Donald Shea Homicide Report

November 7, 1970

069-02378-1076-016

SUSPICIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES
POSSIBLE HOMICIDE

Active: Evidence held; Investigation made.

V#1: HINMAN, GARY
V#2: SHEA, DONALD JEROME (SHORTY)

S#1: GROGAN, STEVE (aka CLEM)
S#2: DAVIS, BRUCE
S#3: MANSON, CHARLES (aka CHARLIE)
S#4: WATSON, CHARLES (aka TEX)
S#5: SHARE, CATHERINE (aka GYPSY)

EVIDENCE HELD:

1 – One man’s black shoe.
2 – One ring with miscellaneous keys.
3 – Two foot-lockers.
4 – One brown valise.
5 – Two pawn tickets.

On 10-22-70 undersigned interviewed Vern Plumlee. Mr. Plumlee states he was told by Clem Tufts that Shorty was killed. He also heard from other persons that Shorty had been killed and that Clem had cut off Shorty’s head with a sword. Plumlee further states he saw the matched set of revolvers at the Spahn Ranch when he and Bill Vance returned to the Spahn Ranch from Oregon. Mr. Plumlee has also seen the brown brief-case engraved, “Donald J. Shea” when he and Bill Vance were living at 1109 West Victory Boulevard, Burbank.

On 10-30-70, the undersigned re-contacted Sandra Lee Harmon, victim #2’s first wife, living in Ohio. Miss Harmon stated she married Victim #2 in 1961 and lived periodically at Spahn’s Movie Ranch. She stated that in 1965 victim and the three children of this marriage, moved to Boston, Massachusetts and stayed with the victims’s brother. They divorced in 1965 and she moved to Ohio. Miss Harmon states she has not heard from victim since their divorce, nor has he made any child support payments. Further, that victim had no insurance.

The undersigned contacted Francis Shea in Summerville, Massachusetts, Victim #2’s brother. Mr. Shea stated he last saw his brother in 1965 when his wife and children moved back to Massachusetts. Mr. Shea further stated Victim #2 would write or telephone he or his mother approximately every nine months. His last contact with victim was a letter to his mother Elisabeth Marie Shea in approximately 1968. Mr. Shea further stated Victim #2 had no other relatives except his mother and aunt who live together, and himself.

Undersigned contacted William and Tammy Humphreys of 20747 Bryant Street, Chatsworth, California, telephone: 341-1859. Mr. and Mrs. Humphreys stated they had known victim for approximately five to six years and saw him at Spahn’s Movie Ranch. They state that the last time they saw victim was approximately 8-15-69. He has not been heard from or seen since.

The undersigned contacted Arch Hall of Fairway Films Company, 845-6628. Mr. Hall stated in October 1968 he gave victim #2 two Colt Dakota pistols to use in a movie being filmed in Arizona. Victim #2 left a camera as deposit. Mr. Hall stated in July 1969 he received a phone call from victim who stated he had just gotten married and was going to return the guns.

On 10-31-70 the undersigned contacted Jim Babcock, 7529 Foothill, Tujunga, phone number 353-5278. Mr. Babcock stated, “I knew Shorty seven to eight years. I saw him once every week to week and a half, starting in 1968 after he returned from working at the Leslie Salt Mine. In July of 1969 he married in Las Vegas and returned shortly thereafter to Los Angeles. In August he left his wife Nickie (Madeline Shea) and moved to the Spahn’s Movie Ranch. He stopped by my home the last part of August and brought me some corn he had picked. I have never heard from or seen Shorty since.”

