The Closing Argument…
The State of California v. Charles Manson by Vincent Bugliosi; Los Angeles, California, January 15, 1971
Vincent Bugliosi Presents The Closing Argument in The State of California v. Charles Manson; Los Angeles, California, January 15, 1971.
Your honor, defense counsel, ladies, and gentlemen:
As you know, the defendants Charles Manson, Susan Atkins, and Patricia Krenwinkel are charged with the five Tate murders occurring on August the ninth, 1969, and they are charged with the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, on August 10, 1969. They are also charged with the crime of conspiracy to commit murder.
The defendant Leslie Van Houten is not charged with the five Tate murders. She is charged with the murder of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, and with the crime of conspiracy to commit murder.
When the prosecution finally called its last witness to the stand a few weeks ago and rested, the defense also rested.
DEFENDANT MANSON: The defense never rested. The lawyers, the judge’s lawyers, rested.
MR. BUGLIOSI: I am sure all of you heaved a sigh of relief. It has been an incredibly long, grueling trial and an enormous imposition on all of you. Before I discuss the evidence and the testimony in this case, I would like to briefly go over the law that you are going to be dealing with during your deliberations.
Although the evidence at this trial shows that Charles Manson was the leader of the conspiracy to commit these murders, there is no evidence that he actually personally killed any of the seven victims in this case. However, the joint responsibility rule of conspiracy makes him guilty of all seven murders.
DEFENDANT MANSON: Even if I have never been in the Gotham Bank!
MR. BUGLIOSI: Now that you have had a little legal background, I would like to discuss with you the evidence and the facts of this case.
In a very general fashion I am going to start out summarizing the testimony of the witnesses on the Tate murders; then summarize the testimony of witnesses on the LaBianca murders, and then finally the testimony of witnesses who testified to both the Tate and the LaBianca murders.
Ruby Pearl testified that she has worked at Spahn Ranch for twenty years, and in recent years had been the manager of the ranch working for Mr. Spahn who is some eighty-three years old.
She first saw Manson in midsummer of 1968 when Manson came to the ranch with “one or two men and several girls.” Some of the girls were Mary Brunner, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, Susan Atkins, Sandra Good, Ruth Morehouse, Helen Bailey, and Brenda McCann. She said the group called themselves the Family. In return for room and board, the girls in the Family cooked, cleaned, helped with the office work. The men took care of the trucks. They did not tend to the horses. Ranch hands working for Mr. Spahn did that. She said she never saw Charles Manson ever do any work at the ranch. She said Charles “Tex” Watson was always working on trucks and dune buggies, and was a good mechanic. She said the original group grew to between twenty and thirty. She recalls Leslie Van Houten started living there in the late summer of 1968.
Shahrokh Hatami. Mr. Hatami was a very close personal friend of Sharon Tate, and her director husband Roman Polanski. Shahrokh is a photographer and he photographed Sharon and filmed her on many occasions. Mr. Hatami testified that in late March 1969, he was at Sharon’s residence one day at 10050 Cielo Drive. Sharon was packing to go to Rome the following day, and Hatami was taking some film of her. Abigail Folger, Voytyek Frykowski, and Jay Sebring were also present.
Sometime in the afternoon Hatami, who was in the living room of the Tate residence, looked out of the window and saw a man walking toward the residence; the man was by himself. Now, we learned that this man was Charles Manson; the person that Manson was looking for was Terry Melcher. [Manson was hoping to convince Melcher to produce his music.] But Hatami had never heard the name Terry Melcher before. I asked him whether he was angry about the fact that this man had walked upon the premises, and he answered: “Yes, because he was entering on property of a friend of mine, which I was concerned about because Roman isn’t there and Sharon is there.”
This is how he said he spoke to the man: “He was coming in; I went toward him. He stopped and I asked him who is he looking for. . . . He mentioned the name, and then I angrily, of course, I wasn’t happy that he was coming to that property, and looking at the people he doesn’t know, so I angrily pointed out, ‘This is not the place. The people you want is back there and you have to take the back alley.”
Hatami said then that he spoke loudly to the man and he demonstrated. He came off the witness stand and he demonstrated the manner in which he spoke with him. And when he demonstrated he indicated that he pointed with his finger when he said, “Take the back alley.”
Hatami testified that near the end of this conversation with the man, Sharon Tate came out of the front door of the residence and said, “Who is it, Hatami?” And Hatami told Sharon that the man was looking for someone and he, Hatami, told the man to go to the rear. Hatami testified that Sharon could see the man and the man could see Sharon as they were relatively close to each other, and there were no obstacles between them. Moreover, when the man later turned around and walked away he walked in the dirt pathway, inasmuch as the dirt pathway was right in front of the Tate residence, and Sharon was standing at the front door. At that time she also would have the opportunity to look directly at him and him at her.
So, it appears, ladies and gentlemen, that Charles Manson saw Sharon Tate and Sharon Tate saw Charles Manson on the date of March the twenty-third, 1969, when Manson was on the Tate premises.
A very beautiful honey blonde, Sharon Tate, looked into the eyes of the man who the evidence shows just four and a half months later would order her tragic and violent death.
Now, the back alley may be an alley to Hatami, a foreigner from Iran, but to Charles Manson, a back alley is a place where they have garbage cans, it is the habitat of rats and cats and dogs. So I am sure he wasn’t too happy when Hatami says to take the back alley. One doesn’t have to stretch the imagination to realize that the Tate residence was symbolic to Charles Manson, and particularly the establishment’s rejection of him. Now, with an overall motive for these murders, an overall motive of Helter Skelter, the victims who Charles Manson ordered murdered really didn’t make too much difference to him. As long as they were white and members of the establishment they were qualified, as it were.
