“Our music was far from political or antiwar … I never felt comfortable with political advocacy.”
“There were no political speeches or overt protest songs performed.”
John Phillips, discussing the Monterey Pop Festival, of which he was a key organizer
Thus far on this journey, we have seen how what are arguably the two most bloody and notorious mass murders in the history of the City of Angels – the Manson Family murders of the occupants of the home on Cielo Drive in Benedict Canyon, and the so-called Four-On-The-Floor bludgeoning murders of four Laurel Canyon drug dealers on Wonderland Avenue – were directly connected to the Laurel Canyon music scene.
But the city of
On January 15, 1947, the mutilated body of aspiring actress Elizabeth Short was found posed in a field. The ritualistically butchered body was nude, sliced cleanly in half, and completely drained of blood. Parts of the body had been removed, after which the corpse had been thoroughly sanitized. Bruising clearly indicated that the young girl had been savagely beaten. Forensic evidence suggested that she had been forced to eat feces during her tortuous ordeal. She was quickly dubbed the ‘Black Dahlia,’ and it is by that name that she is known and written about today.
Much of what has been written
brief life of Ms. Short is contradictory. Among the facts that seem to
agreed upon is that she had recently worked at a military facility that
known as Vandenberg Air Force Base, and that she had some kind of close
connection to a US Naval hospital in
This murder occurred some
For those who are unfamiliar with the Black Dahlia murder, or who have only read about the case and never actually seen the brutality inflicted upon Ms. Short, please be advised that you are about to see for yourself just how barbaric this crime was. The images are absolutely horrifying – but that is, unfortunately, what elite ritualized crime looks like. You have been warned.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
“John [Phillips] was the ultimate controller.”
Mamas and the Papas producer/manager Lou Adler
“She was practically his slave.”
Michelle Phillips, describing John’s third wife, Genevieve Waite
Our story begins on August 30,
with the birth of John Edmund Andrew Phillips to parents Claude and
Phillips. Claude was a retired Marine Corps officer and engineer. His
John Andrew Phillips, a prominent architect, one day “mysteriously fell
death” on a construction site, according to John Phillips’
John. That kind of thing tends to happen to family members of
John’s mother, Edna, had what
would consider a rather unconventional upbringing. Her mother was a
psychic/faith healer, and many of her eleven siblings were well known
as gunfighters and bandits. When Edna was just a year old, she was –
and I am
neither making this up nor stealing it from the plot of some hack
Edna was just fifteen when she met and began a relationship with Claude Phillips, who according to legend had supposedly won an Oklahoma bar from a fellow serviceman in a poker game on the way home from France at the close of World War II – which seems about as credible as various other aspects of Phillips family history,as told by John. By eighteen, Edna had given birth to the couple’s first child, Rosie Phillips, born on New Year’s Eve, 1922.
Rosie would later become a
employee of the Pentagon, where John’s first wife, the daughter of an
intelligence operative, would also find work. Years later, according to
Rosie’s daughter Patty would be “found dead of an overdose in a
In the late 1920s, Claude
John attended a series of strict Catholic and military schools and served as an altar boy. According to his own account though, he also had a darker side, which included forays into vandalism, auto theft, breaking and entering, fighting, and other assorted mischief. His mother, meanwhile, routinely cruised for men – when not spending time with a US Army Colonel named George Lacy. John would later be told that his real father was a US Marine Corps doctor named Roland Meeks, who died in a Japanese POW camp during WWII.
Phillips played basketball at
As previously noted, John’s
was the aristocratic Susie Adams, descendent of President John Adams
occasional practitioner of voodoo. Their first son, Jeffrey, was born
the 13th in December of 1957. Shortly after that, John found
in, of all places,
Many of you, I’m sure, have had
Some months later, in late
Phillips flew to
Michelle was born November 10,
In 1958, while future-husband
vacationing in war-torn
Tamar and her siblings had
“grown up in
Within the walls of that singularly odd Hollywood Hills home, which lies about three miles due east of the mouth of Laurel Canyon, Tamar talks of how she “often ‘uncomfortably’ posed nude … for ‘dirty-old-man’ Man Ray and had once wriggled free from a predatory John Huston.” Her own father, not so shockingly, “had committed incest with her. ‘When I was 11, my father taught me to perform oral sex on him.’” Her father also “plied her with erotic books, grooming her for what he touted as their transcendent union,” and freely shared her with his wealthy and influential friends.
