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Tuesday, August 15, 1978
LIFE TERM PAROLE CONSIDERATION HEARING
STATE OF CALIFORNIA
COMMUNITY RELEASE BOARD
In the matter of the Life Term Parole Consideration Hearing of:
ROBERT KENNETH BEAUSOLEIL
CDC Number: B-28302
DEUEL VOCATIONAL INSTITUTION
TUESDAY, AUGUST 15, 1978
Mr. A. Smith, Presiding Officer
Mr. R. C. Brown, Board Member
Mr. R. Burton, Board Member
Mr. Robert Kenneth Beausoleil, Inmate
Mr. Peter C. Pumphrey, Attorney for Inmate Beausoleil
Mr. Ronald Ross, Head Deputy District Attorney, Long Beach Branch
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: We are at DVI. The time is now 3:20 on August 15th, 1978. We are here for an initial lifer hearing under CRB rules for Beausoleil. Is that the way you pronounce it?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Beausoleil.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: I was fairly close. B-28302.
Okay. I'd like to identify the parties present. My name is A. Smith, CRB. We have Mr. Burton, CRB member. We have Mr. Brown, CRB member. We have a Ronald Ross, Deputy District Attorney, Long Beach Branch. And Mr. Pumphrey, who is the counsel for Mr. Beausoleil. And the inmate, Mr. Beausoleil.
At this time I'd like to indicate that this hearing is being conducted pursuant to Penal Code Sections 3041 and 3042 and the regulations of the Community Release Board governing parole consideration hearings for life prisoners.
The purpose of today's hearing is to consider your suitability for parole. It is necessary for us to conduct this hearing under revised procedures enacted by the Legislature effective July 1, 1977, which are applicable to all prisoners under a life sentence. We will be considering the number and nature of the crimes for which you were committed to state prison, your criminal history or lack of it prior to the commitment, and your behavior since your commitment. We will reach a decision and inform you whether you are suitable for parole or not and why, and if you are found suitable, the length of your confinement and the specific factors leading to this determination.
This hearing will proceed it the following manner: We will be initially discussing precommitment factors and the offense, which I will handle. Mr. Brown will be discussing institutional factors. And Mr. Burton will to discussing your plans upon release. We will initially cover the offense, and the Deputy District Attorney will have a chance to enter anything he wishes to at that point in time. You will, of course, have a chance to speak to that point also, Counselor.
Okay. At this point in time I'd like to indicate that you are here on a murder one count, 62370, out of Los Angeles County. And this is for an offense occurring July 25th, 1969, which indicates that you, Susan Atkins, and Mary Brunner went to the home of Hinson --
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Hinman.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Hinman. Thank you -- at the request of Manson for the purpose of extorting $20,000 which Manson and the family believed Hinman to have. After initial attempts to secure said money were unsuccessful, Beausoleil pulled a 9 millimeter gun on Hinman, and during the ensuing struggle struck Hinman over the head, causing head wounds.
Thereafter Beausoleil called Manson and told Manson that Gary Hinman was not cooperating. Manson arrived at Hinman's house with Bruce Davie shortly thereafter and told Hinman that they wanted all his money and property and that they meant business. Manson thereafter slashed Hinman across the face with a sword, severing his left ear. Shortly thereafter Manson and Davis left Hinman house, leaving Atkins, Beausoleil, and Brunner to remain with the stricken Hinman. The latter three remained in Hinman's house for another day and a half, keeping Hinman hostage while they were attempting to find out where Hinman kept his alleged money.
Upon determining that Hinman did not have the said $20,000, Beausoleil called Charlie Manson and received orders to kill Hinman. Before killing Hinman, Hinman was required to sign over the pink slips to his two automobiles. On Sunday, July 27th, 1969, following dinner, Beausoleil stabbed and killed Gary Hinman. Beausoleil thereafter told Atkins and Brunner to wipe the house down for prints and to write something on the wall in Hinman's blood to make it look like the Black Panthers had killed Hinman. The words "political piggy" and a symbol of the Black Panther paw were written in blood on the wall.
On August 6, 1969, Beausoleil was arrested in San Luis Obispo in Hinman's automobile.
That is the data that the panel has available from the 1203.01 statement and from the probation report which is being used as a basis. And, of course, you will have a chance to present any information that you feel varies with this report.
Do you wish your client to testify, Counsel?
MR. PUMPHREY: I believe that he will have testimony to present to the Board, yes, sir.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Okay. Would you please rise and raise your right hand.
(Thereupon Inmate Robert Beausoleil was, by the Presiding Officer, sworn to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.)
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I do, sir.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Thank you.
Counselor, is there anything you'd like to have him bring out in regard to what we've mentioned?
MR. PUMPHREY: Yes. I'd simply ask Mr. Beausoleil if the facts as recited by Mr. Smith constitute an accurate rendition of the facts surrounding the circumstances of the offense.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Some of them, not all of them.
MR. PUMPHREY: Would you care to explain to the Board those areas in which you feel the facts are inaccurate?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Where to begin? I think would have to begin with number one, I was not in Gary Hinman's house 48 hours. I was there approximately 24. There was no incident between Gary Hinman and Charlie Manson, and I am in fact responsible for Gary's wound, initial wound. And I am in fact responsible for killing him. And as far as the motive, this was a theory, the District Attorney's theory. And having no other -- I didn't testify and I didn't give any statement to the authorities at the time. I wish now that I had. I probably could have -- In fact, I had a discussion with Burton Katz, who prosecuted me, about two or three months ago, and I told him what had happened. It probably would have made a lot of difference if I'd have discussed the situation with him before, the circumstances.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: What happened as far as you are concerned? What did go down? Why did this offense occur?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: It started approximately a day and a half, two days before I went to Hinman's house, or at least the time I went to Hinman's house with the two girls. I was trying to do some favors or a favor for some friends or some people that were staying at the ranch. And there was several members of a motorcycle club staying at Spahn Ranch, Straight Satans motorcycle club.
Anyway, I volunteered to score some mescaline for them from Gary Hinman. Gary Hinman wan a drug dealer working out of Topanga Canyon. And I went to Gary Hinman's house and I arranged a thousand dollar exchange for what I believed to be mescaline. And I took it to the motorcycle club, and it turned out to be -- they came back to me and told me it was strychnine and they wanted their money back. I went to Gary Hinman's house. And I mean they put me kind of in a very bad position, you know, because I had a motorcycle club coming to me for a thousand dollars. They want their money, and I'm expected to give it to them, because I was the one that took it from them. So I had to collect it from Gary Hinman.
