The Trail Went Cold – Episode 53 – Ronald Hughes

November 27, 1970. Ventura County, California. While representing Leslie Van Houten during the Manson Family’s murder trial, 35-year old attorney Ronald Hughes leaves to go on a camping trip. He never returns and his decomposed body is found wedged between two boulders in a gorge four months later. While the actual cause of death cannot be determined, rumours circulate about foul play, as Charles Manson had grown angry at Hughes and allegedly threatened him. Was Ronald Hughes’ death nothing more than a tragic accident, or was he an unconfirmed murder victim of the Manson Family? The first “Trail Went Cold” episode of 2018 chronicles the unexplained death of an aspiring attorney whose first and last case turned out to be one of the most famous murder trials of all time. Special thanks to listener Andrew Dodge for providing the opening narration for today’s episode.

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Additional Reading:

“Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders” by Vincent Bugliosi & Curt Gentry

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The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.

All music is composed by Vince Nitro.