On the evening of August the eighth, 1969, when Charles Manson sent his robots out on a mission of murder, since the only qualifications the victims had to have was that they be white and members of the establishment, obviously, it made immense sense to Charles Manson, so he may just as well select a residence that he was familiar with, particularly one where he had been treated rather shabbily and whose former occupant, Terry Melcher, had rejected him. If the Tate premises, ladies and gentlemen, did not symbolize the establishment to Charles Manson, no residence, no premises, ever would.
Linda Kasabian. As you know, of course, Linda Kasabian originally was a defendant with these defendants and was charged with these murders in the grand jury indictment. Now, you heard the term “star witness for the prosecution” on television and in movies. However, independent and in addition to Linda Kasabian’s testimony, the prosecution offered a massive amount of evidence connecting each defendant with these murders, completely apart from Linda’s testimony. But Linda obviously was the single most important witness whom the prosecution called to the witness stand. At the start of Linda’s testimony, I asked her why she was going to tell everything she knew about these seven murders, and she replied, “I strongly believe in truth, and I feel that truth should be spoken.”
Linda was on that witness stand, ladies and gentlemen, for eighteen days. An extraordinarily long period of time for any witness to testify in any case. I think you will all agree with me that during that eighteen days Linda Kasabian and the truth were companions. Linda testified that she was born on June the twenty-first, 1949, in Bitteford, Maine. That would make her twenty-one years old now, twenty years old at the time of these murders. Her first marriage was at the age of sixteen and quickly ended in divorce. Then she married her second husband, Bob Kasabian, in September of’67. They had two children, a girl Tanya, and a boy Angel.
On July the fourth, 1969, a girl named Gypsy-her true name is Katherine Share-a member of the Family, came to visit Charles Melton. Linda had never met Gypsy before, nor had Linda ever been out to the Spahn Ranch. They got to talking to each other, and Gypsy told her that there was a beautiful man that they had all been waiting for. Gypsy told her that they were living there like a family, and that she would be accepted. Pursuant to Gypsy’s invitation, and in view of the fact that she had been, in her words, rejected by Bob, Linda left her husband on July the fourth, 1969, and went to Spahn Ranch and started to live with the Family.
The first day she was at Spahn Ranch, July 4, she did not meet Charles Manson, but she did meet Charles “Tex” Watson and she had sex with him that night. The next day, July the fifth, 1969, she and Gypsy and Mary Brunner left the Spahn Ranch to go to Charles Melton’s truck for the purpose of having Linda steal $5,000 of Melton’s money, which Linda did. When she returned to Spahn Ranch, she believes she gave the $5,000 to Leslie Van Houten, although she did not know for sure Leslie was the person whom she gave the money to. In any event, she never saw the $5,000 again, and she did not receive any benefit from the $5,000. Now, let’s face it. Linda stole $5,000. But let’s also face the fact that the theft of the $5,000 took place after Linda had been exposed to the members of Charles Manson’s Family.
DEFENDANT MANSON: At least a day and a half.
MR. BUGLIOSI: Also, let’s face the fact that her state of mind-and I am not covering up for the fact that she stole the $5,000-let’s face the fact that her state of mind was not the state of mind typically of someone stealing money, because she didn’t steal it for herself She gave the entire $5,000 to other members of the Family and did not profit in any fashion from it. She testified that she took the $5,000 to help Charlie Manson go to the desert. I don’t know why they needed $5,000 to get there, but apparently Linda felt they did, or the Family felt they did.
The first time Linda met Manson, Charlie was with several girls, Gypsy, Brenda McCann, and Snake.
DEFENDANT MANSON: They were not allowed to testify either.
MR. BUGLIOSI: Manson asked Linda why she came to live at the ranch. She told him that her husband had rejected her and that Gypsy told her he would welcome her as part of the Family. Manson then felt Linda’s legs, and she testified that she got the impression he thought they were okay. The next day Manson made love to Linda in a cove in back of the ranch, and he told her she had a father hang-up. Linda was impressed by this because no one ever told her this before, and she said she did have a hang-up. She disliked her stepfather very much.
Linda testified to life at the ranch. She said that the group that lived there was called the Family, and that she became a member of the Family. When I asked her what she meant when she said she was a member of the Family, she replied, “Well, we live together as one Family, as a Family who is living together, a mother and a father and children, but we were all just one and Charlie was the head.” She said there were about twenty members of the Family, most of whom were young girls.
Manson told her about Helter Skelter and the revolution between the blacks and whites, and all non-blacks, including brown people, would be killed by the black men. Linda testified that Helter Skelter was a daily word in the Family, an everyday word used constantly. She said she even saw the word “Helter Skelter” painted on a jug in the parachute room.
Linda testified that she and all the girls worshiped Manson, that she loved him and thought he was Jesus Christ. She said Manson had a power over her and “I just wanted to do anything and everything for him because I loved him and he made me feel good, and it was just beautiful.” When I asked Linda this question: Did you ever see or observe any members of the Family refuse to do anything that Manson told him or her to do? She replied: No, nobody did. We always wanted to do anything and everything for him. The girls used to tell Linda, the girls in the Family, used to tell Linda, “We never question Charlie. We know that what he is doing is right.” In fact, Manson told Linda, when Linda joined the Family, “Never ask why.”
It is rather obvious, ladies and gentlemen. It is rather obvious that when the sun set at Spahn Ranch on the night of August the eighth, 1969, the atmosphere at the ranch, the climate at the ranch, was such that neither Linda nor anyone else would have dared or even wanted to disobey any instructions given to them by Charles Manson. Linda testified that on the afternoon of August the eighth, 1969, the afternoon of the Tate murders, “he,” referring to Manson “was telling us, that the people were not really together, they were just off on their little trips and getting together. So he came out and said, ‘Now is the time for Helter Skelter.’ “
Now, mind you, ladies and gentlemen, this is several hours, just a few hours before the Tate murders. Manson is saying, “Now is the time for Helter Skelter.”
Let’s look at the transcript of what happened that particular night. This is extremely important testimony in evidence:
“The night of the afternoon that Mr. Manson said ‘Now is the time for Helter Skelter,’ were you still at the ranch that night?”