On 10-31-70 the undersigned interviewed Ruby Pearl. Miss Pearl stated, “I knew Shorty for approximately ten years. I saw him almost every day. He always told me where he was going. He moved back to the Spahn’s Movie Ranch in August of 1969 after splitting from his wife, a colored girl. He brought her to the ranch in the summer of 1969 and it made the hippies mad. Gypsy (Catherine Share) and Sue (Bartell) told everyone in the Manson family not to sit in the same chair that Shorty’s wife had sat in after she left. When Shorty returned to the ranch, after splitting from his wife, he brought a box of very pretty dishes, given to him as a wedding gift. Two weeks after his disappearance I went to the ranch and the Manson family was using the dishes. I asked what they were doing with Shorty’s dishes and Lynn Fromme said, ‘He won’t –‘ and stopped speaking abruptly. Some time late in August I went to Spahn’s Movie Ranch about 11:30 P.M. Shorty had been drinking and asked if he could come over to my house and stay because he didn’t like being around these weird hippies. I told Shorty I didn’t have room at my house for him and got into my car and started to leave, when I observed a blue car pull into the ranch with Charles Manson, Tex Watson, Bill Vance, Bruce Davis and Clem Tufts jumped out of the car very fast and spread out along the boardwalk. I thought it was strange as they never moved very fast. I didn’t stop. I continued driving out of the ranch and never saw Shorty again. After Charlie was arrested I went to the County Jail with Dawn Quant to visit Charles Manson. I asked Charlie, ‘Where is Shorty’s body, Charlie?’ We want to bury him properly.’ Charlie answered, ‘Ask the Black Panthers.’ I replied, ‘Charlie, you know there haven’t been any Black Panthers around the ranch.’ Charlie wouldn’t talk to me anymore. During the first part of the Tate trial Charlie kept sending notes out through his attorney that he wanted to see me. I want with some attorney to the County Jail again and the first thing Charlie said, ‘You know, Pearl, I didn’t know Shorty very well.’ I answered, ‘Charlie, you know given the ranch a black name.’ He refused to talk to me any more.

On 10-31-70, the undersigned contacted Dawn Quant. Mrs. Quant stated, “I’ve know Shorty for about fifteen years. I saw him about once a week and always knew where Shorty was except when he went to work in the mine. At the ranch in the summer of 1969 I saw Shorty walking on the boardwalk and Charle Manson throw a five-inch knife at Shorty. It missed him by about two feet and the knife stuck in the saloon door. Charlie was standing by the rocks. I left as the incident upset me. I last heard from Shorty some time the last of September (?) He called me from Spahn’s Movie Ranch. We talked over old time. I have not heard from him since.

On 11-1-70 the undersigned contacted Lance Victor. Mr. Victor stated, ‘I’ve know Shorty five years. I met him filming a picture near Spahn’s Movie Ranch. We went to Vallejo in 1968 and worked together at the Leslie Salt mine. He was never out of contact for more than two and a half months. In 1969 he broke up with his present wife and moved to Spahn’s Movie Ranch. He was sleeping in his car and had all his belongings in the car. About the last of August I went to the ranch and spoke with Shorty. He talked about going back to the Leslie Salt mine for work. He stated, ‘I’m glad you’re here. I think they’re trying to kill me. Someone threw a knife at me. Can you loan me a few dollars.’ Mr. Victor further stated he loaned Shorty a couple of dollars and left the ranch. He further related, ‘I went back twice to see Shorty at Spahn’s Ranch, but no one knew where he was. I’ve never seen him again.’

On 11-3-70 the undersigned contacted Bob Bickston. Mr. Bickston stated, “I’ve known Shorty for ten years. I met him while working at Corriganville. During the time I’ve know him, I would see him at least once a month and he called me not less than once every three weeks. I was his contact for working in films as a stunt man. Only twice during the ten years did I not see him at least once a month. When he had his accident in Boston in 1965 and once when he was seven to eight weeks late reporting to a film location in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I last saw him in March of 1969. He called my wife in July of 1969 and was never heard from since.”