So I went to his house, and I went to his house armed to the teeth with a 9 millimeter Radam and a knife that I always carried. And I told him that I wanted the money back. He said he didn't have it anymore. His attitude was like that he didn't really believe I was serious.
I think probably the stupidest thing I did in the whole thing -- I mean, it was all pretty stupid -- but probably the most stupid thing I did was taking those girl with me. I don't know what I was trying to prove by doing that, but I did take Mary Brunner and Susan Atkins with me. While at Gary Hinman's house I -- he said he didn't have the money any longer; he turned it over or whatever. So I was looking around the house for something that might be worth a thousand dollars that I could give to these people. And I gave the gun to Susan Atkins, and I told -- I, you know -- I didn't -- I knew damn well that she wouldn't do anything, but it would serve the purpose if Gary Hinman thought that she would in fact shoot him if he tried to take the gun away from her or something.
So I left her in the kitchen with Gary Hinman, with her holding the gun. And I went out in the living room trying to find something worth a thousand dollars. And the next thing I knew she is screaming that Gary's got the gun. And I came running into the kitchen, and he's got the gun. He's pointing it at me, and I'm in a stand-off situation. I got my knife out, and we're in just kind of a Mexican stand-off kind of situation. I didn't think -- I took a chance. I didn't think that he would shoot if I made any attempt to get the gun away from him. And I was right. I dove at him, and during the scuffle, that's when he got his face cut. He got -- His ear was nicked, and he got a slice on his cheek. I took the gun away from him and calmed down. And he realized that I wasn't kidding. I wanted something, some kind of compensation so I could get the motorcycle club, get them off my back. And I discussed this with him for awhile. And he finally came up with the idea of him giving his two -- He had two beat-up cars, an old Fiat with a Toyota engine in it and a Volkswagen bus with a smashed-in front. And we figured that that would be worth maybe a thousand dollars between the two of them.
So he signed over the pink slips. I had him predate them so that he couldn't arrange for new pink slips. I had him predate them about nine days, I think, ahead so that he wouldn't be able to go to the Department and say that he had lost his registration or whatever, in other words. So we could -- The property would be turned over that quick, given to the motorcycle club, and it would be over with. That was the idea. At least that was what I had in mind.
I stayed with Gary Hinman that day, the following day. I took care of his ear. I sewed his ear with some dental floss. His cheek would have healed up fine. It was closed; it was a real thin cut. And I figured everything was -- you know, we were square. He's on the wrong side of the law being a dealer. And we took care of it the way I thought it was taken care of in this kind of a situation. I wasn't into trafficking drugs or anything. I was just trying to do somebody a favor.
Anyway, that evening I waited till I figured that he was calmed down and the bleeding had stopped in his ear and his cheek. I was ready to leave the next evening. And on my way out he said that he was going to blow the whistle on me when I left for assault and whatever. And I just made a choice whether I wanted to take that chance.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Again, I'm having a problem because I am going to the appeal document now that was submitted to the Second Appellate District. And apparently they made a complete review of the testimony of the trial and to some of the questions brought up during that trial. They indicate that defendant testified in his own behalf to the following effect.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Right.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: And then gave substantially the same story as I read here as to what occurred. Defendant testified in his own behalf to the following effect: At Manson's request he went to Brunner and Atkins' home and asked for money for the family. He carried a knife which Manson had given him, but not a gun.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: In my trial, in my second trial -- My first trial ended in a hung jury. There was no defense testimony presented. The second trial I was -- I testified in my own behalf, and I testified that Manson had killed Gary Hinman, which was a fabrication. What I did with -- I merely seconded pretty much the District Attorney's theory and just put myself into a different, a different position.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Now, other people testifying at that time would appear, however, to corroborate some of your story, not about Manson killing Hinman, but on some of the others, indicating you were armed with a knife in a sheath and the pillow situation and that type of thing, indicating that the victim would not cooperate and was beaten by you rather than a fight situation.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I didn't beat him.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: But you are indicating that during that ruckus that he was cut; is that correct?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Yes. I did -- Beating him, I interpreted that was like I was on top of him pummeling him or something, which isn't in fact true. I did hit him with the gun during or after the scuffle.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: What was he cut with?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: He was cut with my knife.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Your knife. There was some point about a sword at one point.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: There was no sword there. That's kind of ridiculous. I carried a knife in a sheath all the time on my belt.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Now, you indicated you more there for 24 hours. When did you go into the house first?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: The evening before.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Of the, what?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I'm not sure of the date.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Was it a Friday evening?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I'm not positive. It's been a long time.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: You indicate you were only there for 24 hours.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: 24 hours. We went there approximately -- it was after dark, just after dark and left there about the same time the next day.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Now, the stabbing incident that terminated Mr. Hinman's life, how did that take pIace?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: It was just after he told me that he was going to blow the whistle on me.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Okay. And how many times was he stabbed?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Twice.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Twice. Did he die immediately?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Yes.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Okay. Then the statement, you are saying, in regards to the use of the pillow to stop the noise wasn't correct?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: No. There was a pillow used to stop the noise. What I mean to say is that he did in fact die immediately after he was stabbed. It was very fast. But I don't know what you'd call it exactly. I don't know what the coroner would call it. It was like death throes.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: You indicated that you sewed up his ear. When did that happen?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: That was during the day.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: During the day.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Well, early in the morning after we had already straightened out the pink slips and whatnot.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: By "early in the morning", what do you mean, "early in the morning"?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Well, it was that evening, that night, that we had arrived that he was -- we had the incident over the gun. It was the next morning after we had straightened out all the other business as far as settling the, you know --
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: What's the time frame? Can you give me a time between it happening and the sewing up?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Maybe four hours, three hours.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: What did you have to do to get him to sign the pink slips?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Nothing. I mean, it was understood, you know, that I was there for business and I wanted the thousand dollars back, period. And he realised the fact that I was serious about it, and he didn't fight me about that.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Panel, any questions?
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Yes, I do.
