Too Old To Die Young

“Too Old to Die Young” from director Nicolas Winding Refn is, depending on how you look at it, either a TV series or a long film.  Refn himself prefers to view it as the latter.  Most of the production took place around the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, with some additional filming in New Mexico.  Here we’ll cover the locations episode by episode.  Some locations of course appear over multiple episodes.  This article contains many spoilers for the show, so please do not proceed unless you’ve seen it in it’s entirety.

Volume 1 – “The Devil”

The first episode opens with Martin Jones, played by Miles Teller and his partner Larry, played by Lance Gross, standing in front of this mural along the side of a taco restaurant in Studio City.

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LOCATION: 11401 Moorpark St, Studio City, CA 91602

Here is a wider view of the side of the building.

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Also seen in the opening scene is this sports bar, located directly next to the taco restaurant.

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LOCATION: 11411 Moorpark St, Studio City, CA 91602

Unbeknownst to Martin and Larry, they are being watched from across the street by Jesus, played by Augusto Aguilera.

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Martin and Larry pull over a young woman in the parking lot of a largely abandoned shopping plaza in North Hollywood sometimes referred to as the Valley Plaza.  The area is becoming a popular filming location, having also recently appeared in “Captain Marvel.”  The Blockbuster Video store where Carol Danvers first arrives is one of the store fronts in the background.

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LOCATION: Near the intersection of Sylvian St / Vantage Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91606 (directly across from 12200 Sylvan St, North Hollywood, CA 91606)

The police car is parked in the area to the left near the tree.

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After taking money from the girl they’ve pulled over, they let her go and Larry walks over towards a restaurant called “The Lone Drifter.”  This is not a real establishment, rather a vacant building dressed up by the production.  It too was seen in “Captain Marvel,” dressed as a music venue called “The Slow Club,” where Carol makes a call at a payphone.

Jesus is parked just beside the building, where he approaches and shoots Larry.  The fire hydrant to the right is where Larry’s cell phone is recovered.

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LOCATION: 2124 Sylvan St, North Hollywood, CA 91606

Martin returns fire on Jesus with the Regency Valley Plaza theater seen in the background.

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After the shooting, Jesus escapes driving down Sylvian St and turning right onto Laurel Canyon Blvd.  Martin calls in the shooting and surprisingly states the actual location of the scene to dispatch, rather than a fictionalized address, which is a somewhat rare occurrence in film and television.

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The police station where Martin works, seen frequently throughout the show, is the Sunkist Headquarters building in Sherman Oaks.  It is seen mostly from interior views in the show.

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LOCATION: 14130 Riverside Dr, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

The building faces the 101 freeway and Westfield shopping mall, both of which are seen through the windows in various scenes.

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Not far from the police station, Martin parks here and walks to a payphone to call Damian, played by Babs Olusanmokun.  This area is the rear parking lot behind a shoe repair and dry cleaners, looking out over a gas station and bank building.  There is no actual payphone there.

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LOCATION: 13644 Riverside Dr, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423 (rear parking lot)

Damian runs his operation out of an ice skating rink in Van Nuys.  The location appears many times in the show, from a variety of angles both from the interior and exterior.  Here is the front entrance.

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LOCATION: 14318 Calvert St, Van Nuys, CA 91401

In one scene, Martin is seen approaching past this sign.

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The parking lot is featuring in several scenes.  First, Martin meets Damian to say he only wants to kill those who have committed horrible acts.  In later episodes, Damian slices fruit with a sword and a would-be assassin named Gameboy watches as Damian and his crew perform a peculiar dance to “Ten Commandments” by Prince Buster.

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Here is the corner where Devante, Jaime and Gameboy all stake out Damian’s ice rink.

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LOCATION: Calvert St / Tyrone Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91401

Gameboy mistakenly takes out the wrong man, killing Celestino.  He attempts to speed off, but Damian returns fire and kills him in the street.

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Martin’s apartment can be found in Sherman Oaks.

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LOCATION: 14426 Addison St, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Later, when Martin returns home with Janey, played by Nell Tiger Free, Damian and his crew are waiting on this street corner, where they violently persuade Martin to become a hitman for them.

