John J. Nazarian, “My Life with the Mansion Girls”, Charlie, [Charles], Manson of the Sharon Tate Murders!Posted by Rose in Desperate Exes, High Proflie Trials, John J. Nazarian, John J. Nazarian P.I, John Nazarian PI, Nazarian P. I.
Forty years already, were does the time go? For me as with so many, the late 60’s and early 70’s were a time of turmoil. I was in the process of getting kicked out of my home in Boston by the original wicked stepmother, aka Marian Badasher Nazarian, “a woman that my father slept with.” My adoptive mother Cecelia F. Nazarian died March 26, 1963, I was ten. “Dad” was lonely I guess and met this who%&! as a passenger on one of his ships. “Daddy” married her in 1966. And it wasn’t long before she managed to unload me thanks to her hard work convincing my father I was a “bad kid” (this “bad kid” grew up to be a cop and all these years later I can now look back and see what Marian conspired to do). I was on my way to a dry desolate little place called Saugus, California. Back in those days there was nothing much in Saugus, California and it was hot and it was dry and this was where my sister and her family lived, and it was were I was going to be living for a very long time. This would turn out to be some of the best times of my life….the 70’s.
Well as time went on I became friends with Deputies from the old Newhall Station on San Fernando Road and for me coming from a suburb of Boston this was like visiting a western movie set. I remember the Manson murder case and I also remembered very vividly a man called Vincent Bugliosi…Vincent was the prosecutor who became famous on so many levels in sending many of the Manson Family to state prison. We all watched in fascination on television those horrific events. Vincent had a powerful presence in those days and later in my life he would still have it. A few years ago I interviewed Vincent Bugliosi for the O.J.Simpson story I did for Discovery Channel and I was very impressed with his still very strong presence and energy, he is sharp as ever and opinionated and interesting to speak with. This was a man that I had watched as a teenager on TV and now I was at his house, in his living room, reflecting on a very large part of his career. That large part was Charlie Manson and the three girls, all vicious killers, though Charlie always stated that he killed no one….
My early entry into law enforcement was as a prison guard at CIW, California Institute for Women in Frontera. Not a question in my mind that the time spent with the California Dept. of Corrections was one of my best learning experiences. Go figure, and as time went on I was introduced to all the famous female killers and others who had achieved an interesting level of fame — bank robbers, child killers, drug dealers and “Queens of Fraud.” I had them all for 8 to 16 hours a day, and little did I know that when I took my initial physical at the prison hospital it was an inmate handling part of my “intake” as a California State Prison guard…looking back on that experience it was strange but hey, I did not care, I needed a job. My first few days I had to remind myself that these inmates were all “female” no matter how masculine they appeared or the roles they play while incarcerated.
As a Prison Guard at C.I.W. I had a great deal of interaction with Patricia Krenwinkel, Leslie Van Houten and of course the infamous Susan Atkins. These girls were celebrities in the prison system, and at one time were housed in the specialty housing unit aka Death Row. Till “the girls” arrival there was not a Death Row at C.I.W. Death Row, C.I.W. style, was built of brick and cement with the intent of holding the “Manson Girls.” In time “the girls” would be released to General Population aka, GP, once the death penalty in California was no more. Surviving this was an achievement for the three convicted murderers, as for one of the other inmates to kill them would have given that inmate a certain level of jailhouse fame…these three girls were very smart inmates. They got their educations and became mouthpieces for others, as they could get instant access to the administration. I always found them interesting, Susan was very friendly and I would be selected to handle her wedding, and to take a picture with her and her new and very short-term husband Don Laisure (he was a huckster and a con) and Captain Brueske. That picture was worth more than $10,000 during those days but I kept it. Over time I acquired many photos of the girls and even a lock-up order for Ms. Van Houten, as it was I that was placed in charge of locking her up for a period of time.
To read the rest of the article and to see John J. Nazarian as he was forty years ago be sure NOT to miss this article.
Just because it would be fun, here is Charles Mansion then and now, so as a contest as your read Mr. Nazarian’s article, tell which one you think he is in the pictures including the one he graciously allowed us to use with this article.
© John J. Nazarian, Former State Prison Guard at C.I.W.
August 14, 2009
Used with the permission of John Nazarian P. I. – writer
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