“To the girl’s horror, she became pregnant” at the tender age of fourteen – with her father’s child. “To her greater horror, she says, ‘my father wanted me to have his baby.’” A friend, nevertheless, took her to get an abortion. Dr. George was so incensed that, according to Tamar, he “struck her on the head with his pistol,” prompting her step-mother (who also happened to be John Huston’s ex-wife) to assist her in going into hiding.
Dr. George Hodel was arrested and charged with, among other things, offering his young daughter to several friends at an orgy. The sensational 1949 incest trial featured a witness who took the stand to describe being hypnotized by Hodel at a party; she also claimed that she had witnessed him attempt to hypnotize other young women.
Allegations that the rich and
were dabbling in incest, hypnotism/mind control, pedophilic orgies, and
Luciferian philosophies must surely have been shocking to Angelenos in
1940s, as they would still be to most Americans today, but to these
and ears, it just sounds like business as usual. Also sounding like
usual is that Tamar was roundly vilified by both the press and the
(led by Jerry Giesler), and Dr. George Hodel was acquitted.
Far more shocking even than all of that is the then-unknown fact that, even while Hodel was standing trial on the sensational charges, he was, and still is today, a prime suspect in the Black Dahlia murder case! There have been, of course, numerous suspects identified in the case, including actor/director Orson Welles. But George Hodel does seem to be a much more likely suspect than most of those who have been identified. And his possible guilt, needless to say, does not exclude others from likely complicity as well. The mistake that virtually all investigators of this case have made is assuming that there is only one culprit.
The most likely scenario is
committed the crime in conjunction with various others in his
Luciferian social circle. Man Ray, for example, is a compelling
that the posing of Ms. Short’s body appears to mimic The Minotaur, one
better-known photographs. Man Ray, by the way, was something of the
Mapplethorpe of his era – the same Robert Mapplethorpe, it should be
whom investigative journalist Maury Terry has similarly linked to the
Sam case and various other ritualized murders (for more on George
Ray and the Black Dahlia murder, see Black Dahlia Avenger by
[George’s son and a former LAPD homicide detective] and Exquisite
by Mark Nelson and Sarah Hudson Bayliss).
How it is that the fourteen-year-old daughter of a lowly probation officer fell into the orbit of the daughter of the wealthy and influential George Hodel (Hodel’s former home is currently valued at $4.2 million) has never been explained, but Tamar, described by Michelle as “the epitome of glamour,” quickly took the youngster under her wing, buying her clothes, enrolling her in modeling school, teaching her to drive, and providing her with a fake ID and a steady stream of prescription drugs – obtained, one would presume, from her father.
According to Michelle, “Tamar
perfect airs around my dad and when it became necessary she would sleep
him.” Whatever works, I guess. That perhaps explains why, in early
didn’t have a problem with allowing his underage daughter to move to
It wasn’t long before Michelle,
just seventeen, was romantically involved with twenty-six-year-old
despite the fact that John was still married to Adams, with whom he by
two children, Laura MacKenzie Phillips having been born on November 10,
In October 1962, a year or so
meeting Michelle, John curiously found himself in
The newly-formed trio promptly
on a curious Caribbean adventure, arriving first at
As the legend goes, Cass waited
at the dive while the trio performed folk songs. What they were really
there remains something of a mystery, though in Papa John,
drop a clue: “The town was crawling with drunken Marines and sailors on
way home from
Moving on from the boardinghouse, the group next took over an unfinished home on Creeque Alley, where, according to John, they were known as “the island’s open house and everyone was welcome to our commune.” At some point though the governor supposedly ordered them off the island “because he thought his nephew was doing drugs with the crazies at Creeque Alley.” The band had formalized its new lineup of John Phillips, Michelle Phillips, Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot, and they had a whole album’s worth of material written. That first album would feature such enduring classics as California Dreamin’, Monday, Monday, and Go Where You Wanna Go. On none of the bands subsequent albums would they produce anywhere near the level of songwriting that they were allegedly able to achieve on that Caribbean adventure.
Though isolated on that Caribbean island, the songs the group brought back to LA with them just happened to be of the soon-to-emerge folk-rock variety. In Papa John, Phillips quotes Doherty as saying that everyone was “evolving toward the same sound at the same time without really communicating with each other about it.” It was, I suppose, just the way things were fated to be – or it could be that everyone was following the same script, written by unseen others.
Before helping to spearhead the
movement though, the quartet first had to get off the island, which
presents as a high-risk venture: “We tried to get off the island
split in groups at the airport to look inconspicuous … We went at night
there wouldn’t be any credit checks done on me.”
Within a month of arriving in LA, the band had a producer/manager (Lou Adler, a Jewish kid who had grown up in a tough, Hispanic section of East LA) and a record deal, and John and Michelle were at home in a comfortable house on Lookout Mountain in Laurel Canyon. They would soon be able to afford to purchase Jeanette McDonald’s former Bel Air mansion at 783 Bel Air Road, which featured “hand-carved wooden gargoyles” and “a walk-in vault beneath the house,” which, as I already mentioned, is a very handy feature. Sitting on five acres, the lavish home, with five Rolls Royces in the driveway, was the site of virtually nonstop partying.
The new lineup, of course, needed a name, and John pushed hard for the occult-based Magic Cyrcle, which the band was briefly known as before ultimately settling on The Mamas and the Papas. There would be other indications as well that Phillips had a keen interest in the occult. He would later, for example, start his own label and call it Warlock Records. And his third wife, Genevieve Waite, was an avid follower of Aleister Crowley.
The Mamas and the Papas proved to be a rather short-lived band, recording and performing just from 1965 to 1968 (with a brief reunion in 1971 to satisfy contractual obligations to their record company). During that time, the band produced five albums and eleven top 40 singles. To date, the lineup has sold nearly 100,000,000 albums.
The first single, released in
1965, was Go
Where You Wanna Go, which failed to chart. Their next release, California
Dreamin’, shot up to #4. Their freshman album, If You Can
Eyes and Ears, released in early 1966, rose to the very top of the
their only album to do so. Their only #1 single, Monday, Monday,
followed the release of the album. It was all downhill from there.
While recording their second album in June 1966, Michelle was discharged from the band due to the fact that she was having an affair with Denny Doherty, which was causing severe friction in the group. By August, she was back, though that didn’t prevent the group’s second album from performing rather poorly. The third, recorded in 1967 and ironically entitled Deliver, failed to live up to its name. Then in June of that year, The Mamas and the Papas delivered a closing set at the Monterey Pop Festival that almost everyone agrees sucked ass.
It wasn’t hard though for the band to score that coveted closing slot, given that Phillips had played a key role in organizing the event. Monterey proved to be, according to Barney Hoskyns, the “moment when the underground went mainstream.” As Rolling Stone noted in its Fortieth Anniversary Edition, “The plan for a new kind of festival was spearheaded by John Phillips, the leader of the Mamas and the Papas, and Lou Adler, an influential producer and the band’s manager.” Also noted was that the “road to Monterey began with Alan Pariser, a young heir to a paper-manufacturing fortune,” just as the road to Woodstock began with John Roberts, a young heir to a pharmaceutical manufacturing fortune, but that’s another story entirely.
Two months after Monterey, the band made their final television appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Two months after that, the quartet headed off to Europe while recording their fourth album, The Papas and the Mamas. That album’s first single was the Laurel Canyon-inspired 12:30 (Young Girls are Coming to the Canyon). Shortly thereafter, the band broke up. John tried his hand at a solo career with the wildly unsuccessful result being the release of The Wolf King of LA. To satisfy record label demands, the group briefly reformed for their fourth album, People Like Us.
Following that unsuccessful venture, the band once again dissolved.
to be continued …