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LOCATION: Addison St / Tilden Ave, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Martin pays a visit to Amanda’s apartment in North Hollywood to pay her money.

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LOCATION: 6837 Fulton Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91605

As Martin goes to perform the hit ordered by Damian, he parks at this liquor store.

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LOCATION: 12500 Moorpark St, Studio City, CA 91604

His target is a man inside this auto shop.

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LOCATION: 4350 Whitsett Ave, Studio City, CA 91604

Once inside, he finds the man nude on a couch and the two engage in a physical battle before Martin gets the upper hand.

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Volume 2 – “The Lovers”

Don Ricardo’s estate, where much of episode 2 takes places, is the Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley.  The property regularly hosts weddings and special events.  It is otherwise a private estate, however, only allowing guests by appointment.  The only road leading to the ranch is typically gated shut with no trespassing signs, making it unfortunately closed to the public.  The property has also appeared in Oliver Stone’s “Savages,” “Jobs” starring Ashton Kutcher and in the second season of “True Detective.”

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LOCATION: 2940 Kuehner Dr, Simi Valley, CA 93063

Volume 3 – “The Hermit”

In episode 3, the character of Viggo, played by John Hawkes, is introduced.  As he is transporting a dead body in his trunk, he suddenly runs out of gas.  He pulls over to this alley in Van Nuys.

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LOCATION: 14524 Hamlin St, Van Nuys, CA 91411

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Not thinking clearly, Viggo locks himself out of his car.  In the neighboring parking lot, gunshots suddenly ring out as an unrelated crime takes place.  Viggo decides to escape on foot, leaving the key with his fingerprint inside the car.  The next morning Martin arrives and discovers the key, putting him on the trail of Viggo.

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LOCATION: 6417 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91401 (rear parking lot)

Diana, played by Jena Malone, orchestrates Viggo’s targets and regularly meets with him at the Hansen Dam Aquatic Center.  The pool has a picturesque mountain range spanning the backdrop.  It is depicted as quiet and isolated in the show, but in reality, it’s a popular spot for families to visit.

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LOCATION: 11798 Foothill Blvd, Lake View Terrace, CA 91342

The slide at the pool is also seen in a later episode when the two once again meet up and talk.

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Martin visits the family of an abused boy to gather more information on Viggo.

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LOCATION: 6616 Langdon Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406

Janey forces a bartender to serve her a drink despite knowing she is underage.  Most of the scene is out of focus, but when she exits the building, it is revealed to be a bar inside Highland Park Bowl.

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LOCATION: 5621 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Here is a view of the full exterior, although it is never seen from this angle in the show.

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Janey then walks over to meet her father at an art gallery.  This is geographically accurate, as the location really is just a few doors down from the bar.  It is seen only from interior views in the scene.

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LOCATION: 5601 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Martin finally tracks down Viggo and follows him to his mother’s house in Sylmar.

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LOCATION: 11370 Clybourn Ave, Sylmar, CA 91342

Martin then follows Viggo to the Northridge Fashion Center, which leads him to Diana.  Viggo is seen driving up this ramp.  To access the exact area seen in the film, you need to go to Nordhoff St and turn into the lot near Sears.  The ramp is on the left and will take you to the upper lot where the scene was shot.

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LOCATION: 9301 Tampa Ave, Northridge, CA 91324

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Viggo parks along the wall on the right, while Diana parks beside the lamppost in the foreground.  Martin photographs them from afar, looking at this angle.

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Martin is told to meet Damian at a strip mall near the house.  Damian gives him a key to enter the house of his next target.  The plaza can be found in Studio City.

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LOCATION: 11308 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604

Martin meets with Viggo at the Olympic Coffee Shop in Sylmar.  The two discuss what it feels like to kill.  The same coffee shop has appeared in the films “Over The Top” and “Every Which Way But Loose,” as well as such TV series as “Bosch” and “NCIS: Los Angeles.”