“Was this the evening of August the eighth, 1969?”
“I believe so.”
“What took place that evening, Linda, at the ranch?”
“I remember I was standing out front at this one point and Charlie came up to me and pulled me off the porch, and I was standing at the very end of the porch, closest to George Spahn’s house, and he told me that – “
“He told you what?”
“He told me to get a change of clothing, a knife, and my driver’s license.”
“Did Mr. Manson tell you to change the clothing you already had on or to bring an additional change of clothing?”
“To bring an additional.”
“To bring an additional change of clothing?”
“Now, when you walked up to the car, you say Katie and Sadie that is Patricia and Susan – were inside the car. Where was Tex?”
“He was standing over by the driver’s side.”
“Was he talking to anyone?”
“1 think he was talking to Charlie.”
“What is the next thing that happened?”
“Tex got in the car, and we started – “
“What happened at that point?”
“We got about to the middle of the driveway, you know, and Charlie called us and told us to stop, and he came to the car to my side of the window, stuck his head in, and told us to leave a sign. He said, ‘You girls know what I mean, something witchy,’ and that was it.”
Much of the evidence, of course, I haven’t got into yet. There is no question at all that Manson was sending Tex, Sadie, Katie, and Linda out on his mission of murder. Linda testified that they were all wearing dark clothing, Sadie a black T-shirt, Katie a dark T-shirt, Tex with a black turtleneck, sort of a velour velvet shirt. She said all three were wearing dark Levi’s.
Linda testified that [when] they drove off from Spahn Ranch she did not know where they were going, although Tex did say he had been to the place before. Linda said she also did not know what Tex, Sadie, and Katie were going to do. In other words, Linda thought she was going out to steal that night. She apparently did not know that the mission was going to be murder.
As they were proceeding toward their destination, Tex told Linda to wrap the three knives and a gun in a piece of clothing, and if they were stopped, to throw them out of the window, whereupon Linda did wrap the three knives and the gun in a skirt of hers which was part of her change of clothing. Linda testified that Tex drove all the way to their ultimate destination. She said Tex drove directly to the Tate residence. The significance of this is that apparently this night as opposed to the following night when they were roaming the city, this particular night the killers knew exactly where they were going to go from the moment they left the Spahn Ranch.
She said that it took Tex between a half hour and an hour to drive to the Tate residence, and she guessed they arrived roughly around midnight. Tex turned the car around at the top of the hill, outside the gate of the Tate residence, and parked the car next to a telephone pole. And you will recall that Linda testified that eventually she, Tex, Katie, and Sadie climbed over the front gate.
She said Tex got out of the car, climbed the telephone pole, and although she doesn’t remember hearing Tex cut the telephone pole wire, she did see a few wires fall onto the ground. Tex got back in the car, drove to the bottom of the hill, and parked the car. All four got out of the car at that particular point and started to walk up the hill. Tex was carrying a rope. Let’s pick up her testimony at this point:
“We climbed over a fence and then a light started coming toward us and Tex told us to get back and sit down.”
At this point Linda began to cry on the witness stand and I asked her if we could go on, and she said yes, she’s okay.
“A car pulled up,” she said, “in front of us and Tex leaped forward with a gun in his hand and stuck his hand with the gun at this man’s head. And the man said, ‘Please don’t hurt me, I won’t say anything.’ And Tex shot him four times.”
“Did you actually see Tex point the gun inside the window of the
car and shoot the man?” “Yes, I saw it clearly”
“About how far away were you from Tex at the time that he shot the driver of the car?”
“Just a few feet.”
“After Tex shot the driver four times what happened next?”
“The man just slumped over. I saw that, and then Tex put his head in the car and turned the ignition off. He may have taken the keys out, I don’t know, and then he pushed the car back a few feet and then we all proceeded toward the house and Tex told me to go in back of the house and see if there were open windows and doors, which I did.”
“Did you find any open doors or windows in the back of the house?”
“No, there was no open windows or doors.”
“What is the next thing that happened, Linda?”
“I came around from the back, and Tex was standing at a window, cutting the screen, and he told me to go back and wait at the car, and he may have told me to listen for sounds, but I don’t remember him saying it.”
“While you were down by the car do you know where Tex, Sadie, and Katie were?”
“No, I didn’t see them.”
“Did either of those three come down to the car?”
“Yes, Katie came down at one point.”
“Did Katie say anything to you?”
“Yes, she asked for my knife, and I gave it to her, and she told me to stay there and listen for sounds, and I did, and she left.”
“When she left, did she walk in the direction of the residence?”
“Did you see either Patricia Krenwinkel or Susan Atkins or Tex walk into the residence?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Were you all alone by the car?”
Linda testified that a few minutes after Katie left she started hearing these horrifying screams coming from the direction of the Tate residence. She said: “I heard a man scream out ‘No. No.’ Then I just heard screams.” She said, “I just heard screams at that point. I don’t have any words to describe how a scream is. I never heard it before.”
“How long did the screaming continue?”
“Oh, it seemed like forever, infinite. I don’t know.”
“Was the screaming constant or was it in intervals?”
“It seemed constant, I don’t know.”
“Now, what did you do when you heard these screams?”
“I started to run toward the house.”
‘Why did you do that?”
“Because I wanted them to stop.”
“What happened after you ran toward the house?”
“There was a man just coming out of the door and he had blood all over his face and he was standing by a post, and we looked into each other’s eyes for a minute, and I said, ‘Oh, God, I am so sorry. Please make it stop.’ And then he just fell to the ground into the bushes. And then Sadie came running out of the house, and I said, ‘Sadie, please make it stop.’ And then I said, ‘I hear people coming.’ And she said, ‘It is too late.’ And then she told me that she left her knife and she couldn’t find it, and I believe she started to run back into the house. While this was going on the man had gotten up, and I saw Tex on top of him, hitting him on the head and stabbing him, and the man was struggling, and then I saw Katie in the background with the girl, chasing after her with an upraised knife, and I just turned and ran to the car down at the bottom of the hill.”
