Manson Media Madness

The Eastern Sierra has been the back drop for a flurry of national media attention focused on the Manson Family. When reporters from around the country seek out information on the possibility of more Manson Family victims in Inyo County, the search leads to one man, Sgt. Paul Dostie with the Mammoth Lakes Police Department.

When this story of Dosties dog searches originally broke in January, there appeared to be little interest outside of the Eastern Sierra. Now, with a separate study by the Oakridge National Laboratory backing Dostie and his dog Buster, the Mammoth Police officer has started to lose count of how many national media outlets have called him for interviews.

Since a Sunday article by the Associated Press, Sgt. Dostie has been interviewed on numerous national news shows. When asked how many, Dostie says that he lost count but that between Sunday and Monday he did at least ten interviews. Nancy Grace with CNN, Dan Abrams with MSN, Geraldo and others have all called.

Interest in the story remains high, but Dostie, who ran his dog and organized the scientists from the Oakridge National Laboratory to come out, says that he is done with what he can do. He says that this story has to have an ending.

There is only one way to find out if Dosties dog is truly smelling long buried bodies at the Barker Ranch, someone has to dig.

The Inyo County Sheriffs Department has been burned in the past. Deputies dug at a spot behind the main house in 1999 after former Manson Family associate named White Rabbit told them where to dig. Nothing was found.

When Inyo County brought in dog teams in November, the handlers did not recommend a dig. With the new information from the Oakridge National Lab, Inyo Sheriff Bill Lutze may reconsider.

When we called Sheriff Lutze to ask how much a dig would cost a cashed strapped county like Inyo, he explained that the cost depends on what is out there. Digging each of the potential sites could take as little as three hours a piece he said, as long as there is nothing in the holes. If something is found, the cost would go through the roof with DNA testing, forensic work, and other costs. Lutze isn’t being negative. He says that if a decision is made to dig, we’re ready to run regardless of the cost. Its a part of law enforcement, he added.

When the Inyo Sheriffs Department could make a decision on whether or not there is sufficient evidence to dig is yet to be seen. Sheriff Lutze says that his staff will meet on the subject later this week.

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