George Spahn

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George Spahn
Born (1889-02-11)February 11, 1889
Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania
Died September 22, 1974(1974-09-22) (aged 85)
Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California
Spouse(s) Martha Greenholts

George Spahn (February 11, 1889 – September 22, 1974) was a rancher who once owned the Spahn Ranch near Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California. Spahn (as did previous owner William S. Hart) rented the ranch to the movie industry to film Westerns. At the ranch, he housed Charles Manson and his followers. The 1969 murders of actress Sharon Tate and six others by Manson's devotees were allegedly hatched at the Spahn Ranch. Manson persuaded Spahn to permit "the Family" to live at his ranch. Manson ordered the Family women to have sex with the then nearly blind 80-year-old. The women also acted as seeing eye guides for Spahn.[1][2] Spahn nicknamed all the Manson girls—Squeaky, Sadie Mae, Ouisch, etc. . According to Manson Family member Paul Watkins, notorious Mansonite Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme got her nickname because of the sound she made when Spahn ran his hand up her thigh.[3] Family member Charles Watson has written that his own nickname, "Tex," was given to him by Spahn, who recognized his Texas accent.[4]

His name is associated with a grisly set of murders, due to his tolerance of the Manson group's stay on his property. George lived five years after the murders. He was married to a woman named Martha Greenholts, and lived in North Hollywood. He was eventually admitted to the Sherwood Convalescent Hospital in Van Nuys, where he died on September 22, 1974, at the age of 85. He was buried in Eternal Valley Memorial Park.

The Spahn ranch burned in 1970, and is desolate today. In 2005, fires in Simi Valley tore through the ranch.


  1. Bugliosi, Vincent with Gentry, Curt. Helter Skelter – The True Story of the Manson Murders 25th Anniversary Edition, W.W. Norton & Company, 1994.ISBN 0-393-08700-X. oclc=15164618.
  2. Watkins, Paul with Soledad, Guillermo (1979). My Life with Charles Manson, Bantam. ISBN 0-553-12788-8. Pages 34 & 40
  3. Watkins, Paul with Guillermo Soledad, My Life with Charles Manson, Bantam Books, 1979. ISBN 0-553-12788-8. Page 40.
  4. Watson, Tex as told to Chaplain Ray (Ray Hoekstra), Will You Die for Me?, Cross Roads Publications, Inc., 1978. Chapter 7.

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