"Helter Shmelter"

BUSTED: a few days ago, Charles Manson was caught red-handed calling a bunch of people in California, New Jersey, Florida and British Columbia — on a cellphone, an item not allowed in his prison.

“It’s troubling that he had a cellphone since he’s a person who got other people to murder on his behalf,” a spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections, told the Los Angeles Times

First, may I congratulate the California State Prison at Corcoran for having better cell phone service than I have at my home.  But then again, perhaps Manson has to stand in a certain corner of his cell just like I often have to do on my back yard deck.

In California, the prisoners caught with cellphones, and there are many, get a simple reprimand.  I think they should get a Verizon “can-you-hear-me-now” commercial.

Who is Charles Manson calling and why?  We know “Inside Edition” recently ran a segment featuring audio purported to be Manson’s singing, “I’ve seen the world spinning on fire, I’ve danced and sang in the devil’s choir.”

Reach Out and Touch Someone?

"Marlin Marynik and Manson have got "the cell phone blues..."

We have now, at least. figured out who he’s been calling in Canada.  His name is Marlin M. Marynick, a self-described registered psychiatric nurse who works with violent criminals and the mentally ill where he lives in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Manson and Marynick been absolutely chatting up a blue storm for years.  Marynick, in fact, will be plugging his new book this week, “Manson Now,” a result of some prison meetings and a lot of apparent telephonitis.

According to his Facebook page,  Marynick, 43,  describes his religious views as a “Voi Vodian.”  Now don’t get nervous, Voi Vodians are devotees of Quebec’s best known heavy metal group, Voivod. Their fans are sort of  “deadheads” of the north.

At least in early interviews,  Marynick seems to go over the same old, same old Manson time warp — the drugs, the destruction of the environment, his bad mother. No one is under any spells anymore, although I suspect (by the autograph seen on his photo above) they may have a hell an opportunity to get a Manson memorabilia business going.

June 6, 1981, Roger Ailes and Shelley Ross meet with Charles Manson just before his first ever television interview

You Never Call, You Never Write

I first met Charles Manson in 1981, when I booked and produced his first television interview. He’d recently become eligible for parole and this was the first time we got to see him since his conviction on murder charges related to the vicious slaying of actress Sharon Tate and her friends, plus Rosemary and Leno LaBianca just twelve years before. In the photo (l) that’s Fox’s Roger Ailes back then when he was executive producer of NBC’s Tomorrow Show with Tom Snyder .  I had been on the job, my first network staff producing job, for only about ten days.

There was great outrage at Tom Snyder’s bold  broadcast back then, giving 90 minutes of network airtime, even at 12:30  – 2:00 a.m., to the convicted mastermind of such heinous crimes. The world certainly wanted him locked up forever with the key thrown away.  So we believed his parole potential was important news. (The overturning of his original death penalty sentence had fallen well under the public radar as it occured automatically in 1972 when the Supreme Court outlawed the death penalty because of its racial bias.)

In Snyder’s interview, Manson ranted, rambled, at times refused to sit in the chair and eerily twisted his microphone wire when asked about his role in tying up the LaBiancas before his friends killed them.

Since then, it seems every news anchor has interviewed Manson — Diane Sawyer, Geraldo Rivera, Charlie Rose, and more. The spectacle never changes.

For years he’s had a variety of public forums, having once disclosed he’d be a “no-show” at his parole hearing because he was busy setting up a website. So, that Manson had a cellphone is not exactly a reason to give your California kids a bodyguard.  As all of us have seen first hand over the years, he’s too mentally ill to mastermind getting a shirt that fits, or an extra hour in the  sun to lose that yellow-grey prison pallor.

But  the real reason for concern may be this: according to the Times, guards confiscated 1,400 cell phones in prison in 2007. The number jumped to 6,995 in 2009 and is now at 8,675 this year.  What masterful tool other than a cell phone does one need today to continue criminal activity?

There is genuine urgency needed to create a new prison policy and/or a new law before we come to know the next generation of “smart phone”  as the “outsmart phone.”

In the meantime, Charles, for old times sake,  don’t call me, call Verizon.