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LOCATION: 12192 San Fernando Rd, Sylmar, CA 91342

Volume 4 – “The Tower”

Martin’s next target is a Korean man that he tracks down at this burger restaurant in Burbank.

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LOCATION: 2320 W Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506

Martin follows the man and he pulls over here to eat a burger.  As Martin pulls the gun, he finds himself conflicted about whether the man really deserves death and decides to find an alternate solution.  Once again, the route they drive is geographically accurate and just a short distance from the burger restaurant.

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LOCATION: 2301 W Victory Blvd, Burbank, CA 91506

Volume 5 – “The Fool”

Episode 5 was filmed on location in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We do not yet have specific location information at this time.

Volume 6 – “The High Priestess”

Back in the Valley, Alfonso attempts to get in the good graces of Jesus by ordering a hit on Damian.  He visits Devante at this auto shop in Van Nuys and hires him to perform the hit for $6,000.

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LOCATION: 14101 Oxnard St, Van Nuys, CA 91401

Devante then outsources the job to Jaime for $2,000, who in turn outsources the hit to a junkie named Gameboy for $200 and some crystal meth.  Gameboy stops by this apartment and does some drugs, tearing the photo of his target in two in the process and mixing up Damian with Celestino.  The address is on Bakman Ave in North Hollywood, but the view seen in the show is actually the back side of the building, on an unnamed road next to the electrical towers.

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LOCATION: 6607 Bakman Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91606 (rear side of the building on an unnamed road)

Gameboy is then seen passing the electrical towers and turning down Kittridge St to go kill Damian.  Things do not go as planned.

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Volume 7 – “The Magician”

Janey’s father Theo, played by William Baldwin, takes Martin to a screening room, where he plays a scene of a show within a show.  The scene is very meta, mimicking the scene from episode 1 where Martin and Larry pull over a woman.  This was filmed at an auto shop very close to the location of the final scene in the show.

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LOCATION: 5547 Satsuma Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601

After Viggo helps Martin dispose of a body, Martin asks him to pull over as he vomits.

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LOCATION: 8981 Bradley Ave, Sun Valley, CA 91352

Volume 8 – “The Hanged Man”

Martin and Viggo’s next target takes them to an abandoned shopping mall.  This is the former Hawthorne Plaza Shopping Center.  The plaza has been abandoned for years, with on-again, off-again plans for demolition.  In the meantime, it has become a popular spot for filming and photography.  It has been seen in such films at “Gone Girl,” “Minority Report” and “The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift,” as well as the TV series “Westworld.”  The building is closed to the public and regularly patrolled by security, so unless you have permission from the city or someone filming, it is trespassing to enter the grounds.  It is a popular spot for abandon building enthusiasts, however, and quite a few people have managed to get inside over the years.

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LOCATION: 12124 Hawthorne Blvd, Hawthorne, CA 90250 (closed to the public)

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The High Priestess of Death executes everyone in sight at the Sierra Pelona Motel in Santa Clarita.  The motel was also used in the 2002 Britney Spears film “Crossroads” and the TV series “Westworld.”   The morel is also located very close to the restaurant from “Duel.”  The phone booth was not a prop and really exists at the motel.

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LOCATION: 12117 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91390

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Most of the killings take place in front of rooms 3 and 4.

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Volume 9 – “The Empress”

In the penultimate episode, Diana has a vision which changes her eyes.  She visits a mysterious woman to explain her vision and fix her eyes.  All of the decor seen in the front of the shop is real and was not a flourish of the production.  This location is right across the street from the scene in episode 1 where Martin and Larry pull over the young woman.

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LOCATION: 6316 Laurel Canyon Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91606

Diana makes her way out to the back of the building to speak to the woman.

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Volume 10 – “The World”

In the final episode, Yuritza makes her presence known as the High Priestess of Death.  She sits at the corner of Satsuma Ave and Cumpston St.  This is on the same street as the show within a show that Theo plays for Martin in his screening room.

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LOCATION: Satsuma Ave / Cumpston St, North Hollywood, CA 91601

The final scenes were filmed at the Limelight West, an event space in North Hollywood.

