Inyo County sheriff investigators officially called off the dig for human remains Wednesday at remote Barker Ranch, the last known hideout of Charles Manson and his followers.
Investigators reported that 20 law enforcement officials and scientists using portable ground penetrating radar, lasers and Alternate Light Source technology found no bodies after two-days of relentless digging.
On May 20, law enforcement agencies, shadowed by a small army of local and international reporters, descended on Barker Ranch in the Panamint Mountains of Death Valley in hopes of getting to the bottom of persisting rumors that murder victims were buried there.
The forensic investigation commenced on five “hot spots.” Investigators reported Tuesday that they did not find any bodies at the first and largest site. Instead, they found a .38 caliber casing just two inches below the surface of the first dig site.
“One bullet casing was found in the site,” said Inyo County Sheriff’s Lt. Jim Jones,” but forensic testing indicates that there were no human remains in or around that site.”
Investigators also found remnants of what appeared to be ash and small animal bones at a second site. The National Park Service determined that the location would be considered an archaeological site.
Today, two additional sites were excavated but no human remains were found. Investigators decided against digging up a fifth site.
Manson had preached of an apocalyptic race war he said was predicted in The Beatles’ song “Helter Skelter.” His followers believed they would eventually control the United States – if they performed grisly murders for Manson. Manson and his followers escaped to Barker Ranch in the summer of 1969 after murdering nine people, including pregnant actress Sharon Tate and wealthy Los Feliz Hills grocer Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary.