Danny Decarlo

Danny DeCarlo, a former Manson Family member, also known as Donkey Dan, was born in Toronto, Canada, but was granted US citizenship after serving with the coast guard for four years.

After his service, DeCarlo entered the firearm business with his father. DeCarlo joined a motorcycle club, The Straight Satans, became the club’s treasurer and engaged in a variety of criminal activities. DeCarlo was convicted of smuggling marijuana from Mexico to the US.

DeCarlo met Charles Manson at Spahn Ranch in March of 1969. Manson wanted the Straight Satans to hang around the ranch, it was a turbulent time at the ranch, and Manson envisioned the Straight Satans as possible guardians of the ranch. The straight Satans declined the offer, except for DeCarlo.

Manson told DeCarlo that a motorcycle had broken down and asked DeCarlo if he could fix it. Manson told DeCarlo that if he stayed at the ranch, he could have anything he wanted. Manson told him that the girls did not belong to anyone and that if he wanted to make love to them, he could. DeCarlo couldn’t resist and joined the family.

DAnny DeCarlo Trial Photo Testimony

DeCarlo’s main duty was taking care of the family’s weapons. DeCarlo took his entire weapon arsenal to the ranch, including a submachine gun. Manson thought the machine gun was a bit over the top, until DeCarlo let Manson shoot it. Manson began to enjoy it and became a gun fanatic. Decarlo was arrested with the rest of the family on the August 16th Spahn Ranch raid. Later that month, after learning about Shorty Shea’s murder, Decarlo left the family and moved to L.A.

In November of 1969, DeCarlo was interrogated by the LAPD. DeCarlo gave the police a lot of information about the Manson family and their criminal activities. DeCarlo gave the police, among other things, the sword Manson had used to wound Gary Hinman. DeCarlo was taken in handcuffs to the former Manson family hangout at Spahn Ranch and gave police a tour of the ranch.

In 1970 Decarlo testified against Manson and the family during the Tate/Labianca trial. DeCarlo was a key witness in the Manson case. According to DeCarlo, Terry Melcher, the music producer who lived in the house at 10050 Cielo Drive before the Tate murders, had visited the Manson family several times after the Tate/LaBianca murders. The prosecutor in the Manson trial, Vincent Bugliosi, had concealed this information during the trial against Manson and his family.

After the trial, Decarlo skipped bail on a federal gun charge, and fled to Canada with Sherry Cooper where the two got married.

Danny DeCarlo and Sherry Cooper Interview


Sherry Cooper and Danny Decarlo had a daughter named Gina who died in a car accident in 1991. Gina Decarlo was traveling as a passenger in a vehicle eastbound on I 10 when the vehicle rear ended a tractor trailer rig. The accident happened April 29, 1991 at 7:00 am. She was taken to Desert Hospital in Palm Springs CA. She had major head trauma. She was declared brain dead nine days later and taken off life support.

Danny Decarlo Today

Later Danny DeCarlo bounced around, he has lived in California, Hawaii and Oregon. In Hawaii, he was accused of sexually abusing children. When I wrote that DeCarlo was possibly living in Hawaii again, two women who had been sexually abused by DeCarlo, when they were still young girls, contacted me to ask if DeCarlo was really living in Hawaii again. I told them that I didn’t know for sure, but that DeCarlo’s last known address was in Hawaii.

According to his mothers obituary Decarlo lived in Medford, Oregon in 2014. The latest info on DeCarlo suggest he is living in Hawaii.