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LOCATION: 5453 Satsuma Ave, North Hollywood, CA 91601

Related articles: Drive (2011)

Titanic (1997)

The classic 1997 James Cameron film “Titanic” was of course filmed primarily on a recreated set of the famous ship, which was built at Fox Baja Studios in Mexico.  In 2017, however, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California held a unique exhibition on the ship, where it combined real artifacts from the sunken ship alongside props and sets from the film.  It was the largest collection of artifacts from passengers of the ship since the fateful night it collided with an iceberg a century before.

The exhibit has unfortunately since closed, but here we’ll take a look at some of the props, costumes and sets from the film that were on display.

This is the set of the famous scene where Jack, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, draws a nude Rose, played by Kate Winslet.

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Here are some props from the scene, including Rose’s mirror, butterfly hairpin and comb, as well as her “Heart of the Ocean” necklace.

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Here is Jack’s sketchbook and pencil case.  On top of the sketchbook is also the note Rose leaves for Cal, played by Billy Zane.  She places the note inside his safe, along with the necklace.  Her note reads, “Darling – Now you can keep us both locked up inside your safe.  Rose.”

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This is the set of Jack and his friend Fabrizio’s cabin, designed for third class passengers.

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Here is the Marconi Room, another set from the film, where the ship sent out it’s distress calls and communicated with other ships.  Without it, no one would’ve known why or where the ship had sunk.

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Jack Dawson’s suit as he boards the ship.

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Rose wears this dress while the ship is sinking.

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Molly Brown, played by Kathy Bates, wears this dress.

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Bruce Ismay, played by Jonathan Hyde, wears these pajamas and overcoat.

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Here is a dress worn by one of the first class passengers in the film.

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Moving on to more props from the film, here is the clock and cherub from the grand staircase of the ship, where Jack greets Rose.

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Some scale miniatures were also built for the film, including a 45 foot long model of the ship.  Here are some pieces from the miniature.

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The ax Rose uses to free Jack, who is handcuffed in his cabin.

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While the exhibit closed down in 2018, due to the enduring popularity of both the film and the history of the ship itself, these artifacts are bound to find their way into another, future exhibition.

We leave you with one last prop from the film, which was not part of the Reagan Library exhibit.  Rather, it can be found at Planet Hollywood in Florida.  It’s the piece of wood that Rose floats on at the end of the film.

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LOCATION: 1506 E Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Spahn Ranch

While once used a movie set, Spahn Ranch is mostly remembered for it’s notorious connections with the Manson Family during the late 1960s.  It’s a unique and significant part of Californian and American history and we wanted to show it as it is today.

Located in Chatsworth, CA, about 30 miles north of Los Angeles near Simi Valley, you’ll find nothing more than empty land there these days.  The property is currently part of Santa Susana State Historic Park, which is owned by the state of California and open to the public.  Today, many joggers and bicyclists enjoy the scenic pass.  This is what the land looks like currently, as seen from Santa Susana Pass.

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The property was once located at 1200 Santa Susana Pass Road, but that address has long since been retired.  Today, the location is most commonly identified by the large, rocky hill in the background.  There is a private road, which starts at a nearby gated entrance and runs behind the former ranch, along the foot of the rocky hill, which is not state property or open to the public.  That land belongs to the Rocky Peak Church, which also owns the land across the street.  As long as you do not go on the private road or up the rocky hill, the rest of the land, which includes the full area in which the ranch stood, is part of the state park and you are welcome to access it.  There is additional land down a steep embankment, which is not visible from the road, which is also part of the state park.

Another way to quickly spot the land is the Santa Susana State Park sign, which is located almost immediately in front of the former ranch.  If you’re looking to get there by using an address, the closest would be that of the Rocky Peak Church in Chatsworth.

LOCATION: *Formerly 1200 Santa Susana Pass Rd, Chatsworth, CA 91311 (now defunct), nearest present address is 22601 Santa Susana Pass Rd, Chatsworth, CA 91311

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If you visit the park, be sure not to not park anywhere on Santa Susana Pass, which has moderate to frequent traffic and does not allow parking.  Instead, parking is available nearby on Iverson Road.  You’ll see a large parking lot on the left on Iverson, which is property of the church and not available for public use.  Parking on the right shoulder of Iverson Road, however, is permissible and available to the public.

