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 July 13, 1951, in Los Angeles, California, but he grew up in the town of Chatsworth. His father worked at Holiday Hardware in Santa Susana, and his mother was a nurse and was also studying to become a social worker. Grogan has three siblings, two brothers and one sister. One of his brothers joined the Highway Patrol Academy in Sacramento in 1970.

At the tender age of 15, Grogan decided to leave his family home and embark on a life of adventure. He ended up living with a woman six years his senior for a year, before he moved to Spahn Ranch at the age of 16. Here, he was given the job of a ranch-hand, and it was at this ranch that he encountered Manson and his ‘family’ and decided to join the clan.

Mentally Handicapped

Grogan, viewed by other members of the clan as mentally handicapped, was known for getting into trouble. This was particularly evident when the Family stayed with Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, where 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 family 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, and his genitals accidentally became exposed. During the Spahn Ranch raid in August of ’69, Grogan was wearing jeans with a large hole in the crotch area. Photo of Grogan during the raid, Grogan is the one on the left.

Steve Grogan Probation Report

LaBianca Murders

During the night of August 9, 1969, Grogan joined Charles Manson, Linda Kasabian, Susan Atkins, Tex Watson, and Patricia Krenwinkel, as they embarked on their second night of murder. Grogan waited outside with Kasabian, Krenwinkel, Van Houten, and Atkins while Manson and Watson tied up Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. Krenwinkel and Van Houten joined Watson and killed the LaBianca’s.

While the LaBianca’s were being slaughtered, Manson reportedly told Kasabian to drive to an apartment complex where Grogan, Kasabian and Atkins were to kill one of the residents, Saladin Nader, whom Kasabian had met before while hitchhiking. However, Kasabian purposely led them to the wrong apartment, thus saving Nader’s life.

Stalking Human Game

On the night of October 9, 1969, Park rangers gathered for a large raid on Barker Ranch, the family’s hideout in Death Valley. On their way to the ranch, they encountered Grogan. At around 4 a.m., several officers noticed Grogan sleeping next to a sawed-off shotgun. Vincent Bugliosi reported that Grogan had been pursuing Kitty Lutesinger and Stephanie Schram, who had left the family that same evening after hearing stories about the murders the group had committed. According to the prosecutor, Grogan was hunting them like they were human prey.

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 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.

Danny DeCarlo

In search of Danny DeCarlo, who had abandoned the group, Grogan and Bruce Davis tracked him down sleeping in his truck in Venice. When they attempted to force their way into the car, DeCarlo woke up and grabbed his .45, claiming that Grogan and Davis were there “to off him”. After a short struggle, Grogan and Davis ran away.

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 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

Grogan took part in the murder of Donald “Shorty” Shea, a stuntman and ranch-hand who worked at Spahn Ranch. Charles Manson, Steve Grogan, Bruce Davis and Tex Watson asked Shea for a ride, as Manson suspected Shea was a snitch and wanted to get rid of him. Sitting in the back seat, Grogan struck Shea with a pipe wrench, and Watson began to stab him. They then dragged Shea out of the car and finished him off with a series of stab wounds.

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 family member who has been convicted of murder and released from prison. Today, Grogan is a musician under the pseudonym Adam Gabriel.