the house was nearby on a street I’ve driven down a million times, and I knew Leno owned a grocery store. It had crossed my mind that my grocery store could be in the same location as the LaBianca Market, but it seemed a little far-fetched. Turns out the truth is just as macabre as I’d imagined.

I’ve gone on the record a few times about how you couldn’t make a big screen high profile movie about Manson because it would inevitably make him look cool. There’ve been numerous TV movie incarnations, and Manson-like characters are the bad guys in tons of action thrillers and every other episode of Law & Order. Zodiac managed not to glorify the Zodiac killer, but unlike Manson, the Zodiac was not a charismatic psychopath who commanded followers to do his bidding, even if he inspired copycats.

The Manson mystique is exactly what Manson wanted and got. He is a recognizably evil name, up there with Hitler and Stalin. And scariest because he’s home-grown and so very American, with an iconically crazy face. Wiki offers this gem:

Before the conclusion of Manson’s trial for the Tate and LaBianca murders, a reporter for the Los Angeles Times tracked down Manson’s mother, remarried and living in the Pacific Northwest. Kathleen Maddox indicated that, in childhood, her son had known no neglect; he had even been “pampered by all the women who surrounded him.”

“Rally” — Phoenix 

Manson was denied parole in May of this year. He’s up for parole again in 2012, which also happens to be the year of the Mayan apocalypse, according to a bunch of New Age acidheads.

In other news I saw Ratatouille, and it was GREAT. I really didn’t feel like seeing it, had to drag myself after remembering the sloggier parts of Cars, but Ratatouille is a million times better than Cars. It might be the best Pixar movie ever, other than maybe Toy Story. Anyway in a world full of horror, it’s nice to escape sometimes, and I can’t recommend a better way to spend a couple hours during the summer than in a nicely air-conditioned movie theater, watching Ratatouille. I cried profusely at the end from joy. It was probably the estrogen supplements, but who knows?

Molly Lambert is the senior contributor to this recording.

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