Before we get into what can be seen there today, we’ll first discuss the history of the land.  Santa Susana Pass began as a transportation trail between the settlements of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara.  By the 1860s, the trail had been expanded for the use of stage coaches.  In 1897, a settler by the name of James Williams staked his claim to a section the land, part of which would eventually become Spahn Ranch.  Silent film actor William S. Hart later bought the land and started using it to stable his horses, as well as using the ranch for movie productions, such as the David O. Selznick production, “Duel in the Sun,” which starred Gregory Peck, in 1946.  In 1948, the land was purchased by George Spahn.  Spahn looked to continue to utilize the property as a movie and TV location and further developed the buildings, adding prop storefront signs, such as the “Longhorn Saloon” and the “Rock City Cafe.”  Television series such as “Bonanza,”  “The Lone Ranger” and “Zorro” all filmed at the ranch.

With the steady decline of the western genre, by the late 1960s, productions at the ranch had likewise diminished, with mostly low-budget, exploitation flicks filming there.  Spahn began using the property primarily for families to take horseback rides around the nearby trails.  He also staffed a ranch crew and a variety of mechanics for repairing cars (which included future Manson Family member Steve “Clem” Grogan).  By 1967, the ranch had fallen into a state of disrepair.  Manson Family member Sandra Good knew some of the mechanics at Spahn Ranch and would occasionally visit the property, eventually bringing Charles Manson with her during one of these visits.  Manson immediately liked the site, due to it’s isolation, while still remaining adjacent to the greater population of Los Angeles County (the land is much closer to the freeways than you might expect).

By the time the Manson Family arrived at the ranch, George Spahn was 80 years old and blind.  With his property in disrepair, Manson offered to have his group maintain the ranch, in exchange for free living quarters, which Spahn accepted.  The Family then stole cars and would convert them into dune buggies, intending to take them to their other hideaway, Barker Ranch in Death Valley.  Some of the cars are actually still located near Spahn Ranch, a bit further down Santa Susana Pass, where they were pushed down a steep canyon after they’d been stripped for materials.

In the summer of 1969, things reached a fever pitch at Spahn Ranch.  The first significant step towards the Tate / LaBianca murders came when Manson Family member Charles “Tex” Watson arranged a drug deal with a pimp in Hollywood, only to rip him off.  The pimp, known as Lotsapapa, called Spahn Ranch looking for “Tex,” but instead was put on the phone with Charles Manson, who was unaware of the situation up to that point.  Lotsapapa threatened the Family and Watson’s girlfriend, which prompted Charles Manson to visit him in Hollywood, in an attempt to cool the situation.  However, the situation instead escalated at the meeting, with Manson ultimately shooting Lotsapapa.  Although Lotsapapa survived, Manson believed at the time that he had murdered him.  After seeing news on the TV of an unrelated murder of a member of the Black Panther party, Manson mistakenly believed this to be Lotsapapa.  Expecting retaliation from the Black Panthers, the Manson Family entered into a heightened state of paranoia and prepared for war at Spahn Ranch.

The next blow came when Bobby Beasoleil, a friend of the Family, murdered Gary Hinman.  Bobby had sold some drugs to local bikers, who in turn claimed the drugs were bad and demanded their money back.  Bobby had gotten the drugs from Gary Hinman, who insisted the bikers were lying and the drugs were good.  With Bobby demanding money and Hinman refusing, the situation escalated, with members of the Family holding Hinman hostage in his house.  Charles Manson paid a visit and threatened Hinman, slicing him with a sword.  With other members of the Family present, Bobby Beasoleil eventually murdered Hinman.  Soon after, Beasoleil was captured and arrested, which sent an already volatile Manson into further anger.