What makes you decide, now you say things that you didn't say at the time of the trial?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I have changed in a lot of ways in the last nine years. I am just a more willing to take responsibility for my own actions. This isn't the first time I brought this out. I brought it out two and a half years ago when I was before the Board that time.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: My question is is it your statement that Manson did not cut this man's ear with the sword?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: No, he didn't.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: You did?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Right. The only time Manson ever came anywhere in the proximity of Gary Hinman's house is when I called him, when I called the ranch and asked for somebody to come over and pick up one of the cars because I couldn't drive both of them back.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Then there is some discussion about something being written on the wall in blood. Who did that?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: One of the girls did.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Why was that done?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Well, you got to remember, you know, I'm -- I wasn't thinking too clearly at the time. My logic at the time was that Gary Hinman was a political science major and his walls were lined with books concerning politics and whatnot, with the emphasis on Marxist philosophies and that sort of thing. He regularly received Communist-type literature, periodicals and whatnot. And I don't know if he an active member or not, but by appearance anyone would assume that he was. And I just figured that some kind of slur or some kind of a -- if it was -- if the murderer had left some kind of a thing that -- to make it look like it was some kind of a factional dispute with his people or whatever, would take some of the authorities in a direction away from me, hopefully.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Tell me specifically, what was it that made you change your mind and decide to give this version of events? What thing changed? You have been here a long time; but it could have happened year one, year two, three, four, five. What actually made it happen in, you said In 1976?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Well, I'll tell you. At the time of my trial my folks, as soon as they found out I was in jail, they came to jail and they supported me. And they immediately assumed that I was an innocent young man. Their son was innocent. And I just didn't have the heart to break that illusion, to shatter that illusion at the time. It's been a hard thing for me to come to terms with this whole thing. I mean, I have never had to face anything like this in my whole life. Just face up to it and accept responsibility for myself just took a number of years. That's all. I don't knew how to explain it any other way to you.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Now you said you talked, recently talked to the District Attorney in Los Angeles County.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Yes.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Why were you talking with him?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Well, he came up here. There was another guy her that has a case that related to the Manson thing, and his -- this was the Shorty Shea killing. They have never found the body of Shorty. They convicted him and never found the corpus delicti. I talked to him about it and I said, "Man" -- you know, he's been denying it for years and years, that he had anything to do with it. I said, "Man, that's not going to do you any good, you know. You have got people saying that you tortured somebody," and he didn't. And that Gary Hinman -- or that Shorty Shea had been beheaded, which he hadn't been. I said, "Man, you can carry that and be the tough guy all you want, but it's not going to -- you can be the tough guy for the next 20 years in prison. Big deal." I said, "If you want to prove that you didn't cut the guy's head off, tell them where the body is. So he did.
He got in touch with the District Attorney through the authorities here. And when he came up, Burton Katz and one of his associates came up here to interview this inmate, he called me in and talked to me. I discussed the case with him.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: You came to grips with this then in about 1976. Is that right?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: No, before that. That was the first righteous opportunity that I had to bring it up, was at my Board hearing.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: It was in 1970-what then that you came to grips with this?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Probably about two years before I went to the Board.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: '74. Okay. That's all I have.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: I might indicate for the record that the 1976 board report does give substantially the same story as you gave us today in regards to that.
Mr. Ross, is there anything you'd like to bring forward from your viewpoint in regards to what's been brought up so far?
MR. ROSS: Yes, just a couple of things. Some of the things I think Mr. Beausoleil is saying for the first times are considerably different, as you have indicated, from what was said previously. A couple of the things I should think, in fairness to Mr. Beausoleil, were borne out at the trial. I tried Mr. Beausoleil the first time, which ended up a hung jury. And there was evidence that the ear was in fact sewn up with dental floss. It appears, according to the coroner's report, there was also an indication that it was considerably more than a nick to the ear. As a matter of fact, the ear was severed by some large instrument. It could have been a knife; it could have been a sword. No one knows for sure. The coroner also stated that the nature of the wound, in seeing how it was sutured up, if it had not been cared for, it would probably, could well have resulted in death from loss of blood.
As far as the other is concerned, Susan Atkins, as a matter of record, testified at her preliminary hearing, which I conducted in 1969, to some corroborating points of his story. In connection with her being in the kitchen at the time that the gun was pulled, she was holding the gun apparently on Mr. Hinman. And there was a struggle in the kitchen. Mr. Beausoleil did come in and apparently struck Mr. Hinman at that time. That was her version of the story. However, there was no overtone at any time to my recollection concerning anything as far as dope dealing is concerned. Miss Atkins did not state anything of that nature at all during her hearing. And this, of course, is complete news to me until I heard it from Mr. Katz not too long ago. He indicated that he had come up and seen Mr. Beausoleil, and he had indicated a new version of the story.
The other part of the story, when I originally tried the case there was no indication, of course, of anyone known as Charles Manson. Mr. Manson was unknown to law enforcement at that time. It was only during the course of the trial that this broke, and we had the testimony of a Mr. DeCarlo concerning this aspect of the case. It was a considerably different case that was tried the second time by Mr. Katz. I must say for Mr. Beausoleil, he didn't say anything in his defense, any kind of a story. There was simply no defense in the case the first time.
Looking at the case itself and looking at the factors to be considered by the Board, I would just merely point out that there do seem to be a number of aggravating factors in connection with the case. The Board has before it the statement in the resume of the testimony and the conclusion and finding of the Appellate Court as indicated on page 20 of that opinion toward the bottom.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Pardon me. Is it all right if I smoke?
MR. ROSS: The last sentence of page 20 of the Appellate opinion.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: One second, if you would, Counsel.
MR. ROSS: Sure.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Okay.
MR. ROSS: Where the Court states that the evidence showed only the premeditated murder by torture in the course of a robbery. It appears that that's what the theory of the case was from beginning to end, and I see nothing to dispel that at this time or at any time during the course of the trial. The facts would seem to indicate that this was a rather aggravated felony murder case, that Mr. Beausoleil during the course of a subsequent proceeding in Los Angeles made threats toward a number of individuals, as can be seen from the reports that you have received from the sheriff s office and from the District Attorney's Office in Los Angeles.
I was somewhat peripherally involved in that case. I did not try it, but I did select the jury in that case. That was tried by a different person, a man who was working for me at that time. I am sure Mr. Beausoleil has in some ways changed in a period of nine years. As a matter of fact, I didn't even recognize him when I saw him. However, appearances change; I'm not sure whether the attitude of Mr. Beausoleil has changed. It certainly hadn't in 1973 when he testified in connection with the robbery where he made those threats.
I have nothing further.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: I do have one question for you, Mr. Ross. Time frame has been brought into question. Was there any specific evidence brought out on the time frame from initial entry to the death of Mr. Hinman?
MR. ROSS: I cannot frankly remember. There was some indication that they came there, I believe it was on a Friday night, and they were there a couple of days is my recollection. It was impossible for the coroner to tell how long that wound had existed before Mr. Hinman actually died because of the advanced stage of decomposition of the body when the body was actually found. So I can't really give you much reference.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Other than what's in the official records.
Panel, do you have any questions?