“Now, when you told Sadie that people were coming, was that the truth?”
‘Why did you tell her that?”
“Because I just wanted them to stop.”
“You said you saw Katie. That is Patricia Krenwinkel?”
‘Was she chasing someone?”
‘Was it a man or a woman?”
“It was a woman in a white gown.”
Linda later testified that she thought the woman had long dark hair, possibly brown, “I’m not positive.” And you will note later from a photograph of Abigail Folger that she does have long dark hair. You recall that Linda Kasabian was crying on the witness stand when she related her observations of these horrible murders. After Linda observed Tex stabbing Frykowski, she testified that she ran down to the car at the bottom of the hill. She got down on the ground and tried to collect her thoughts. She said her first thought was to go to the police and get help but, “I had a vision.”
“What sort of a vision?”
“Charlie entered my head again. Tanya was there and I was just afraid for Tanya’s life.”
“Where did you think Tanya was?”
“I knew she was back at the ranch.”
“Where did you think Charlie was?”
“I knew he was back at the ranch.”
A few minutes after Linda got in the car, she said Tex, Katie, and Sadie arrived back in the car. She testified Tex drove off and Tex, Katie, and Sadie started to change their clothing.
She said there were only two knives and a revolver in the car at that point-the buck knife was left inside the Tate residence. There were two knives left still inside the car.
Now, we don’t know for sure, ladies and gentlemen, whether this is the knife that Susan Atkins left inside the Tate residence. We cannot be positive of that, but it would seem like it was because Susan Atkins did tell Linda that she left her knife inside the residence, and this knife was found on a sofa inside the Tate residence.
With respect to the revolver, I showed her the revolver again, and I asked her if the right hand grip was on the revolver earlier in the evening. She said yes it was, and she believes it was not on the revolver when Tex brought it back to the car. I asked Linda if Tex said anything about the grip of the gun after he returned it to the car, and she answered, “I am not positive but I think he said something to the effect that when he hit the man over the head that it shattered the gun and it didn’t work any more.”
“Did Katie and Sadie say anything as you were driving off from the residence?”
“What did they say?”.
“They complained about their heads, that the people were pulling their hair, and that their heads hurt. And Sadie even came out and said that when she was struggling with a big man, that he hit her in the head. And also Katie complained of her hand, that it hurt.”
“Did she say why her hand hurt?”
‘What did she say?”
“She said when she stabbed, that there were bones in the way, and she couldn’t get the knife through all the way, and that it took too much energy or whatever, I don’t know her exact words, but it hurt her hand.”
The poor little sweetheart, her hands hurt, could you imagine that? If ever there was a sweet little innocent girl, it’s Patricia Krenwinkel. Linda testified that after they drove away from the Tate residence Tex started to look for a place to hose the blood off their bodies.
“Did Tex eventually stop the car?”
“Yes, he did.”
“Do you know where he stopped the car?”
“I don’t know the names or anything, but it was a street-we had spotted a hose coming out from a house, and we went up the hill and turned around and parked and walked up to the house.”
If you recall, later Rudolph Weber testified that this was his house. He said he came out, he observed the three people-four people actually, three of them apparently had been hosing themselves off.
“Would you relate what happened, Linda?”
“An older woman came running out of the house.”
“This is the house where the hose was?”
“All right, what happened next?”
“And I don’t remember her exact words, but she said, Who is there?’ or Who is that, what are you doing?’ And Tex said, ‘We are getting a drink of water.’ Then she got sort of hysterical and she said, ‘My husband is a policeman; he is a deputy,’ or something like that. And then her husband came out and he said, ‘Is that your car?’ And Tex said, ‘No, we are walking.’ “
“What is the next thing that happened?”
“And we started to walk toward the car.”
“All four of you?”
“Yes. And the man was behind us.”
“Did the man follow you all the way to the car?”
“Yes, he did.”
“Do you recall what the man looked like?”
“I just remember he was old and he had white hair, that is all I remember.”
Of course, Mr. Weber has white hair and he is approximately sixty-five years of age. And I asked her what happened at the bottom of the hill. She said they all got into the car. I said:
“What is the next thing that happened?”
“The man was right behind us and he came to the driver’s seat and he started to put his hand in the car to reach for the keys and Tex blocked him, grabbed his hand and just jammed, you know.”
“What is the next thing that happened?”
“I remember we came to sort of a level part of the road and through a dirt shoulder, and he pulled off”–referring to Tex–“and handed me the clothing and told me to throw them out, which I did.”
“What clothing are you talking about?”
“The clothing that the three, Tex, Katie, and Sadie had changed from.”
At this point in Linda’s testimony she identified the black T-shirt Katie wore, the dark blue T-shirt Sadie wore. The only article of clothing Linda could not identify, as you recall, was the white T-shirt. She said she doesn’t recall seeing it at that time.
I think it is understandable, the mission this night, ladies and gentlemen, was murder. The reason, of course, why Tex, Katie, and Sadie and Linda were all dressed in black, obviously, was to avoid detection. After Linda threw the clothing over the side of the hill, Tex drove off and told Linda to wipe the fingerprints off the two knives and throw them out of the window. Linda testified she wiped the prints off with a rag, and while the car was still in motion, threw the first knife out, a few seconds thereafter the second knife was thrown out, bounced into the curb off the side of the road. She testified she threw the knives out of the window shortly after throwing the clothing over the side of the hill. She said she did not remember whether or not she threw the revolver out of the car.
Now, if Linda didn’t, surely one of these defendants must have, probably Tex. The revolver was found very close to where the clothing was found. Obviously Tex or Manson did not drive back to this area a day or two later and throw the revolver over the side of the hill, it must have been thrown on that particular night by either Katie, Sadie, or, probably, Tex, because Linda just does not simply recall the revolver being thrown out of the car.
