Steve "Clem" Grogan
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Steve "Clem" Grogan
Mug shot taken in 1969
Steve Dennis Grogan
July 13, 1951
|Other names||Clem Tufts, Grant Mollan, Scramblehead, Adam Gabriel|
|Criminal status||Paroled in 1985|
|Criminal penalty||Death, overturned to life imprisonment by Judge James Kolts|
Steve Dennis "Clem" Grogan (born July 13, 1951, in Los Angeles, California) is an American convicted murderer and former member of the Manson Family. He was released on parole from prison in 1985. As of November 2019, he is the only person who has been released from prison after being convicted of murder in the killings committed by the Family.
Grogan, a musician and artist, 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. 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. 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.
On 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 M. 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.
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. Grogan was released on parole from prison in 1985.
Grogan 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. Beausoleil later revealed that he convinced Grogan to begin playing again and even made him a guitar.
As of November 2019, Grogan is the only person who has been released from prison after being convicted of murder in the killings committed by the Manson Family.
Grogan is portrayed by James Landry Hebert in the 2019 film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
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- Bucklee, Windy. "Interview". Tate LaBianca Radio. Brian Davis.
- Steve Dennis Grogan profile, cielodrive.com; accessed March 17, 2017.
- Bugliosi, Vincent, with Curt Gentry, Helter Skelter – The True Story of the Manson Murders 25th Anniversary Edition, pg. 466, W.W. Norton & Company, 1994; ISBN 0-393-08700-X
- "Manson Family – Special Report Part 4 Steve Grogan Paroled". Youtube.com. July 23, 2006. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
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- "Freedom Orchestra Live minute 6:09".
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