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: I have none.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: No.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Counsel?
MR. PUMPHREY: No, I have no questions.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: I would like to indicate for the record that here does not appear to be any indication of prior criminal convictions prior to this offense. He was arrested on several occasions. However, none of them resulted in convictions. The most serious one would have been the arrest on auto theft which resulted in his being returned, I understand, to L.A. County for prosecution on this murder charge. This is Mr. Hinman's vehicle, from what I understand.
MR. ROSS: Yes, that's correct.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: There was a robbery arrest for which he was held two days and released. No disposition: That's all we have in terms of prior history.
Did you have any juvenile record at all?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Runaway.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Runaway. Out of control?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Yes.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Did you do any time on that?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Yeah, I went to camp for about nine months.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Nine months. Was there any other juvenile record?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: No.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Were you on probation for that after you got out of camp?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Oh, yeah, for a little while, about six months, I think.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: What did you do when you ran away? Where did you go to?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I went and stayed with my grandmother.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Panel have any further questions on the offense or preconviction factors?
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: I don't.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Okay. At this point in time then we'll move into institutional adjustment.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Okay. We are going to look in the following areas: one is to see what has happened relative to your psychiatric evaluations. We will be looking at your disciplinary record, any educational efforts you may have made, any vocational efforts you may have made, and in general what your institutional adjustment has been.
So as a starting point we are going to look at the psychiatric area. And I notice there have been a number of psychiatric and psychological reports prepared in this particular case. And they start out with none, where you refused to participate in a psychiatric evaluation, so none could be made. And then they have proceeded on through the years from essentially negative on to fair on to release plans should not be based on psychiatric problems but on other than that. And I have noted a series of psychiatric and psychological evaluations, starting January 4th of '74; another February 20th of '76; one on 10/7/77; and the latest on 7/3/78, I guess. Beginning back in 1990 you refused to be interviewed by psychiatric staff. Why was that?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I never did refuse as a matter of fact.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: What happened?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: The doctor took it as a refusal.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: What did you say or not say?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Well, I didn't say anything.
He called me in to interview me one time. So I sat down, and he talked about his family problems and whatnot. And he didn't really talk to me. And so the second time he sent me a ducket --
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: This was while you were on condemned row?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Right -- No. In fact, I was never interviewed while I was on condemned row. This was when I came to the mainline. I think it was Dr. Smith that called me. 8
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: This was a Dr. Drummond. Do you recall him on January 6th, '70?, This would have been before you got to -- actually received. You were talking to a Dr. --
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I was never even asked in '70 to see a psychiatrist.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: This one is dated January 6th, '70, shows condemned. And it shows that "subject's refusal to be interviewed by psychiatric staff convinces evaluation of his mental or emotional condition." You don't recall that?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I don't recall anyone even attempting to see me on that one.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Then there is one on January 11th of 1977 which says, "Subject refuse examination by the neuropsychiatric committee." And this was again at San Quentin. Do you recall that one? Dr. Kleinmaier, Dr. Reeves, and a Dr. Rhodenbush.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: What is the date on that?
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: January 11th, 1971, shows on condemned. Again, you were on condemned row.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I don't recall it
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Okay. Then let's move on -- It would appear in 1974 there was a psychiatric evaluation which is dated 1/4/74. This was prepared by a D. V. Stocking, Correctional Counselor II, and approved by E. J. Reeves, who was the acting chief psychiatrist. This would have been at San Quentin again. Do you recall that one?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: This is when?
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: January of '74.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Yes, I recall that one.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Okay. And at that time he felt in his conclusions that no psychiatric gains had been made at that time, "violence potential unprovoked is low, provoked is high. No medication is prescribed."
Then the next one we see is '76, February 16th of 1976. And again in his conclusion, "His potential for violence within an institutional setting is seen as being about moderate, particularly when being placed under any stress, but outside is quite unpredictable," and in his opinion is still high.
Then we move on to 1977, Dr. Mackenberg. And at this time he noted some gains that had been made in his recommendations. And he said, "He would appear capable of functioning in a realistic way here in prison. There would not appear to he any psychiatric contraindications to parole of any kind, and that his parole preparedness should not be based upon psychiatric or psychological difficulties."
And then on into 1978, July 3 of 1976. This is a Dr. Macomber. "Appears to be gradually maturing over the years. There was no evidence of psychopathology which would require other than routine handling in this case due to the absence of serious mental, or emotional problems that would contribute to violence potential. It was recommended that this case be handled on its legal merits only."
Do you have any comments in that area relative to what's happened over the years in that regard?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Yeah, I do.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: What?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: When I was first arrested I was 21 years old. And this was at the end of the sixties. A lot of -- There was a lot of problems in the world, and like a lot of youth at that time I was rebellious, resentful. I have done a lot of growing up since then. I have had to just to survive, really. I have had a lot of time to look at myself. I don't -- If you could understand what kind of a situation I have been put in all of a sudden in my life at 21 years old. I mean, I was still a youngster, really. It seemed like the whole world had caved in on me on this case, you know, being associated with the Manson family thing when in point of fact I was never a member of the Manson family. I have never done anything under order from Charles Manson. It's just -- I was in jail at the time the Tate-LaBianca murders happened, and yet I have been tied up in this whole thing, you know.
The second trial was just completely, in comparison -- When Mr. Ross tried my case, then it was realistic, you know, three-quarter full courtroom. It was just a -- you know, it was -- no murder is pretty, and I'm not defending myself. But it got so blown out of proportion the second time. The whole thing just --- Man, all of a sudden I'm part of this bizarre cult, murder cult, you know, with some kind of god. I'm just not the kind of person to have -- I've got too much -- I don't know what you'd call it, personal pride or whatever. I just -- I couldn't be under somebody, be subservient to anyone like that. I mean, even in here, you know, the last nine years I have had run-ins with two gangs. I just will not be subservient to somebody like, you know -- But anyway, the whole thing that has fallen on me -- I think that there were a lot of injustices in the second trial. It was blown -- I don't think that I should have had to be put through quite that extreme thing. So I was resentful. I was -- you know, I wound up on death row for two years. I was a very bitter person and I think understandably so.
