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Avalon, California
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April 4, 2014     The Catalina Islander
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April 4, 2014
 

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Watson From page 1 Catalina history not only as a well- respected deputy, but as one of the town's more colorful and likeable characters--"likable" that is if you were on Donnie's side of the law. The series, which stars David Duchovny (The X-Files, Califor- nication) as "a Los Angeles police sergeant," is said to be focusing not so much on the life of Manson, but rather on the police pursuit of Manson and his followers. It will be interesting to see how accurate- ly they portray Manson's capture. It's also perhaps a little bit of a coincidence that only days ago, our state parole board gave the thumbs up to pa- roling yet another of Man- son's followers, convicted murderer Bruce Davis. It remains to he seen wheth- er Governor Brown will allow this to happen. The infamous Manson fam- ily cut a swath through American criminal lore during the late 1960s be- cause of its cultish dispo- sition coupled with several grisly murders that were orchestrated by Manson, most notably the Tate-La Bianca murders in the summer of '69. In the months following the killings, the Los Angeles Police Department (which had jurisdic- tion) quickly followed a trail of evidence that ended up at a place called the Barker Ranch in, ap- propriately, Death Valley National Park. It was there, in this forsaken place, that Manson and his fol- lowers had holed up, and it was there that Donald Dunlop had the dubious honor of meeting Manson It was one of our very own Los Angeles County Sheriffs Deputies-the late Donald "Donnie" Dunlop-that had the honor of being the officer of record to actually arrest Manson. Jim Watson Columnist face-to-face. Although there were approximately 40 other officers involved in the raid of the Barker Ranch, it fell upon our own Don- nie Dunlop to actually make the snag. Manson prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi discussed Dunlop's cap- ture of Manson in his summation at Manson's hearing: "He (Dunlop) testified that when he first saw Mr. Manson, Manson was in a little hole beneath the floor- boards of one of the buildings on the ranch. Manson refused to come out, and Dunlop had to crawl under the building and pull Man- son out by his hair." The capture of Manson was a life-changing event for Dunlop and part of the local legend that surrounds Donnie is that he was specifically assigned to the Avalon Station for the safety of himself and his family. I spoke with several locals who knew Donnie back when he and his wife lived on the Island. None of them wanted to be identified in this story, mostly out of respect for the safety of Dunlop's surviv- ing family--a powerful testament to the hold that the Manson family stills has over the public. "I brought Former Avolon Sheriffs Deputy Donald "Donnie" Dunlop put the collar on infamous criminal Charles Manson in the 1970s. Manson, and the police pur.,suit to capture him, is the subject of an upcoming NBC TV series. Courtesy photoies. it up on~ce," said one local. "But he nie once confided to her that his arrest) much because he was so didn't t alk about it very much. He move to the Island was indeed to concerned about his wife and their was really subdued about it. I'm spend his remaining years with son." not quitte sure, but there was some the department in relative obscu- Although Donald Dunlop rumor tthat he was sent over here rity--and therefore safety, passed away more than two years for his (own protection." '*Jane" was good friends with ago, his accomplishment still res- "(Thle capture of Manson) was both Donnie and his wife and was onates occasionally in headlines very, veery stressful for him," said a frequent visitor to the Dunlop around the world, including evi- another; who told me that Don- home. "He didn't talk about (the dently Hollywood. 16 ~Friday, April 4, 2014 TIlE r.AT~IJNA