Just after the Beasoleil arrest, Manson Family members Sandra Good and Mary Brunner were also arrested for credit card fraud, after attempting to use stolen credit cards at a grocery store.  With dead bodies accumulating, members of the Manson Family in jail and Manson himself believing he was a murderer and that others would soon come for them, be it the Panthers, police or others, Manson became enraged and ordered the first night of murders, which became the Tate murders.  The women had suggested the murders be done to look like a copycat of the Hinman murder.  Believing the women would not successfully carry out plans by themselves, Manson ordered Charles “Tex” Watson to lead them, insisting Watson owed him for Lotsapopa.  It was at Spahn Ranch the murders were ordered and it was there the killers returned after the slayings.

Unhappy with the first night of murders, which Manson felt were not well-executed, he ordered a second night of random killings and went out himself, to show the others how it’s done.  This lead to the LaBianca murders, although after he tied up the victims himself, Manson would leave back to Spahn Ranch, ordering the others to handle the killings instead.

Soon after, Spahn Ranch was raided by police, but not for the murders, which the police hadn’t yet connected to the Family.  Instead it was for a car theft ring.  Manson and others were all arrested at Spahn Ranch.  However, all charges were later dropped after a clerical error on the date on the police warrant invalidated their raid and arrests.  The Family then fled to Barker Ranch in Death Valley, where they were ultimately captured.

From here, we will cover a bit of what can be seen at the land today.  First up is a view of the land where the ranch buildings used to stand.  The entire area is much smaller than most people might expect.  You can see the tree tops here, stemming up from the lower embankment, behind where the buildings once stood.

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Here is a reverse view towards the street of Santa Susana Pass.  The view of the road is obscured by overgrowth.  It was towards the left where Manson Family member Susan Atkins posed barefoot on her toes in a pair of bell-bottom jeans, standing in the driveway near the mailbox at Spahn Ranch, for a well-known photograph.  The famous photographs of the ranch itself were also taken from atop those rocks across the street.

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Towards the left side of the land (right if you’re facing the road), you’ll find the last remaining artifact of the original ranch.  A wildfire in 1970 burnt down all of the buildings, but remnants of the telephone pole survived the fires and it still stands today, albeit somewhat hidden in the brush.

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On the right side of where the ranch stood, you’ll find a trail, which leads down the embankment to the area behind the ranch.  Be sure to wear proper clothing if you visit, as there is a lot of poison oak in the area, as well as possible rattlesnakes.  Just keep a keen eye as you walk and these things can be avoided.  As you make your way towards the lower area, you’ll come across this open area, where the 1969 exploitation film “The Ramrodder” shot scenes.  The cast of the film included Bobby Beausoleil, as well as Manson Family member Catherine “Gypsy” Share.

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Once you’ve reached the bottom of the lower embankment, the first thing you’ll see on your left is the location of the most famous photo of the Manson Family.  Several Family members gathered under this small cave rock for a photograph for Life Magazine.  As you see in the photo, the cave occasionally gets tagged with graffiti, but park rangers are usually quick to clean it off.

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Just ahead on the right, you’ll see another location where members of the Family posed for Life Magazine, between these two trees, where a hammock was draped.

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Charles Manson used to sit and play guitar on the large rock seen in the next photo.  The rock has since been partially destroyed.  It was here that Manson performed his audition for Terry Melcher.

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There are many trees throughout the lower area, which are littered with bullet holes, where Charles “Tex” Watson and Charles Manson practiced firing guns.

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There are, of course, many more sights to be found here, the deeper you dig into the history of the place.  Countless books have been written about it.  Out intention here is not a comprehensive breakdown, rather a broad overview.  If you’d like to see footage of the ranch from when the Manson Family lived there, we recommend the Robert Hendrickson documentary “Manson,” which was nominated for an Academy Award, as well as his sister documentary, “Inside the Manson Gang,” which is mostly comprised of unused footage from the first film.  If you’re considering a visit to the area, just be prepared by dressing appropriately and bringing plenty of water.  You’ll find it mostly calm and quiet today, but there is obviously a great deal of infamy surrounding the area, so it’s not for everyone.  We simply aim to acknowledge what happened here and show it as it is.

Related articles: Barker Ranch, The Manson Family