Linda testified that after the clothing and the knives and undoubtedly the revolver were thrown out of the car, Tex stopped at a gas station where Sadie and Katie and Tex went into a restroom and washed off Linda then became the driver and she drove back to Spahn Ranch.
Was Charlie Manson sleeping, ladies and gentlemen? Was he sleeping when Tex, Katie, and Sadie, and Linda arrived back at Spahn Ranch? After successfully completing his mission of murder, was he sleeping? After all, Linda testified that they arrived back at the ranch about an hour to an hour and a half after the murders, which would place their arrival back at the ranch somewhere around one-thirty or two A.M. in the morning, when only the goblins are out. But no, Charlie Manson was up; he was up around two o’clock all by himself, and in fact almost in the same place in the parking area of Spahn Ranch where he had seen them off a couple-several hours earlier. Charlie was not going to go to sleep that night, when he sent his robots off on a mission like that he wanted to know what happened, obviously. I asked Linda:
“Was there anyone in the parking area at Spahn Ranch as you drove in the Spahn Ranch area?”
“Who was there?”
“Was there anyone there other than Charlie?”
“Not that I know of”
“Where was Charlie when you arrived at the premises?”
“About the same spot he was in when he first drove away.”
“What happened after you pulled the car onto the parking area and parked the car?”
“Sadie said she saw a spot of blood on the outside of the car when we were at the gas station.”
“Who was present at that time when she said that?”
“The four of us and Charlie.”
“What is the next thing that happened?”
“Well, Charlie told us to go into the kitchen, get a sponge, wipe the blood off, and he also instructed Katie and I to go all through the car and wipe off the blood spots.”
“What is the next thing that happened after Mr. Manson told you and Katie to check out the car and remove the blood?”
“He told us to go into the bunk room and wait, which we did.”
Once inside the bunk room, Tex told Manson and the group that when he arrived at the residence where the murders took place he told the people at the residence: “I am the devil here, to do the devil’s work.” Tex also told Manson that “there was a lot of panic and it was real messy and bodies were laying all over the place but they were all dead.” In other words, Tex was reporting; Tex was giving his report to Charlie, mission accomplished, sir. But even the mission being accomplished was not enough for Charlie Manson. That wasn’t enough. That wasn’t enough that his robots had just viciously cut down and slaughtered five human beings at the Tate residence, their blood probably still trickling out of their dead bodies when Tex reported to Manson; that wasn’t enough for Charlie. Charlie wanted assurances from all of them that they had no remorse. He was not just satisfied with the murders; he wanted to make sure that all of them had absolutely no remorse for what they had done. Of course, why should they have remorse? All they had done was kill five human beings. But human beings are pigs, and pigs don’t deserve to live. Of course, they all told Charlie that they had no remorse. But even then Manson was not satisfied because his savages had caused fear and panic in the victims, and it was too messy. Charlie did not quarrel with the fact that five people had been brutally slain, but he wanted them to be slain in such a way where they didn’t panic, I mean he is a considerate guy.
Before I discuss Linda’s testimony with respect to the LaBianca murders, I am going to discuss the remaining witnesses whose testimony solely or essentially pertains to the Tate murders; then I will pick Linda up again on the second night.
Officer DeRosa. He was the first police officer to arrive at the scene, arriving at about 9:05 A.M. on August the ninth, in response to a possible homicide radio call.
He testified to observing Mr. Parent dead behind the driver’s seat of the Rambler. He testified to examining the premises and discovering the dead bodies of the five victims.
[Bugliosi shows photographs of the victims.]
These are the five victims, ladies and gentlemen, as they appeared in life. That is Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Voytek Frykowski, shown here with Abigail Folger; and here is Steven Parent. This is the way the beautiful Sharon Tate looked in life, ladies and gentlemen. This is the ghastly, horrifying way she looked after Susan Atkins and Tex Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel savagely murdered her. Likewise, with the other victims, Voytek Frykowski and Abigail Folger. Here is Abigail Folger lying dead on the front lawn of the Tate residence. You will notice she does have long dark hair like Linda Kasabian testified, and she is wearing a white gown. You recall that Linda testified that Patricia Krenwinkel was chasing a woman with an upraised knife, and that the woman had on a white gown and had long dark hair.
That is Abigail Folger. This is Voytek Frykowski in death on the front lawn of the residence.
DEFENDANT MANSON: In color, too.
MR. BUGLIOSI: Here is a picture.
DEFENDANT MANSON: He wouldn’t want to influence your mind.
MR. BUGLIOSI: Here is a picture of Jay Sebring alive, and in death. Dr. Noguchi, the coroner of Los Angeles County, conducted the autopsy on the body of Sharon Tate and supervised and directed the autopsies on the bodies of the other four Tate victims, Frykowski, Folger, Sebring, and Parent.
He found sixteen stab wounds on Sharon Tate’s body, all of which were penetration wounds. Four of the stab wounds were found in the chest, one stab wound to the abdomen, eight stab wounds in the back, one stab wound in the right upper arm, one stab wound in the left upper arm, and one stab wound in the right thigh. He also testified that he observed two rope burn abrasions to Sharon’s left cheek. And he concluded that these rope burn abrasions were caused when Sharon was hanged. Sharon was hanged at the scene. Maybe the correct grammar is hung.
The rope connected Sharon Tate’s neck with Jay Sebring’s neck, and it was also flung over a wood beam, and then it fell back onto the floor. If one were to pull the rope, it would have tightened around Sharon’s neck, not Jay Sebring’s neck. So, although we cannot be sure, it is entirely possible that Sharon received these two rope burn abrasions when either Tex, Katie, or Sadie-probably Tex-pulled on the rope, perhaps temporarily suspending Sharon in the air. But the cause of her death was not hanging.