After awhile -- I mcan, I was thinking about it, dwelling on It, on my personal situation. It was eating me up inside. I mean, this bitterness was just -- As Mr. Ross brought up mention of threats, I would like to point out that there was no -- I threatened no individual or anything like that. I was testifying I was asked to testify as a character witness, sort of as a -- to present philosophie that might be shared by the defendants in that case. They wanted that brought out. Okay. So I went, and I consented, and I testified. And we were discussing the injustices in the world. And the testimony, it was an emotional statement. It wasn't a serious statement. And like I say, it wasn't, "I'm going to kill you,' or something like that. I didn't make any kind of statement like that. I would never --
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: What did you say?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I said something to the effect that you better hope I never get out, or something like that. This is at the -- You got to -- to see this in the proper perspective, you've got to kind of put yourself mentally into the time zone that this occurred. This is in the early seventies. There was a lot of dissension, factional belief, dissension, whatever you want to call it. And was tied up in that in my thinking, because of my bitterness. Then I got to, you know -- coming to terms with it. I got to thinking that I really didn't have anyone to blame but myself, the situation that I was in, the stupidity, I am not a murderer by nature. It was the most incompetent murder there could ever possibly have been, really. I was arrested five days later in the victim's car.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Okay. Panel have any questions about the psychiatric? If not, I'll move on to the --
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Could you -- The last two are positive or just the last one?
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: The '77 one is Dr. Macomber, appears to be clear. And the '78 one is fair. It just says that release plans should not be based upon psychiatric problems.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Okay, fine. Thank you.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Then looking at your disciplinary record: On 4/23/72 appears to be the first one, and that is possession of contraband. This was possession of forged paper. It appears that you were on condemned row and were going to have a visit with Manson, which was for the purpose of a supposed legal conference. And they noticed that you had some legal documents which evidently carried a sergeant's signature that was not his.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: That wasn't it. The situation there, in fact, was that they were his signature and he didn't want to own up to it. What it was, it was some trust withdrawal slips for mailing that I hadn't filled in the numbers or anything. I hadn't filled in the amount. I asked him to sign them. Apparently he thought that he was signing something that had been filled out or something, I don't know. But he didn't want to own up to it afterwards.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Okay. And why were you visiting at that time with Manson?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: As it says there, for a legal conference.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Relative to what?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Relative to my appeal.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: I'm not sure I understand how Manson would fit into your appeal, because you are telling us now that Manson had nothing to do with it.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: That's true.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Okay. Then what was --
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: At that time they had just started allowing people to co-defense. He a co-defendant. I wasn't sure for what reason, that if anything would be brought out, by anything that would be a help to my appeal or not. I don't know. It was by his request that we have a meeting, and --
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Okay. And then the next one occurred on 4/15/73, tattooing and what have you.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I'm guilty of that one.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: What were you tattooing?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I was tattooing myself.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: It also appears that along about that time there was an incident involving baseball bats. You got pounded pretty good.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I was one of them.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Were you a pounder or a poundee?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I was a poundee.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: What was that all about?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: That was a problem situation that occurred at San Quentin with the Aryan Brotherhood.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: That was on 4/24/73. What was this all about?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: A couple months previous to this the Aryan Brotherhood had offered me and a couple other dudes the opportunity to join their organization. And I couldn't agree with what they represented. Neither could any of the people that I was associating with at that time. And we told them no, denied their offer. A couple months later we found out they have got a contract on us. We tried to straighten it out with them. In fact, we did in fact straighten it out with them about three or four times, and the contract that they had on us was what they call squashed about three or four times. And then we found out that it was -- it had come out, some orders out of the hole again, contracts on me and a friend of mine. And so we met them on the yard and confronted them.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: What occurred?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I believe between about five of them and three of us -- I broke my jaw and my hand. Someone hit me with a baseball bat from behind, and I ended up in the hospital.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: I notice the result of that was the charge was dismissed. You were deemed to be the victim of the attack.
Then there is one on August 26th of 1974. There you were charged with having a weapon. That was ultimately during a hearing changed to possession of contraband, that you had some plastic utensils and some parts of razor blades in here. What's your description of what happened with that?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: They were little eating utensils, the plastic handles from some, like, picnic spoons, flimsy things. I had taken some pieces of razor blades, which were legal issue, and I had broken the corners of them off, little small shavings about the size of your fingernail. And I put them on -- to cut my art work out with. And they were deemed -- in the final hearing they were deemed not to be weapons. They gave me straight contraband.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Okay. Now, if we go back to what you earlier said, it was along about this time that you got your head screwed on straight, about 1974.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Before then, because I had just -- Well, see, here's the thing. When I started getting my head turned around straight is when I started finding other avenues to expend my energy rather than letting it eat me up inside. And I got into -- more deeply involved in my art work and music.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Okay. Then on 6/6/77, after your head was screwed on straight, you got involved in another disciplinary, which was a conduct, hitting a man with a baseball bat again. According to this, you were the pounder, this time with your feet. You had a baseball bat, but the man that was struck, at least on your part, was being struck by your feet. Now, what was this all about?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: This was an incident that occurred last year between the Nuestra Familia and the white population in general. Nuestra Familia at that were pretty much in control of the mainline, and there had been an agreement for a long time that they would leave the whites alone and everything's fine. Previous to then, about a year and a half, two years previous, they had stabbed a lot of white dudes, a whole lot. And it had almost broken out into a full-scale war that time. They straightened out their problems. They made an agreement; You just leave the whites alone; we'll leave you alone. You do your thing; we'll do ours and that's fine. Well, along about last year they decided that they wanted to take over, and they gave an ultimatum to the whites. This was out on the yard. And I was in a music unlock, and I had to go out to get two cokes. And I go out to the yard and I find out all hell's ready to break loose. And I couldn't get off the yard.
I found out that the Mexicans were going to make their threat good, that they were going -- they gave them an ultimatum. The answer was a flat out no, and it was just a matter of not going off the yard. And we gave them plenty of room to go around us. If they want to go around us to get off the yard, fine. But they came at us, and everybody just went for what they knew.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Okay. I understand that the one you were kicking was down. Is that right?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Well, he had just been down. He just got down. It didn't last that long. It was only brief minute before the whole thing was over.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Your statement is that you just got involved in this because you happened to come out to buy some cokes at the time this all went down, and you got in the middle of it.
Okay. Then we move to another one on 12/3/77, which is not obeying orders. What's that about?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I wish I knew on that one. I don't think I should ever have been given that 115. But what can you do?
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: It said you were where you didn't belong, where you shouldn't have been.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: There was a new officer in our wing at that time. This was Officer Velasquez, a woman. And she had been hassled all day by the blacks in that wing. I mean, they had really given her a hard time. And I was coming back from my shower, and I wanted to give somebody had handed me a couple of noodles on the way upstairs, little packages of those instant cook noodle things, and told me one of them was for my next-door neighbor. So on my way to my room I stopped at his house to give him the noodles. And she wrote me up for delaying the lockup.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Okay. Have we covered your disciplinary record?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I believe that's it.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Comments for the panel on the disciplinary record?
