Clem Grogan

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Clem Grogan
Steve dennis grogan.jpg
Mug shot taken in 1969
Born Steve Dennis Grogan
(1951-07-13) July 13, 1951 (age 63)
Other names Clem Tufts, Grant Mollan, Scramblehead, Adam Gabriel
Occupation Musician, artist
Criminal penalty
Death, overturned to life imprisonment by Judge James Kolts
Criminal status Paroled in 1985
Conviction(s) Murder

Steve Dennis "Clem" Grogan (born July 13, 1951), is an American murderer, and a former member of The Manson Family.

Biography[edit]

Grogan, a musician, dropped out of high school and was involved in minor crimes. When his frustrated parents lost hope, they decided to drop him off at Spahn Ranch. He was immediately taken in by the ranch hands and began to do odd jobs around the ranch. Ranch hand Donald Shea took a liking to Grogan, often buying him clothes. Grogan was a resident long before Charles Manson and the Family became associated with Spahn Ranch.[1] Like Charles Manson, he was friends with Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. He was often considered dumb, or even "retarded", by other Family members, earning him the nickname "Scramblehead", but some felt he was only "playing dumb". Allegedly, it was Grogan who wrecked Wilson's uninsured Ferrari.[2]

In 1969 he was sentenced to 90 days observation at Camarillo State Mental Hospital for exposing his penis to a group of school children, but he returned to the ranch after two days.[2] Grogan later told his parole board that the exposure incident was a result of him riding a horse and wearing a hole through the crotch of his jeans.[3]

The night of August 10, 1969 he rode with members of the Manson family. Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten were dropped off at the house of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, but Grogan, Manson, Susan Atkins and Linda Kasabian continued to Venice Beach where Manson sent Grogan, Atkins and Kasabian to kill actor Saladin Nader, but Kasabian led them to the wrong apartment and the plan was aborted.

Grogan later helped Manson, Watson and Bruce Davis kill Spahn ranch hand Donald "Shorty" Shea. The jury returned verdicts of life imprisonment for Manson and Davis, but death for Grogan. However, on December 23, 1971, Judge James Kolts stated that "Grogan was too stupid and too hopped on drugs to decide anything on his own" and that it was really Manson "who decided who lived or died" and reduced Grogan's sentence to life imprisonment.[4] Grogan later assisted the authorities and drew a map to where Shea's body was buried. In prison he was head of the prison's program to deter juveniles from a life of crime and kept away from fellow inmate Manson.[5] Grogan also played guitar and sang in the Freedom Orchestra Band with fellow Manson family co-conspirator Bobby Beausoleil when they both served time at the Deuel Vocational Institute in Tracy, California.[6] Beausoleil later revealed that he convinced Grogan to begin playing again and even made him a guitar.[7] He was released from prison in 1985 and remains the only Manson family member who has been convicted of murder and released from prison.

Media[edit]

Grogan was one of the people featured in the Oscar-nominated 1973 documentary film MANSON.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bucklee, Windy. "Interview". Tate LaBianca Radio. Brian Davis. 
  2. ^ a b Steve Dennis Grogan cielodrive.com
  3. ^ [1] Tate-LaBianca Murder Blog
  4. ^ Bugliosi, Vincent, with Curt Gentry, Helter Skelter – The True Story of the Manson Murders 25th Anniversary Edition, W.W. Norton & Company, 1994. Page 466. ISBN 0-393-08700-X
  5. ^ "Manson Family – Special Report Part 4 Steve Grogan Paroled". Youtube.com. July 23, 2006. Retrieved 2013-03-27. 
  6. ^ "Freedom Orchestra Live minute 6:09". 
  7. ^ "San Francisco Weekly – Lucifer, Arisen".