The doctor’s autopsy discovered an eight-month-old fetus, [an] unborn baby, in Sharon’s uterus. The doctor estimated that the unborn baby could not have lived in Sharon’s womb more than fifteen or twenty minutes after Sharon died. Now, although from a legal standpoint an unborn baby cannot be the subject of a homicide, I think you will all agree with me that in a very, very real sense, six human beings lost their lives.
Miss Folger’s cause of death was “stab wound of the aorta.” That is the large blood vessel. Miss Folger had twenty-eight stab wounds. All of which, however, were penetration wounds, and five or six of which were fatal in and of themselves.
Jay Sebring’s cause of death was exsanguination due to multiple stab wounds. The doctor said by exsanguination that Jay Sebring simply bled to death. Mr. Sebring had seven stab wounds, all of which were penetration wounds, and three of which were fatal in and of themselves. Sebring also had one gunshot wound which the doctor also felt would have been fatal. Dr. Noguchi recovered the bullet inside the back of Mr. Sebring’s shirt. It entered Sebring’s body and passed all the way through and was lodged between his back and his shirt, where Dr. Noguchi found the bullet. This bullet definitely and unequivocally was fired from this revolver here, People’s 40. That is the revolver which has been connected with Charles Manson and the Spahn Ranch.
I will go into this in much more detail later.
Mr. Frykowski had fifty-one stab wounds. Fifty-one stab wounds. All of which were penetration wounds. Seven of which were fatal in and of themselves. Five of the stab wounds were to Mr. Frykowski’s back. Now, you will recall that Linda testified that Frykowski was on his knees in front of the Tate residence, and she saw Tex stab Frykowski in the back. That was Linda’s testimony. Now, Dr. Noguchi comes along and, lo and behold, Voytek Frykowski does have five stab wounds on his back. Again, completely corroborating Linda Kasabian’s testimony.
Steven Parent’s autopsy determined that the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds. Mr. Parent had five gunshot wounds, two of which were fatal in and of themselves. Note, Dr. Noguchi said that Steven Parent had five gunshot wounds, however he testified that Parent was only shot four times, inasmuch as two of the gunshot wounds, gunshot wounds two and four, were caused by the same bullet. So Parent, according to Dr. Noguchi, was only shot four times. This is completely consistent, of course, with the testimony of Linda Kasabian who testified that Tex Watson shot Steven Parent four times.
The total number of stab wounds to the five victims was 102. Ladies and gentlemen, 102 stab wounds….
Barbara Hoyt. The eighteen-year-old girl who is a member of the Family, who was a member and lived with the Family at Spahn Ranch, and at the desert between April and September of 1969.
She testified that Manson spoke to the Family at dinnertime. Among other things, Manson spoke about Helter Skelter, and he told the Family that Helter Skelter meant that the “blacks would rise up against the whites and everyone would die except the Family.” Manson said – this is Barbara Hoyt’s testimony now – that he would like to see Helter Skelter come down and that he would like to show the blacks how to do it.
She said the first time she heard about the Tate murders was on TV the day after the murders. She said she was watching television when Susan Atkins came into the trailer and wanted to watch the news. Susan asked Barbara to turn the channel, and Barbara turned it to Channel 2 for the six o’clock news. She said Sadie called Tex and Patricia Krenwinkel into the trailer, and she is pretty sure that Tex and Katie actually came into the trailer to watch the news. She said the group watched the TV account of the Tate murders. At one point a couple of the group watching TV laughed.
Unbelievable! Unbelievable! Watching the TV account of the Tate murders, and they are laughing, ladies and gentlemen. Can you believe it? Stop to think about it for a moment. Yes, five people being brutally slain and butchered like animals is a rather amusing event.
Right after the news, Sadie and Tex and Katie left the trailer. Barbara testified that in late August she went to the desert in Inyo County, California, with Manson, Tex, and several of the girls in the Family, and they lived at Barker Ranch, Meyer’s Ranch, and Lotus Mine, moving from place to place.
She said that Manson would always be the one to make the decision when they would move from one location to another location, not anyone else in the Family, just Charlie.
She recalled one incident at Meyer’s Ranch in September —
DEFENDANT ATKINS: Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Barbara Hoyt was supposed to have had LSD —
THE COURT: Remove Miss Atkins from the courtroom. [While being escorted from the courtroom, Atkins pushes Bugliosi’s notes to the floor.]
MR. BUGLIOSI: (sotto voce) You little bitch!
THE COURT: Sit down, Mr. Kanarek.
MR. KANAREK: May we approach the bench?
THE COURT: You may not.
MR. KANAREK: May the record reflect–
THE COURT: Proceed, Mr. Bugliosi.
MR. KANAREK: Your Honor, just to preserve what Mr. Bugliosi said, that’s all.
THE COURT: You may make your record during the recess. Let’s proceed.
MR. KANAREK: Thank you, Your Honor, also to make a motion, Your Honor.
MR. BUGLIOSI: She recalls this incident when Manson told Tex to go to the bottom of the wash area and fix the dune buggy. She testified that Tex left shortly thereafter.
“Do you recall any sleeping incident at Meyer’s Ranch involving Mr. Manson and yourself and Tex and Kitty Lutesinger?”
“When did the sleeping incident take place at Meyer’s Ranch?”
“Early September or late August.”
DEFENDANT KRENWINKEL: Tell the truth–
THE COURT: Remove Miss Krenwinkel from the courtroom.
DEFENDANT KRENWINKEL: And you are going to be eaten up by your own lie.
THE COURT: The jury is admonished to disregard the statements of the defendants.
THE COURT: You may proceed, Mr. Bugliosi.
MR. BUGLIOSI: Thank you, Your Honor. I will go on. We had a slight little interruption, as you saw. I asked Hoyt,
“Did you ever, at any time during your living with the Family, ever hear Tex Watson tell Charles Manson to do anything?” And she answered, “No.”
