Bobby Beausoleil

Beausoleil, a former member of the Manson Family, was convicted to life imprisonment for killing his friend, Gary Hinman.

Robert Kenneth Beausoleil, aka Bobby, was born on November 6, 1947, in Santa Barbara, California. Beausoleil was born into a working-class Catholic family, Beausoleil was the eldest child in a family of five children. Beausoleil had a natural talent for music and taught himself to play the guitar.

When Beausoleil was fifteen years old, he was sent to a boys camp for committing several minor offenses. At age sixteen Beausoleil had an affair with his cousin’s wife. The cousin left his wife and sixteen-year-old Beausoleil took care of the woman and her child.

After the death of his grandmother, Beausoleil moved to Los Angeles and toured the area. Beausoleil joined a number of rock bands and did some acting. In 1968, Beausoleil was living with a friend, Gary Hinman, when he met Charles Manson.

Hinman Murder

Gary Hinman Crime Scene Photo

Gary Hinman was the first murder victim in a series of killings by the family. Gary’s house was a regular crash pad for anyone needing a place to stay. Several family members lived at Gary’s home for short periods of time, including 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 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.

On July 25, 1969, Bobby Beausoleil, Susan Atkins and Mary Brunner paid 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 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 hold 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 off 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.

A couple of days after the Hinman murder, the California Highway Patrol found Beausoleil sleeping in Hinman’s Fiat station wagon. Beausoleil told the police that the car had broken down while he was driving to San Francisco.

It was not long before Beausoleil was booked for the murder of Gary Hinman. He had two trials, and was eventually convicted and sentenced to death. His death sentence was commuted to life when California briefly outlawed the death penalty in 1972.

Detectives at the Hinman residence

Children 

Beausoleil has a daughter with former family member Kitty Lutesinger. He has a son, Ivan, with family member Sandra Good, and he has another daughter, who works for half-brother Ivan as a waitress.

Beausoleil is in contact with all his children, and his children support him. He was married for over 30 years to Barbara Beausoleil who died in 2012.

Bobby Beausoleil Today

Fun Facts

Beausoleil and murder victim Jay Sebring both have a role in the 1967 movie Mondo Hollywood. In 1967, Beausoleil met Kenneth Anger and had a part in Anger’s film Lucifer Rising. Beausoleil became friends with Frank Zappa, and can be heard as a backup singer on Zappa’s first record, Freak Out.

Beausoleil also featured in a soft porn movie titled The Ramrodder. The movie was filmed near Spahn’s Movie Ranch and also starred Manson family member Catherine Share.