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Steve Clem Grogan


Steve Grogan, aka Clem Tufst, dropped out of high school and ended up at Spahn Ranch doing odd jobs and chores. When Manson and his group moved to the ranch, Grogan joined the Family. Not the smartest of the bunch, Grogan was nicknamed Scramblehead.

Grogan was born on Friday the 13th. July 13, 1951, to be exact, in Los Angeles, California, but he grew up in Chatsworth, California. Grogan's father worked at Holiday Hardware in Santa Susana. His mother was a nurse who was in college, studying social work. Grogan has two brothers and one sister. In 1970, one of his brothers was in the Highway Patrol Academy in Sacramento.

Grogan ran away from home at age 15. For a year, he lived with a woman six years his senior. At age 16, Grogan moved to Spahn Ranch, where he was given a job as a ranch-hand. When the Manson Family moved in, Grogan joined the clan.

Mentally Handicapped

Grogan, viewed by other members of the clan as mentally handicapped, was known for getting into trouble. While the group stayed with Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, Grogan reportedly crashed Wilson’s uninsured Ferrari. In 1971 a judge said that Grogan was too stupid and too hopped up on drugs to deicide anything on his own.

Rat-Eaten Trousers

In June of 1969 Grogan was sentenced to a 90-day observation at a State Mental Hospital for exposing his penis to a group of children, ages four to five. Grogan fled the hospital after two days with the help of one of the Manson girls. Grogan denied he deliberately exposed himself.

According to Grogan, he was wearing rat-eaten trousers with a large hole in them when he was playing with a number of children. He said his genitals accidentally became exposed while playing with the kids. During the Spahn Ranch raid in August of '69, Grogan was wearing jeans with a hole in the crotch area. Photo of Grogan during the raid, Grogan is the one on the left [image].

LaBianca Murders

In the late hours of August 9, 1969, Grogan joined Charles Manson, Linda Kasabian, Susan Atkins, Tex Watson, Patricia Krenwinkel and Leslie Van Houten on the second night of the murder spree. Grogan, Kasabian, Krenwinkel, Van Houten and Atkins were waiting outside while Manson and Watson tied up Leno and Rosemary Labianca. Manson then ordered Krenwinkel and Van Houten to join Watson in the house and told them to kill the laBianca's.

While the LaBianca's were being slaughtered, Manson ordered Kasabian to drive to an apartment complex, and told Grogan, Kasabian and Atkins to kill one of the residents, a person by the name of Saladin Nader. Kasabian had met Nader some time earlier while hitchhiking. Kasabian purposely led Grogan and Atkins to the wrong apartment, saving Nader's life.

Stalking Human Game

On the night of October 9, 1969, Park rangers assembled near Barker Ranch, the Manson Family hangout in Death Valley, for a massive raid on the ranch. At about 4 a.m., while on their way to the ranch, several officers spotted Grogan sleeping on the ground next to a sawed-off shotgun. According to Vincent Bugliosi, Grogan went after Kitty Lutesinger and Stephanie Schram. The two girls had fled the Family that same night, after hearing rumors about the murders the group had committed. According to the prosecutor, Grogan had been stalking the girls like human game.

Laced Hamburger

On December 18, 1970, a grand jury indicted Steve Grogan, Lynette Fromme, Ruth Ann Moorehouse, Catherine Share and Dennis Rice on charges of conspiracy to prevent and dissuade a witness from attending a trial. The group had hatched a plan to poison fellow Manson Family member barbara Hoyt, who by this time was a witness for the prosecution.

Moorehouse took Hoyt on a trip to Hawaii, where she laced a hamburger with ten tabs of acid. After Hoyt ate the burger, she collapsed and was taken to the emergency room. On April 16, 1971, Grogan was sentenced to ninety days in County Jail for his part in the hamburger incident. More on the laced hamburger here and here.

Danny DeCarlo

After Danny DeCarlo, a fellow Manson Family member, fled the group, Grogan and Bruce Davis went looking for him. They found Decarlo sleeping in his truck in Venice. When they tried to break open the car, DeCarlo woke up and grabbed his .45. According to DeCarlo, they were there “to off him”.

Weirdest Witness

According to Vincent Bugliosi, Grogan was easily the weirdest of all witnesses. Grogan spoke of “engrams” on his brain; he answered questions about his father by talking about his mother; and claimed the real leader of the Manson Family was Pooh Bear, the son of Charles Manson and Mary Brunner. When the prosecutor asked him when exactly he joined the Family, Grogan replied, “When I was born of white skin.” Grogan grinned incessantly and made funny faces while on the stand.

Shorty Shea Murder

Around August 26, 1969, Grogan took part in the murder of Donald “Shorty” Shea, a stuntman and ranch-hand who worked at Spahn Ranch, the Manson Family hangout during the Tate/LaBianca murders. Manson told Steve Grogan, Bruce Davis and Tex Watson to ask Shea for a ride. Manson suspected Shea was a snitch and wanted to get rid of him. Grogan, sitting in the back seat, hit Shea over the head with a pipe wrench, while Watson began stabbing him. They took Shea out of the car and stabbed him to death.

Steve Grogan Today

In 1971, Grogan was sentenced to life imprisonment for his involvement in the murder of Shea. Grogan later assisted the authorities and drew a map to where Shea's body was buried. After serving nearly 15 years, Grogan was paroled and released from prison in 1985. Grogan remains the only Manson Family member who has been convicted of murder and released from prison. Today, Grogan is a musician under the pseudonym Adam Gabriel.