During his appearance on the most recent episode of The Offspring's Time To Relax With The Offspring, Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo delved into an eerie childhood memory, one in connection to one of the darkest chapters in American history: Charles Manson's murderous cult.
Turns out that Trujillo's family was living near the site of a gun battle between police and Charles Manson disciples in 1971. The Manson family members were attempting to rob a gun store for weapons and ammunition in order to hijack a plane at LAX and demand the release of their leader.
Trujillo, who was only six years old at the time, recalled hearing gunshots and seeing police helicopters circling overhead. His father turned off all the lights in the house and they hid in the shower. One of the Manson family members was hiding in the carport of their apartment complex, but luckily he was not able to gain entry into the house.
"Charlie Manson just had gotten arrested. I am in Hawthorne, California. I'm staying at my grandma's house. My cousin Greg and my cousin Roman — Greg's a couple of years younger than me and Roman's my age — and my dad, we were… For some reason, my grandparents were out at an event or something and weren't in the house. The gun shop, the army surplus shop around the corner on Hawthorne Boulevard, was robbed. And basically, the Manson family had this grand scheme. You can check it out on the Internet. They were gonna rob the gun store and get their ammo and everything, and they were gonna go to LAX, and the plan was hijack a 747 and demand that Charlie gets sent to them, and they're gonna take this plane to God knows where." Trujillo recalled.
"This is what they were thinking. Obviously, the plan didn't work. Cops show up. There's a shootout. We're hearing gunshots, the whole deal. All of a sudden you get the ghetto birds, and they're flying around. They're talking through their kind of intercom, whatever they got going up there: 'Everybody, take cover,' whatever. And so my dad turns off all the lights. We're hiding in the shower. And it was really eerie. It was kinda like that scene in 'Close Encounters' where you see the light come through the windows." he added.
In the end, the police managed to apprehend three of Manson's followers, thwarting their audacious hijacking plan to free their leader and escape to parts unknown. It's stories like these that remind us of the thin line between ordinary and extraordinary, and how, even in the most unlikely circumstances, a brush with history can turn the everyday into a jaw-dropping tale that defies belief.