Manson Barker Ranch Death Valley
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Searching for Manson graves

Rumors have swirled for decades around the decrepit Barker Ranch in Death Valley, where the Charles Manson clan hid after its 1969 killing spree. A search this week aims to put to rest the question of whether bodies are buried there. (Gary Kazanjian / Associated Press)
Lookout chairs used by the “family” members remain above the empty ranch house, at the southern end of Death Valley National Park. The terrain is so rough it can only be reached by four-wheel-drive vehicles. (Gary Kazanjian / Associated Press)
A Life magazine with Charles Manson on the cover rests on a kitchen table at the abandoned Barker Ranch house. (Gary Kazanjian / Associated Press)
Marc Wise, left, and Arpad Vass take measurements behind the abandoned Barker Ranch house in February. Forensic tests on the area this week are expected to last Tuesday through Thursday. (Gary Kazanjian / Associated Press)
In February, Daniel O. Larson prepares to use a metal detector behind the Barker Ranch house, searching for clandestine graves. This week’s search will be directed by the Inyo County Sheriff’s Department. (Gary Kazanjian / Associated Press)
Mike Karch looks over an abandoned miner’s truck with the notorious words “Helter Skelter” written across the back. The words, of course, were written in blood on the wall of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca’s home when they were murdered in 1969 by members of the Manson “family.” (Gary Kazanjian / Associated Press)
With the help of cadaver-sniffing dog Buster, Arpad Vass looks for possible graves at the Barker Ranch house in February. (Gary Kazanjian / Associated Press)
During the February search, Debra Tate, sister of victim Sharon Tate, waits at the abandoned house where the Manson family hid after the rampage that killed her sister and others. (Gary Kazanjian / Associated Press)