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: No.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: No.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: What have you done on your education since you have been in the institution? I understand when you arrived and were tested you were at about the tenth grade. Have you done anything in that area?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I have not normally, as far as going to school, going to regular classes. I'm sure that my grade point average is a lot higher than that.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Do you have a high school diploma?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: No, I don't.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Why not?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I haven't finished high school.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Why not?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Because I have been spreading myself so thin as it is. I have been involved in a lot of things here as far as programs. There is only so much you can do. I think there is a memo in my file from a Dr. Bertholf, who is one of the educators here at DVI. And she's been here something like 25 or 30 years. And she sent a memo, put a memo in my jacket to the effect that as far as my intelligence and what I do know, I'm sure that constitutes more than a high school diploma. I just haven't --
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: As far as any classes, you haven't taken any classes.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I have got too many other things going on.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: We'll get to those in just a minute.
Now, on vocational efforts since you've arrived in the institution, what have you done in that area?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I was in drafting for awhile, but that wasn't what I had hoped it was going to be. I ended that. That's the only --
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: What did you have when you were on the outside?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I'm a professional musician.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Just a musician.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I've been playing professionally since I was 17.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Other than that. I'm saying you have nothing other than the musician trade.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Well, I have made a considerable sum since I have been in through my art work.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Art work.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Graphic arts.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Painting?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Not necessarily, no. Things like graphic arts, commercial art. I made most of my money in here doing book covers and things like that, stationery designs.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Have you been able to sell that on the outside?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Oh, yeah.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: How much money have you been able to earn in that area?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: If I really apply myself -- I don't need that much money in here. I'm not trying to make a whole bundle or anything. But I usually make about seventy-five to a hundred a book cover, maybe forty, fifty dollars for a stationery design.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: How much have you been able to earn since you've been in the institution doing this kind of work?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Well, most of the money that I have been able to earn since I've been in the institution has come from my music.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Stay with the graphics. How much have you been able to earn?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Probably about fifteen hundred, two thousand, just on that aspect of it.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Now, let's turn around to the music. What are you going to do with the music, writing?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Yes, writing and recording. I am doing a movie soundtrack right now for a film maker by the name of Kenneth Anger, professional film maker, one of the most well-known film makers of the sixties. And it's a future length film, ninety-three minutes. I have a band here, small orchestra, I guess. I have almost a full recording studio in my room. This has been approved through Sacramento and Superintendent Reese, to make, arrangements for all this equipment.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: How much have you been able to make on your music?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: About five thousand so far. I've been working on that for about the last two years now.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Okay. You said you have been doing other things. Now, does this include everything that you have been doing or are there other things besides this you have both doing?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Well, I'm pretty much the one solely responsible, if anyone is, for putting the music program at DVI together. I mean, there wasn't any music when I came.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: What is the music program?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: The music program now consists of about five different, five or six different bands, different groups representing different, mainly different ethnic groups. There is a Black soul group, Mexican group, country western. We are trying to, you know, represent everyone. We have a music room; we have about, oh, maybe five, six, seven thousand dollars worth of music equipment that we didn't have before I started.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Is there anything else that you have done since you arrived in the Department of Corrections that you think we ought to know about?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Let's see. I have been in the hobby craft. That's one of my main job assignments right now is in the hobby craft, tool room clerk. I have been in there for about two, two and a half years, and I have been doing my best to keep that program together. There wasn't any since that officer was killed here in '73, I think it was. The hobby program has been shut down, and we've been trying to get that together.
I have built three guitars from the ground up. And the last one was -- the last one was a double neck guitar that I invested probably about $800 in. It's probably worth around twenty-five hundred resale value right now. I sent some pictures of it to a company in Detroit called Pyramid Guitars. In fact, I got some letters didn't bring them. I got some letters from Pyramid Guitars, which they are a professional custom guitar company. They make pick-ups and whatnot for guitars. And their response to the pictures of my guitar was to offer as many of their pick-ups as I wanted and to assist me in any way as far as building guitars. They thought it was unbelievable.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Okay. There are a number of documents in the file that oppose you being paroled. There are a number of documents in the file that say you might be a good parole risk, and they offer you some kind of aid on the outside. Do you have any comments relative to these?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Well, I'm -- I haven't reviewed my jacket. I know that there is a lot of -- excuse my language. There is a lot of bullshit in my file. A lot of people have just tried to, you know, put in their two cents here and there. I don't --
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Well, for instance, there are those from the judge, from the District Attorney, from the police department who don't see you as a very good parole risk.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I don't think those people even know me, do they? I mean, I have never had a conversation with Judge Keene, and he has not been at all familiar with anything that I've done in the last eight years, more than eight years.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: He is looking at it, I'm sure, from the standpoint of the trial. It's from that area. I don't know whether he knows anything or not about your institutional adjustment. I would assume that he probably does not. However, there is a letter in the file from him opposing parole. You also have letters in here from a number of other people who see you differently than he does. And this is your opportunity to make any comments you may want to make in that regard.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Well, I look at it this way: I committed a murder. I would say that the drugs being involved -- In fact, I would like to rebut Mr. Ross' statement a little bit in that there is in fact some law enforcement documentation to the effect of Gary Hinman's paraphernalia that was found in his house at the time. They weren't, of course, concerned with that. They were concerned with his murder, and it was not brought up in the trial. They found, scales and bags of marijuana seed, I think, and forget what else. But they did in fact find some drug paraphernalia in his house.
To get back to the point, I do believe that my conviction -- that the offense did probably constitute a first degree conviction, and I want to take responsibility for what I have done. I would have to -- In that regard I would have to agree with some of the people that say things against me, to some extent. But by the same token, I'm not essentially a murder-type person, I don't think. I think that I have got -- hopefully I have got something worthwhile to offer society, you know. I don't think I'm all bad. I don't think -- I'm not -- I haven't been an angel. I don't think that I'm all bad either.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Okay. Let's take a short recess. It's now about twenty minutes after four.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: Excuse me. I have to make a phone call before 4:30.
MR. PUMPHREY: Okay, that's fine.
(Thereupon a brief recess was taken.)
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: We will go back on the record. The time is now 4:28.
Mr. Brown, I think you were speaking at the time.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: At the time of the recess there was an opportunity for you to make any comments, for the inmate to make any comments relative to the letters that had been sent in. Have you finished any comments that you wanted to make in that area?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I think I pretty much covered it.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Okay. Counsel, is there anything you'd like to add in the post conviction factor area?
