Thanks to the generous help of Linda Deutsch and Ivor Davis, we have assembled a remarkable group of veteran journalists to mark 50 years since the Manson gang's killing spree and subsequent convictions.

   Al Wiman, Bill Robles, Mary Nieswender, Sandi Gibbons, along with Linda and Ivor will headline the next News Geezers lunch on Sat Aug 3 - noon - at Victorios in North Hollywood.

   Please read their bios in the column to the list.  My thanks to each of them for agreeing to attend and tell their remarkable stories.

    In addition--Wendy Horowitz, photo archivist at the Los Angeles Public Library, will present some of the remarkable Manson story images from the vast Herald-Examiner Collection... now in possession of the library.

    I am expecting a full-house... so RSVP's are open now.  Just send an e-mail to   

     The deadline is Fri Jul 26. 

    If you are bringing a guest be sure to include his or her name.

    Again the location:  Victorios Restaurant, 10901 Victory Blvd, North Hollywood 91606.  Chef Robert’s delicious Italian buffet lunch is $20 (including dessert and tip) or you can order off the menu.  Payment is at the venue by cash or card.

    We had 86 members of the News Geezers attend our lunch in May.

   The focus then was a 25-year look back at the Nicole Brown Simpson/Ron Goldman murders and the subsequent arrest and trials of O.J. Simpson.

    Photos of the lunch are at the bottom of this page... and you will find a link to the complete album.

    Links to the video--with time-codes to the speakers--is at the right.

     Our final lunch of the year will be held on Sat Nov 2.  Wendy will return with a special showing of many more general Los Angeles news and features shots from the Herald Examiner collection.

    See you on August 3. And please don't forget to RSVP by Fri Jul 26.

    Thanks for your interest and support.

    Bob Tarlau

An Amazing Group of Journalists Will Mark the Tate-LaBianca Murders & Manson Trials at Our Sat Aug 3 Lunch -- RSVP Now!


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July 18, 2019 

About the

News Geezers!

News Geezers



In case you just wandered onto this web page, we are the News Geezers - an informal, friendly group of veteran Southern California TV, radio, print, web and PR journalists. We hold lunches quarterly.  Our mailing list is about 500 strong.

Learn about the background of our group by clicking on the "About" tab above (or at the top of any page).  The names of all those on the mailing list can be found at the "RSVP/Roster" tab of this site.

Credit for the name "News Geezers" goes to the late, great Bob Long.

If you have questions or would like to be on the mailing list - and perhaps attend one of our lunches - please contact Bob Tarlau through the form you will find by clicking on the "Contact" tab.  Thanks and cheers!   


Photos by Bob Tarlau, Lorena Tong & Gary Sunkin

For the complete album of these photos:  Click here! 

Here are short bios (written by Linda Deutsch and Bob Tarlau) of our super panel for the Sat Aug 3 News Geezers lunch... (in alphabetical order, by first name).        As Linda says:   “Our panel will include journalism stalwarts who covered the Tate-LaBianca killings and the Manson trials and have lived long enough and are willing to come back and tell the story.” 

Al worked at both KCBS Channel 2 and KABC-TV Channel 7 Eyewitness News here in Los Angeles.  He was a renowned investigative reporter.  While at 7, he--along with his photographer and sound operator--used clever thinking and remarkable deduction to find the discarded, bloodied clothes worn by members of the Manson Family during the horrific murders at Roman Polanski’s home in Beverly Hills.  We will show a David Ono-clip with Al at the key locations... both then and now.  His finding is documented in Vincent Bugliosi’s book “Helter Skelter”.
Al received three Golden Mikes from the Southern California Radio-TV News Association.  He went on—from Los Angeles—to become a multi-award winning investigative reporter for KMOX-TV (now KMOV-TV) in St. Louis specializing in medicine and science.   AL continues to live in St. Louis—and is flying to L.A. specifically to appear at the News Geezers event.