How complete was Manson’s control over this Family? Tex Watson can’t even go to sleep at night before Charlie. He couldn’t even go to sleep and lie down on the good earth without Charlie complaining and telling him to get up.
Barbara also testified that in September of ’69, while at Meyer’s Ranch, she heard Sadie tell Ruth Morehouse that “Sharon Tate came out and she said, ‘What is going on here,’ or something like that, and Sadie said, ‘Shut up, woman.’ “ She said Sadie also told Ruth Morehouse that Sharon Tate was the last to die because she had to see everybody else go first. If there ever was a little sweetheart on the face of this earth, it was Susan Atkins. This statement by Susan Atkins, standing alone, without anything else, is enough to convict her of all five counts of murder, ladies and gentlemen.
Virginia Castro. Mrs. Castro also goes by the name of Virginia Graham, and I will be referring to her as Virginia Graham. She testified that in October and November of ’69, she was incarcerated at Sybil Brand Institute for Women in East Los Angeles, and while there she met Susan Atkins, whom she knew as Sadie Glutz. She said that the other girls used to make fun of Sadie because Sadie would do exercises without any underclothing underneath, and she would sing and dance to go-go all the time, and this type of behavior just simply didn’t seem to fit the environment out at Sybil Brand. After all, that is a jail out there.
She said the other girls used to laugh at Sadie and every time Sadie would come by, or frequently, they would say, “There goes Sadie Glutz.” She said, by and large, other girls used to ignore Sadie. This caused Virginia Graham to feel somewhat sorry for Sadie, and she tried to befriend her and become friendly with her. She testified that on or about November the sixth, 1969, she had a conversation with Sadie about the Tate murders. The conversation took place around 4:45 P.M., on Virginia Graham’s bed.
“What were the circumstances leading up to the conversation about the Tate murders?”
“Well, we started talking, we were talking about many things, and then the conversation drifted on to LSD, which I, myself, had taken one time, and we discussed LSD for a while. And then I warned Sadie that she talked entirely too much. I told her that I didn’t care particularly what she had done, but I didn’t think it was advisable for her to talk so much. She told me that she wasn’t really worried about it. And she also told me that she could tell by looking at me, my eyes, that I was a kind person; and that she wasn’t worried about it anyway. And that the police were on the wrong track about some murders. And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And she said to me, ‘The murders at Benedict Canyon.’ And just for a moment I didn’t quite snap to what she meant, and I said, ‘Benedict Canyon?’ And she said, ‘Yes. The Tate murders.’ And she said, ‘You know who did it, don’t you?’ And I said, ‘No, I don’t.’ And she said, ‘Well, you are looking at her.’ “
“When she told you this, I take it you were probably somewhat shocked, is that correct?”
“Well, what did Susan Atkins tell you with respect to the Tate murders, taking it from the very beginning?”
“She said that after she entered the house, the Tate house, she proceeded toward the bedroom. She noticed a girl sitting in a chair reading a book; the girl didn’t look up and notice her. She continued toward the bedroom and she reached the bedroom door. Sharon Tate was sitting in bed with a pillow propped up behind her and Jay Sebring was sitting at the side of the bed and they were engrossed in conversation, and at first she wasn’t noticed.”
“Did you ask her how Sharon Tate was dressed?”
“Yes, I did. She said she had a bikini bra and pants on.”
“Did she identify the person who was seated at the bed with Sharon?”
“Yes, she did.”
“What name did she give?”
“Did she say whether or not Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring eventually entered the living room of the Tate residence?”
“Yes, she did.”
“After Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring entered the living room, what did Susan Atkins say took place?”
“She said that the other man-“
“Now, when you say ‘other man,’ did she indicate that this was a man other than Jay Sebring?”
“Yes, sir, she did.”
“What did she say about this other man?”
“She said that the other man ran past her, and as he ran past her she stabbed him four or five times. He got to the door and he started screaming for help. He got out onto the front lawn and he was screaming, ‘Help, help, somebody please help!’ And with this she put her hand on her hip and she said to me, ‘And would you believe that he was screaming “Help, help,” and nobody came?'”
“This is what Susan Atkins told you?”
“What else did Sadie say she did?” “She said she was holding Sharon Tate’s arms behind her, and that Sharon Tate looked at her and she said she was crying and said to her, ‘Please, please don’t kill me, I don’t want to die. I just want to have my baby.’ She said, ‘And I looked Sharon straight in the eye and I said to her, “Look, bitch, you might as well face it right now, you’re going to die, and I don’t feel a thing about it,” and in a few minutes she was dead.'”
“Did Susan Atkins say whether she in fact killed Sharon Tate?”
“Yes, she did.”
“What did she say?”
“She said, ‘I killed her.’ “
“Did Miss Atkins say anything about blood at that point?”
“Yes, she did.”
“What did she say?”
“She said that she had blood in her hand and she looked at her hand and she took her hand and she put it up to her mouth and she said, ‘To taste death and yet give life, wow, what a trick.’ “
Not just a robot, but a bloodthirsty robot. Bloodthirsty robots. Can you believe that? Susan Atkins is tasting Sharon Tate’s blood. Unbelievable.
“Did Miss Atkins ask you if you had ever had that type of experience with blood?”
“Yes, she did. She asked me if I was interested in blood, and I said that I had seen it, and she said that it was really beautiful; that it was warm and sticky.”
“Did she say anything about the eyes of the people there at the Tate residence?”
“Yes, she did. She told me that she wanted to take their eyes out and squash them against the wall, and cut their fingers off, but that she didn’t have time.”
Susan, of course, is just a cloistered nun type, ladies and gentlemen. She is as innocent, of course, as a newborn baby, a little darling.
“Did Miss Atkins tell you anything about who was the last to die at the Tate residence?”
“Yes, she did.”
“What did she say?”
“She told me Sharon was the last to die.”
“Did she say anything about a knife of hers?”
“Yes, she did. She told me that she lost her knife up there; that she looked for it for a few minutes but could not find it, and then she said she thought the dog had taken it outside and buried it.”