On 11-3-70 the undersigned re-interviewed Madeline Shea, the victim’s wife. Miss Shea stated, “I met victim while working as a topless dancer at the Cab-Inn in Carson. He was working as the manager. We quit the last of May and went to Las Vegas where he went to work for the same man that owned the Cab-Inn, Herb Bromberg at Swingers Botique. We got married on July 1st and shortly thereafter returned to Los Angeles where we lived on Wilcox. Shorty had odd jobs and during this time he bought the car, a white Mercury from John Enfield, a friend of Jerry Binder’s daughter for $150 or $200, which was to be paid later. On 8-16-69 Shorty left in the early morning hours after we had quarreled. He returned that afternoon and phoned me at work. He said, ‘Everyone’s been arrested at Spahn’s Ranch and old man Spahn is in jail. I’m goin up there to stay and take care of the horses. If you need to contact me, call Jim Babcock.’ Mrs. Shea further stated victim left in a white Mercury, license NLM-841 with two foot-lockers (recovered in vehicle); a brown gun case (recovered in Death Valley), and one suit-case. Mrs. Shea was show pictures of the recovered vehicle, the shoes in the back seat and foot-lockers in the recovered vehicle,’s trunk and the gun case recovered in Death Valley, which she positively identifies as her husband’s. She further stated that prior to leaving her husband she went to Spahn’s Movie Ranch twice in early August with victim, and met George Spahn and Ruby Pearl. She was show pictures of the Manson family and stated she had met Lynn Fromme and Catherine Share, Charles Manson and Charles “Tex” Watson. She stated at the time “Tex” Watson had a gun tucked in his waistband and a knife on the opposite side of his waist in a scabbard. She stated at approximately the same time, her husband came back from Spahn’s Movie Ranch one day and stated a Charlie Tuna, who plays music with the Beach Boys, “threw a knife at me and it stuck in the door. I asked him why he threw the knife at me and he answered, “I might as well kill you, because your wife’s brothers will do it anyway. Why did you marry a black woman?'”

Approximately three days after their separation Mrs. Shea received a letter from her husband stating he hoped they could get back together again and if she needed him she was to call Jim Babcock. Mrs. Shea states this letter was misplaced and she cannot find it. She further stated that approximately a week after their separation, she called Spahn’s Movie Ranch in an attempt to contact her husband for a reconciliation. She stated an un-identified woman answered and I asked for Shorty and the woman answered, ‘Shorty went to San Francisco early this morning.’ I then called Mr. and Mrs. Babcock and asked if they had heard from Shorty and they stated they didn’t have any idea where Shorty was, except at Spahn’s Movie Ranch.

Undersigned contacted Ray Parrot. Mr. Parrot stated he knew victim for approximately five years and saw him two or three times a week, except in 1967 and 1968 in the summer months when victim and Lance Victor worked in a salt mine. He stated that victim and Lance Victor lived behind his residence four to five months in 1968. He last saw victim two days after the Spahn’s Ranch raid approximately 8-16-69, at Spahn’s Movie Ranch. Victim stated he was going to Vallejo for a job in the salt mine and had to leave in the next few days or he wouldn’t have the money to get there.

Undersigned contacted George Lucas, manager of the Leslie Salt mine in Vallejo, California. Mr. Lucas stated his records indicate that Donald Shea worked from September 4, 1968 to September 20, 1968 and that he never returned.

On 11-4-70 victim’s shoe, which was found in recovered vehicle behind the driver’s seat and identified by Mrs. Shea as victim’s, was transported to the Los Angeles County Crime Lab, receipt number A-11172 issued. It is to be checked for human blood and typed if possible. On 11-7-70 Criminalist Fisher stated human blood type “O” had been found in the heel of the shoe.

On 11-4-70 the undersigned contacted John Enfield. Mr. Enfield stated he had known victim a short time through a mutual acquaintance Jerry Binder. Mr. Binder stated his mother, Barbara Enfield died approximately July 15, 1969 and he sold the vehicle to victim for $200.00, which was to be paid as soon as victim obtained a job. He has never received any money nor seen victim since. On 11-4-70 undersigned contacted Marion Binder. Miss Binder stated she knew victim four years and saw him almost every day. She stated he lived with her and her husband in the winter of ’68. She further stated she and her husband subsequently separated in May of ’70. In the summer of ’69 victim moved to Las Vegas and married and continued working off and on for her husband, Jerry Binder. In the summer of ’69 victim separated from his wife and moved to the Spahn’s Movie Ranch. She further stated he stopped by one day and told her everyone had been arrested at the ranch for car theft and that he was staying around taking care of the horse for George Spahn. She never saw him or heard from him since.