He is one of the most talented and accomplished trial artists in the nation and probably the world. Bill’s drawings from the Manson trial are an astounding record of a trial which was not televised and had limited photo accessibility. His historic drawing of Manson leaping at the judge was the cover picture on a book, “Illustrated Courtroom,” on which he collaborated with some other court artists. 
The Manson trial launched his career and he went on to cover dozens of history making trials. He frequently gives lectures illustrated with his art work. His ability to capture movement and the expressions of trial participants in sketches that often must be completed in minutes is unparalleled. His portraits of defendants including John Z. DeLorean, Patty Hearst, O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson are breathtaking works of art.
As Linda notes:  “Bill Robles is a really unique and a big ‘get’ for the News Geezers lunch.”

Author, journalist—and frequent News Geezers luncheon speaker—Ivor writes of himself:  “Few have been so deeply embedded in the life of Charles Manson, while maintaining distance from the mesmerizing pull that drew his followers to him and compelled them to do his bidding.”
His new book—being published in July—is titled “Manson Exposed:  A Reporter’s 50-Year Journey into Madness and Murder.”  In it, he shares his personal odyssey over half a century, piecing together the complex and Byzantine story.
Ivor is an eyewitness to the case. He was there. He had a front row seat during the year-long trial and sheds new light on this ever changing story by sharing how he stayed one step ahead of investigators, pinpointing why and how this killer band did what it did, as well as clearly identifying all the players in this warped American tragedy.
Linda writes of Ivor:   “As a British reporter based in Los Angeles for the London Daily Express, Ivor was one of the first foreign correspondents to jump on the story, realizing its worldwide significance. He quickly produced a paperback book on the case, “Five to Die,” which became a go-to publication for those seeking information on the killings.  He and his late wife, Sally, covered the trial and, along with the late Bruce Russell of Reuters, became part of the close group of reporters who became BFFs.”
Early praise for Ivor’s new book has come from Manson trial prosecutor Stephen Kay... who call it: “The most detailed behind the scenes account of the Manson trial that I have ever read.  Fascinating.”
At a previous Geezers panel—he talked about one of his previous books “The Beatles and Me On Tour.”

Her long career as a trial reporter with The Associated Press was launched by the Manson case. She was on the story from day one of the killings and stayed with it through trials, parole hearings and the deaths of Manson and other cast members of this real life drama. 
Linda spent 48 years with the AP covering dozens of high profile trials. She is now retired but you would hardly know it. She is called upon by many TV outlets to talk about trials past including Manson. 
She has been visiting Leslie Van Houten in prison and wrote an LA Times Op-Ed arguing it is time for Leslie to be paroled. She has recently been interviewed for an AP documentary on the case.

A star crime reporter for the Long Beach Press Telegram, Mary was the only reporter whom Manson talked to during the trial. He had her home phone number and when he called, her small children would summon her with cries of, “Mommy, Charlie’s on the phone again.” 
She had many exclusives from her talks with him.  She also incurred the enmity of the prosecutor, Vincent Bugliosi, for a rather silly reason she can discuss. After retiring from the newspaper business, Mary had a second career launching and operating an all-news radio station in Palm Springs. She wrote a book on her many criminal cases:  “Assassins...Serial Killers...Corrupt Cops...: Chasing the News in a Skirt and High Heels”

During the Manson trial, she was still Sandi Mettetal of City News Service, a young reporter who already was adept at covering court cases.  She had been the City News reporter on the trial of Sirhan  in the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.  Sandi also has the distinction of having been standing behind Kennedy as he made his last speech that night.  She can be seen in many of the historic pictures. She was one of the first to phone in word of the assassination.
In the Manson trial, she was on constant deadline with most local news outlets subscribing to CNS. She also became part of a cadre of reporters including Linda, Mary, the late Theo Wilson and Bill Farr who became lifelong friends.
She went on to become City Editor of CNS and then held the same position at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is best remembered by many as the highly visible spokesperson for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office for many years.



Sat May 4 2019 Lunch

Click to Link to Part 1

Runs:  27:50

At 1:00 - VINCE MACK

At 6:15 - TOM LANGE

Click to Link to Part 2

Runs:  38:00



 At 23:00 - DAVE LOPEZ

At 31:30 - PHIL SHUMAN


Clink to Link to Part 3

Runs 23:45


​At 2:00 - BRIAN BLAND

​At 5:00 - Remembering

TOM HATTEN - 1926-2019

At 9:00 - Remembering
DAVID HOROWITZ - 1937-2019


At 21:15 - Promoting our

Aug 3 and Nov 2 Lunches ​