MR. PUMPHREY: I think that I would reserve perhaps until Mr. Burton is completed. I'm not sure which phase my questions might fall into.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Okay. Mr. Burton.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: Yes. Mr. Brown spoke to a number of letters that were opposed to parole. We do have a number of letters that favor it. I'd like to ask you -- Well, first let me read into the record some of the communication. You received a letter from your mother; from a gentleman named Robert Krause, who's an educator at the school district. You apparently went to school there. Monseigneur Patrick O'Brien. All of these arriving last January. Letters of support from Mrs. O'Dea and your sister, and something from the Nu --
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Nu Triumph.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: Nu Triumph, which appears to be more in the occupational --
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Right.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: -- vein. So I'm kind of curious What your plans are. I note that music and art, as you previously stated, all instruments except woods, and you were formerly a member of Local 6 of the American Federation of Musicians. So would you please tell us what your parole plans are?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Well, my plans -- Of course, first and foremost, I'm a musician. I have got proven value in that area as far as publicly. I don't -- I wouldn't have any trouble making it on the strength of my music, in other words. Even in here I don't have any trouble. That would be first and foremost.
What I do want to do, I want to get into producing. I want to open up my own studio; my own recording studio. I have been gathering equipment while I am here. Like I say, I have about $5,000 now just to start off with in equipment.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: You have $5,000 worth of equipment that belongs to Robert Beausoleil?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Yes, right. That's a very conservative figure.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: That is your equipment?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Right. I have some on loan, too; from Dr. Bertholf. But as far as mine, I have approximately five, six thousand dollars' worth of equipment. That's not including the guitar that I mentioned that I have built. This is something that would -- I wouldn't attempt immediately upon release, you know, to start a studio. I would have to establish myself. I would have to -- I would be working. I would take up one of the jobs that I have been offered until I got myself settled.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: What type -- You are almost universal in your musical outlook. What would be the pay when you were playing with -- When you were working out of Local 6 what kind of an instrument -- were you country and western, rock?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: No. I was playing kind of exotic music, I think you might say. They call it nowadays -- They call it --
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: Stan Getz style?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: They call it -- Nowadays it is called fusion music, which is like fusion. That's the label they have put on it. What it is is sort of an attempt at blending various types of music, such as classical or jazz, any type of music that blends with another type of music is what is labeled. So to use today's terms, what we were doing at that time would be labeled fusion music, which was kind of a combination of classical, traditional, American, and Far Eastern, which were a lot of -- the cultural aspects that were prominent at the time.
I had an orchestra, and that was in the sixties. In fact, I have had two orchestras and a number of bands. In San Francisco when I was in Local 6 I had two orchestras and --
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: Where did you play?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: We played all over the main halls, Avalon Ballroom, Fillmore Auditorium. We had a fairly wide following. We made approximately -- on a weeknight we would make somewhere around $25 a night apiece. On a weekend or something it could be anywhere from a hundred to two hundred fifty a night apiece, per musician.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: How much money do you have in your -- We were dropping figures here, couple grand here, so much here. How much money do you have in your trust fund?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Probably not too much. I just bought a whole lot of -- For the last two years I've be getting into electronics. I want to understand from the inside out what I'm using as far as production-type equipment. So I have been building a lot of stuff.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: Ten dollars, a hundred dollars?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I don't know. It would be closer -- I think my balance is probably about $300, something like that. But I have been trying to spend everything I get on electronics equipment parts.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: You do graphic art, make book covers. You make letterheads for stationery.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: (Inmate nods head.)
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: Who did the stationery for your other?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I did that. It was actual for my father. It looks better, much better in the original, of course.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: You plan on organizing -- Where will you immediately get a job is basically what I'm saying, because these are very grandiose ideas, you know, recording studio.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Are they really?
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: Recording studios and band for a guy that's been out of circulation for a long time? I'm not saying they are impossible dreams. I'm talking about the immediate. The immediate is to eat.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Well, the immediate thing would be -- I would parole to Santa Barbara where my family is. I have the support of all of my family and a lot of the people in the community in Santa Barbara, people there. In fact, I don't know of anyone that knows me or is related, associated with the family at all that doesn't want me out.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: I notice you do have many types of support.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Actually, to tell you the truth, I could have had a helluva lot more. Last time I came to the Board nobody looked at them, you know. And I felt like what the hell do I bother for? So this time I didn't campaign at all. I wish I had now. Now somebody's paying attention to them, you know.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Could we go back to the question that was asked?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Excuse me.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: You were asked what was your immediate employment when you got out.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I'm not sure. I have several offers. I would take the best one that was available at the time. Just recently I have been given an offer from Pyramid Guitars, which is in Detroit. I wouldn't move to Detroit to save my life, but --
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: Would you in fact for the moment be living with your parents?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I would more than likely take an apartment of my own. I wouldn't want to be living with them. I would be living nearby.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: The real crunch is day-to-day existence. That's what l am --
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Financially I wouldn't be hurting. I mean, I have the support of my family to begin with. I'm sure they would be more than happy to help me out upon release. As far as jobs, I don't have any trouble with.There are two job offers here that I know of. If you want more job offers, I can certainly bring them to you.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: Just in general, not a specific.
Mr. Brown, do you have any questions?
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: What is it that you know now that would keep you from being involved in the kind of offense that brought you here? That's the real question, not your job offers or anything else. What is it that's going to keep you from a repeat of what you were involved in before?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I think a better knowledge of myself would have to be the answer to that.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Did you ever see yourself becoming involved in a situation like you were involved in before?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: (Inmate shakes head.)
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Is there any set of circumstances that would put you back to where you were?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Farthest thing from my mind is to get involved in anything like that in my life again.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: I have no questions. Counsel?
MR. PUMPHREY: I have no questions.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Okay. At this point in then we'll go off record. The time is now 4:37. If you would all leave the room for a few minutes.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Do you have any closing statement?
MR. PUMPHREY: Yes, I have.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Oh, I'm sorry. Did you want to make a closing statement, Counsel? I didn't mean to cut you off.
MR. ROSS: All right. I have just a few observations for the Board. As in any situation, of course, there can be an equal number of people who favor one side as oppose one side. And it's hard for me to speak for other people. I won't speak for what the judge has said; I won't speak for what the prosecutor in the second trial has said. And as a matter of fact, I won't express an opinion at all because I think the facts have to speak for themselves. I do feel, however, that Mr. Beausoleil does still pose an unreasonable risk of danger to society because of the things that have been brought out during this hearing and because of the nature of the things that were indicated during his trials the bizarre acts in general and the nature of the crime; the type of crime that was involved; the absolutely senseless nature of committing the robbery and torturing the victim to death, in a sense; and then the bizarre acts which followed of writing blood on the wall.
