Manson Family member Steve Grogan, aka Adam Gabriel, dropped out of high school in ’67 and ended up at Spahn’s ranch doing odd jobs and chores. When Manson and the family moved in to the ranch in ’68, Grogan joined the family. Not the smartest of the bunch, Grogan was nicknamed Scramblehead.
Grogan, viewed by other members of the family as mentally handicapped, was known for getting into trouble. While the family stayed with Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, Grogan crashed Wilson’s uninsured Ferrari.
In June of ’69 Grogan was sentenced to a 90-day observation at a State Mental Hospital for exposing his penis to a group of school children. In ’71 a judge said that: “Grogan was too stupid and too hopped up on drugs to deicide anything on his own.”
The night of the Labianca murders, Grogan went with Charles Manson, Susan Atkins and Linda Kasabian to an apartment in Venice Beach. Manson told them to kill an acquaintance of Kasabian, aspiring actor Saladin Nader, but Kasabian deliberately led the group to a wrong apartment, saving Nader’s life.
Shorty Shea Murder
On August 26, 1969, Grogan participated in the murder of Donald Shea, a stuntman and ranch hand at Spahn Ranch. Steve Grogan, Charles Manson and Bruce Davis were convicted of murdering Shea.
Grogan was sentenced to death, but in 1971 Grogan’s sentence was reduced to life imprisonment. Grogan later assisted the authorities and drew a map to where Shea’s body was buried.
On January 5, 1971, Manson family member Catherine Share gave birth to a son while she was in prison awaiting trial. It was later revealed that Grogan was the child’s father.
After serving nearly 15 years, Grogan was paroled and released from prison in 1985. Grogan remains the only family member who has been convicted of murder and released from prison.