Name: Mary Theresa Brunner
Date of birth: 12/17/1943
Place of birth: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
AKA: Mother Mary
Children: Valentine Michael Manson
Mary Brunner is a former member of the Manson Family. Brunner met Charles Manson shortly after moving to California, at age 21 in ’67. Brunner has become known as the first member of what would become the Manson family.
After Brunner met Manson, she left her job, hit the road with Manson, and the family was born. On April 1, 1968, Mary gave birth to Valentine Michael Manson, aka “Pooh Bear”, the son of Charles Manson.
Brunner was a participant in the murder of Gary Hinman. 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 Hinman had sold Beausoleil 1000 tabs of bad mescaline and Beausoleil wanted his money back.
However according to statements made to the police the motive to visit Hinman was because the Manson Family needed money for their move to the desert and Manson thought Hinman had money.
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 Charles Manson stated, “Yeah, he’s single and owns that house and probably has stocks and lots of money.”
When Beausoleil asked Gary Hinman for money, Gary told Beausoleil that he didn’t have any money. Gary then was held captive for 3 days. According to Danny Decarlo Beausoleil had 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 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 made loud gurgling sounds so Atkins and Brunner took turns smothering Gary with a pillow.
After Hinman 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.
When the cops later examined the crime scene they found blood in the living-room, on the hall floor between the living-room, bath and kitchen, and on the walls, floor, and ceiling of the kitchen.
On August 8, 1969, a week after Hinman was found dead, Brunner and Sandra Good were arrested for using stolen credit cards in a department store. While Brunner and Good were in police custody, Charles Tex Watson and other family members committed the Tate/LaBianca murders.
Brunner and Susan Atkins were subsequently charged along with Bobby Beausoleil for the murder of Gary Hinman. Brunner later received immunity from prosecution to testify against both Beausoleil and Atkins.
After the Manson Family went to prison in 1971, Brunner and others hatched a bizarre hijacking plan to force Manson’s release, but they were all arrested and jailed. Brunner was convicted and received a sentence of 20 years to life, She was sent to the California Institution for Women, where Leslie Van Houten, Susan Atkins and Patricia Krenwinkel were serving their sentences for their participation in the Tate-LaBianca murders. Brunner disappeared from the public eye after being paroled in 1977.
Today Mary Brunner lives a quiet life somewhere in Wisconsin.