It is true Mr. Beausoleil had nothing to do with the later killings, the Tate-LaBiancas, because, of course, he was in jail at that time. There is some speculation as to some of these having been caused to perhaps take some of the blame from Mr. Beausoleil. If that were the case, of course Mr. Beausoleil probably is not responsible for that. But I did wish to bring out to the Board and highlight several of the factors that were involved there. I think the Board has an adequate picture in this case.
I have nothing further.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Thank you, Counsel.
MR. PUMPHREY: I just have very few comments. I think that -- and would hope that and am sure that -- the Board will be able to view the facts of this incident and the facts of this particular offender in light of the offender himself and not in light of the notoriety perhaps that might surround him, that might ordinarily attach. I think it is important to understand that in fact that notoriety probably does not attach appropriately, at least to this individual.
I think that this individual has demonstrated progress of a positive nature while in the institution. It is true, I think, that that progress did not begin immediately when he came through the door. But I think that the progress is still documented and has been documented over the course of several years. So I think that it can be given some weight, that it can be assumed and believed that that is in fact a course that is a steady course and a course that will be maintained.
I think that it is important to realize that there may now be factual disagreements with respect to the exact circumstances of the offense which were not available to those individuals who wrote letters based on the knowledge that they had of the circumstances some nine years past. I think that that has to be weighed by the Board and resolved by you to determine if that has any significance in your thinking.
I think the psychological reports that are in the file, the last two indicate that there are no impediments of that kind towards parole and that the case simply is one that should be evaluated on its legal merits. And I think that's probably a correct assessment. So that in terms of characterizing the acts as bizarre acts, I think that that characterization has to be viewed in the perspective that's established by someone who has had an opportunity within the last year to make an evaluation of his psychological state.
I think that there is no question but that Mr. Beausoleil has assumed the responsibility which he believes is his for the acts involved. I don't think that he is attempting to minimize that in any way. I think that he has demonstrated today and the evidence has been presented in response to your questions that he has made an appropriate and realistic adjustment to those circumstances during the time in which he has been in the institution. And I would hope that that would be given careful consideration by you at this time.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Thank you, gentlemen. I didn't mean to cut you off, gentlemen. My apologies.
At this point in time we will terminate for decision making. The time is 4:44.
(Thereupon the room was cleared, and the hearing of the Community Release Board recessed for deliberation by the Board.)
RESUMPTION OF PROCEEDINGS
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Okay. The time is now 5:04, and all parties previously identified are present.
We have made a decision in your case, Mr. Beausoleil. And it is our decision at this time that you are not suitable for release. We still feel you a danger to society due primarily to the recent violent disciplinary offense you had. The panel noted the CDC 115 on 6/6/77, in which you had a baseball bat and you did kick a victim on the ground.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I did not have a baseball bat.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: I thought during the process of the hearing you admitted you had a bat, you were standing by the bat rack.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: No. I was deemed not to have a bat in the final hearing.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Okay. But you did kick the victim on the ground.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: Yes, I did.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: And the bizarre nature of the commitment offense tied to that. We feel that there a need for an extended disciplinary record to show control of aggressive impulses prior to projecting a parole date in your case.
We are going to make a request to the Los Angeles DA's officer. We will provide them with a transcript of this hearing in order that they will be able to possibly verify some of the statements you have made that may have come out during the second trial which are not readily available to the panel in the information that we have at this time, to see if they have any comments they wish to make which may turn out to be in your favor in terms of clearing up the discrepancies that have come up during the change of story that you have made over a period of years.
It is the panel's feeling that you definitely should remain disciplinary free. This is going to be critical to project a date in your case. Acts of violence inside will constantly negate a panel being able to consider you. We would also recommend that you get your high school diploma. I am relatively sure you feel you do not need it because you are in the music trade where it is not an emphasis.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: It's not that. If there were subjects that would be applicable, you know, to my vocation.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Okay. We would suggest that you check with the educational staff to see if you can take the GED test. And you may be able to qualify simply by taking that test to get your high school diploma. But we think it's important enough to mention that and to list it as something you should work on for your next hearing.
There was consideration given to giving you a parole date today, and, as I say, that's the factor that was considered as a major negative, was that disciplinary of 1977.
Does the panel have anything they wish to add at this time?
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: Yes, I have a couple comments I'd specifically like to add. There has been some contact evidently between Mr. Katz and the inmate. Now, you have heard what the testimony is today, what he's saying occurred at the time of the offense. Now, your office is probably the most familiar with what went on at that time. We would appreciate some input to the panel relative to whether or not, based on the evidence in the case, it is conceivable this could have happened the way he's describing it now. It seemed to me that during the course of your conversation today you said there was evidently some contact between the District Attorney's office, who is now saying he is responsible for this offense. Totally based upon the testimony, is it conceivable that it could have happened the way he said that it happened? Yes or no or indifferent or whatever. The DA may want to comment relative -- when he gets a transcript of today's hearing, relative to that. We'd like to know in that area. We would appreciate your office doing that.
MR. ROSS: All right.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: We will provide a transcript down to your office and ask that they might comment upon it.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: At least the story that he's telling us now.
MR. ROSS: Okay, If you will send it to me -- you have my card --- at that address. I'll see that it gets to the proper place. Sometimes in an office large as ours, it has a tendency to get lost.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Fine, I'd like to thank you very much. We will now end the hearing. The time is 5:09.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: The next hearing is when?
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: It will be 12 months.
BOARD MEMBER BURTON: It will be August.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: I want to make sure that you understand why we are asking him for that, because all we have is your story now which is different than even the Appellate Court, decision, based upon what you have said and their familiarity with the trial. And we are not as familiar as they are. Is there some smidgen of truth in what you say? Could it have happened the way you say it happened? Because the way it happened before us now is not the way you say.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I understand that.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: So it is important.
BOARD MEMBER BROWN: See if we can clarify that that part of it prior to your next hearing.
MR. ROSS: May I ask the Board to ask Mr. Beausoleil whether or not what he said to Mr. Katz was in writing or recorded.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: Was it?
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: No, it was an informal conversation.
MR. ROSS: Okay.
INMATE BEAUSOLEIL: I wish it had been now.
PRESIDING OFFICER SMITH: We will go off record then. The time is 5:10.
(Thereupon the hearing before the Community Release Board was adjourned at 5:10 p.m.)