The undersigned contacted Jerry Binder of Las Vegas. Mr. Binder stated he knew victim for approximately four years and that victim worked for him on and off during this time. He saw victim almost constantly, except for three weeks in ’68 when victim was working at a salt mine up north. He stated he last saw victim on July 10, 1969 when he loaded him $100 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He further described two pearl handled guns that victim owned and stated he would never part with those guns, no matter what happened.

On 11-6-70 the undersigned contacted Vollie Dudley of Brownswood, Texas. Mr. Dudley stated victim worked for him for a short time in 1960 or 1961 and hasn’t been seen or heard from since.

On 11-19-69 undersigned interviewed Daniel De Carlo and were informed that in the latter part of August ’69 he was given two pawn tickets by Bruce Davis at Spahn’s Ranch, which he redeemed at the Hollywood Collateral Loan Association, 1612 North Vine Street in Hollywood. The undersigned proceed to this load association and contacted Mr. S. M. Launer. Pawn tickets 46386 and 45457 were obtained and will be held as evidence. The pawn tickets indicate Donald Jerome Shea of 8010 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, pawned two .45 caliber 7 ½-inch barrel Colt Dakota revolvers; on on 7-25-69 and the other on 7-28-69. Records further indicate that Richard A. Smith is an alias for Daniel De Carlo. Mr. De Carlo stated that after redeeming the guns he gave one to Charles Manson and kept the other one. He also stated that approximately two weeks later Charles Manson gave him back the gun and he took them to Culver City, after learning from Charles Manson and the other suspects that victim Shea had been killed.

Undersigned contacted Cardinal Nicona, leader of the Fountain of the World cult. Mrs. Nicona stated that victim was never a member of her cult, but he would periodically stop by and visit the members. She has not seen or heard from him since the summer of ’69.

From information received from Mrs. Sharon Harmon, victim’s first wife, the undersigned contacted T.J. (Tiny) Wigley of Ft. Worth, Texas, who stated he has not seen victim in approximately six years. Further that victim worked for him in the early part of 1960.

F.B.I. and C.I.I. records of victim Shea show last arrest 5-23-68. A nation-wide teletype for any information on missing person Donald J. Shea was initiated and to date has produced negative results. A check with the Department of Human Resources, State of California, discloses victim last worked in 1967. A check with the Social Security Administration, Washington, D.C., discloses victim last worked in Swingers Botique, Las Vegas, Nevada in June 1969. Driver’s license records have been checked. Victim has no entries since 10-26-68, at which time it showed a record of a traffic accident in Los Angeles.

In October of 1970 undersigned interviewed Diane Lake (Blustein) at Sybil Brand Institute Miss Lake stated while in custody at the Inyo County Jail, suspect Catherine Share told her the “police will never find Shorty’s body. We cut his head off and buried him at the ranch.” She further stated that while staying at the ranch prior to going to Death Valley she found a blue shirt at the bunk house at Spahn’s Ranch. She wore the shirt and Charles Manson asked her, “Where did you get that shirt?” That’s Shorty’s.” And told her to get rid of it.

On 1-22-70 the undersigned contacted Sherry Cooper, FC/17, girlfriend of Daniel De Carlo. Miss Cooper stated that while at Spahn’s Movie Ranch in August-September 1969, Charles Manson told her he had killed Shorty, cut him up into pieces and buried him around the ranch.

Investigation continues.

SGT. PAUL J. WHITELEY, #469
DEPUTY WILLIAM C. GLEASON, #2165
APPROVED: LAWRENCE E. DYKHOUSE, LIEUTENANT
HOMICIDE BUREAU, DETECTIVE DIVISION