Former St. Louis TV reporter played a role in bringing down Charles Manson

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ST. LOUIS - The death of Charles Manson reminds a former St. Louis television journalist about how he played a role in bringing down Manson.

Fox 2/news 11's Dan gray talks with al Wiman about finding critical evidence thrown away by the killers.

In 1969 Al Wiman was with KABC Channel 7 in Los Angeles. His TV crew was the first on the scene of the horrific Manson murders. We had no idea we thought maybe it was a murder suicide when we drove up you could see a car inside the chain linked fence gate and there was a body in that car," Wiman told Dan.

Four months later, after the arrests, one of the suspects, Susan Atkins told police they had thrown their bloody clothes out of the car as they drove away, but police had not found the clothes. The day after Atkins made her statement al and his crew decided to retrace the road the killers drove. "I said I’m gonna turn on a stopwatch and see how long it takes me to completely undress and redress and it took six minutes 20 seconds and wouldn't you know there was little spot on the road a little lip you could pull out on and sure enough right down there were the clothes," Wiman said

Wiman called police and continued filming when embarrassed detectives arrived and collected evidence used to convict Manson and the other killers.  During that December 1969 report Al Wiman asked a detective on the scene, "how did you get word about this this afternoon? We were notified by my boss Lt. Robert Helder who received a phone call from what I believe is Channel 7 news."

Al was mentioned in the best-selling book Helter Skelter, a book about the Manson killings written by prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi.

"None of us realized at the time Dan what was happening or what was going to be we did not know we subsequently found out and my gosh who would have thought of anything as horrible as this."

Wiman spent almost 30 years working in St. Louis television.

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