Gary Hinman

Gary Hinman was the first murder victim in a series of killings by the Manson Family. Gary’s house was a regular crash pad for anyone needing a place to stay. He befriended the Manson Family and several Family members lived at Gary’s home for short periods of time, including Brunner and Beausoleil.

Gary Hinman was a musician who left his home state of Colorado to live and work as a musician in the Los Angeles area. Gary was a kind and outgoing, he was a good-hearted person who often gave others in need of a place to stay, or a few dollars to get by.

Gary’s charity is what led him to befriend the wrong kind of people, the kind of people who tortured him for several days before killing him.

Hinman Residence


On July 25, 1969, Manson told Robert Beausoleil, Susan Atkins, and Mary Brunner to pay Gary Hinman a visit. According to Beausoleil they went to Hinman because he sold Beausoleil 1000 tabs of bad mescaline and Beausoleil wanted his money back.

However according to statements made to the police by members of the Manson Family, the motive to visit Hinman was because The Family needed money for their move to the desert.

Someone in the group suggested going to Santa Monica and kidnap Terry Melcher and holding him for Ransom. At this time, the name of Gary Hinman was brought up and Manson said, “Yeah, he’s single and owns that house and probably has stocks and lots of money.”


Beausoleil asked Gary for money, to which Gary replied ” I don’t have any money brother”. Gary then was held captive for 3 days. According to Danny Decarlo, Beausoleil knocked Gary around for 3 or 4 hours.

Later on Charles Manson and Bruce Davis stopped by. Manson had a sword on him and struck Gary in the head, slicing of a piece of his ear while Davis pointed a gun at Hinman. Atkins and Brunner then tried to stitch up Gary’s face with a needle and dental floss.

The ordeal finally ended when Beausoleil stabbed Gary twice in the chest. Gary didn’t die immediately and started to make loud gurgling sounds, Atkins and Brunner then smothered Gary with a pillow.

After Gary died Beausoleil wrote the words “Political Piggy” and drew a paw print on the wall in Gary’s blood, in an attempt to make authorities think the Black Panthers committed the murder.

Before the trio left they covered Gary’s body with a blanket, took his bagpipes and two pink slips for his cars and took the cars to Spahn Ranch.

Booked For Murder

A couple of days later, the California Highway Patrol found Robert Beausoleil sleeping in Gary’s Fiat station wagon. It was not long before Beausoleil was booked for the murder of Gary Hinman. Brunner and Atkins were subsequently charged for the murder.

Atkins was arrested in October 1969 for her involvement in the murder. At that point, the police did not know who was responsible for the Tate-LaBianca murders, but Atkins implicated herself in jail, when she admitted to cellmates that she stabbed Sharon Tate, tasted her blood and used it to write “Pig” on the front door of the house.

Brunner received immunity from prosecution to testify against both Beausoleil and Atkins.