Cops Investigate Manson-Themed Vandalism

A cleaning crew called the police Friday after discovering satanic markings inside an unoccupied Palm Springs, Calif., vacation home saluting convicted killer Charles Manson — almost 38 years to the day after the cult leader and his followers left similar messages at their now infamous California murder scenes.

Police responded to the home of 41-year-old Chris Fisher, who later told authorities that he had secured his second home when he left Aug. 14. A sliding door had apparently been pried open, according to the Palm Springs Police Department, and inside, police found bizarre evidence of vandalism.

A large pentagram was laid out on the living room floor with bamboo sticks. Each picture hanging on the walls had been turned backwards, and each chair turned upside down. On the dining room table, and in a toilet, were bundles of reeds. Messages were written in various places around the house — including “Helter Skelter,” “Pigz” and “Blood.”

The markings are familiar to anyone with knowledge of Charles Manson lore. On Aug. 8, 1969, Manson led his followers on a brutal crime spree that ended with five people dead at a California house.

Actress Sharon Tate, the wife of filmmaker Roman Polanski, was among those killed at her California home. Tate was more than eight months pregnant at the time. Four others were also murdered, and Tate’s blood was used to write “Pig” on the front door of the house.

The phrase “Healter Skelter” a mispelled reference to the Beatles’ song would be found at another crime scene ultimately tied to the Manson family before prosecutors were able to convict the cult leader, who remains in prison today.

Police who collected fingerprints from the Palm Springs scene take the discovery of the Manson mimicking seriously. “We can’t assume it was a prank,” police spokesman Sgt. Mitch Spike wrote in an e-mail to ABC News. “We’re treating it as a residential burglary at this time.”

But Fisher told the Los Angeles Times that he wasn’t particularly alarmed.

“I think it was drunk kids,” Fisher told the newspaper. “I don’t think it was a ritual. They didn’t even bring a candle or blood or an animal, so I don’t think that’s what it was.”

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Religion News Blog posted this on Thursday August 23, 2007.
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