“As Miss Atkins was discussing these murders with you, did she
say anything about how it felt to stab a human being with a knife?”
“Yes, she did.”
“What did she say?”
“She said that when the knife went in, it felt soft and that it was quite a thrill.”
“Did you ask Miss Atkins if she knew the people who lived at the
“Yes, I did.”
“What did she say?”
“She said no, that she did not know the people that lived there, but that it did not matter who was there because they would all die.”
“Did you ask Miss Atkins how she felt after these murders?”
“Yes, I did.”
“What did she say, if anything?”
“She said that she was tired but she felt elated and at peace with herself”
It is too bad that Sadie was tired. What right did these victims have to cause Sadie to be tired?
“During your conversation with Miss Atkins did you again remind her that she should not tell people about what she was telling you?”
“Yes, I did.”
“What did she say, if anything?”
“She smiled and she told me that she wasn’t worried about it; that she knew how to play crazy and how to act like a little girl, and besides that, she had an alibi anyway.”
“Would you describe for the judge and the jury in your own words Sadie’s demeanor, Susan Atkins’s demeanor, when she spoke to you about these murders?”
“Well, I would say she was highly excited about it, and was very intense about it, almost to the point of reliving it again and enjoying it.”
“Did she speak to you loudly when she told you about these murders?”
“Yes, she did, she raised her voice quite a bit. In fact, a few times I told her to lower her voice.”
“Did Miss Atkins say that she was sorry or had any remorse for these murders?”
“Absolutely no remorse, nothing.”
Now, we must discuss the testimony of witnesses whose testimony primarily pertained to the LaBianca murders.
Harold True testified that he lived at 3267 Waverly Drive in Los Angeles, from the early part of ’67 until September of ’68, the next door to where True lived was the LaBianca residence.
True testified that in March of ’68, Manson, Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins, and several other people who were with Manson, mostly girls, stayed overnight at the True residence. True also testified that in the summer of 1968, Linda Kasabian and her husband visited him at his home once. Linda and her husband were not with Mr. Manson and his group.
True testified that on four or five other occasions after the March ’68 incident, Manson visited him at his residence. On one of those occasions Manson again stayed overnight. Now, note the tremendous significance, ladies and gentlemen, of this testimony. This testimony by Harold True places Charles Manson, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Susan Atkins right next door to the LaBianca residence, right next door, on occasions prior to the LaBianca murders.
Manson and the others probably never even knew the LaBiancas; in fact, True indicated that when he was living there it was his impression that the home next door was vacant.
The evidence in this trial showed that Charles Manson was on the Tate premises twice, and right next door to the LaBianca residence on several occasions prior to these murders. Now, that is not just a coincidence, ladies and gentlemen, it can’t be.
Linda testified that the night after the Tate murders, that is the night of August 9, 1969, she had dinner with the Family in the saloon. We are getting back to Linda again now. This is the night of the LaBianca murders, ladies and gentlemen, the next night after the Tate murders, the very next night, of the La Bianca murders.
I asked Linda whether she recalled what time she finished dinner with the Family that night and she said:
“Usually an hour after we started.”
“After dinner what did you do, if you recall?”
“Charlie came in and called Katie and Leslie and myself aside and told us to get a change of clothes and meet him at the bunk room, which we did.”
“Did Mr. Manson say anything to you and the others, once you were all together in the bunk house?”
“Yes, he did.”
“What did he say?”
“He said we were going to go out again tonight. Last night was too messy and that he was going to show us how to do it.” “Now, Linda, you testified that the first night you had the idea that you were going on a creepy-crawly mission; you did not know there was going to be any killing, is that correct?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“The second night did you know what was going to happen?”
“Did you want to go along with Mr. Manson and the others on the second night?”
“Why did you go along if you didn’t want to?”
“Because Charlie asked me and I was afraid to say no.”
Linda testified that after Manson stopped for gas, a mile or two from Spahn Ranch, Manson instructed her to take over the driver’s seat. Manson sat beside her and gave Linda instructions where to go. Nobody else in the car during the entire evening other than Charles Manson gave Linda Kasabian any instructions or directions whatsoever on where to drive that car. Manson directed her to get on the freeway. Eventually she got off the freeway at the Fair Oaks turnoff in Pasadena. Once in Pasadena, Manson continued to give Linda directions, but there did not appear to be any specific house Manson had in mind. She testified his directions were, “A left here, a right here, turn around and go back, et cetera.” Almost a half hour or so after arriving in Pasadena, Manson instructed Linda to stop the car in front of a home in a residential area. It was a middle-class one-story home that appeared to be in a Caucasian area.
“What happened after you stopped in front of this house?”
“Charlie got out of the car and told me to drive around the block.”
“Did he get out of the car by himself?”
“Yes, he did.”
“Did you in fact drive around the block?”
“Yes, I did.”
“With the other people?”
“Did you come back to the front of the house?”
“Charlie was standing in approximately the same spot I left him, and he got back in the car.”
Linda testified that after Manson got back in the car, they noticed a man and a woman a few houses away getting in or out of their car. Manson remarked that the man was too big. He told Linda to drive off. As they drove off she testified:
“Charlie told us that when he had walked up to the house and looked into the window that he saw pictures of children on the wall, and he said he couldn’t do it, he couldn’t go in, but he said later on that we shouldn’t let children stop us for the sake of the children of the future.”
‘Was Mr. Manson continuing to give you directions?”
“Yes, he was.”
“Where did he direct you to drive at that point?”
“I don’t know the district or the areas, but residential areas, houses, and we came to one point, I remember I was really tired, I just could not drive anymore, so he just took over the driving and then I remember we started driving up a hill with lots of houses, nice houses, rich houses, and trees. We got to the top of the hill and turned around and stopped in front of a certain house and we all looked at the house.”
Linda testified that when they were parked in front of this house, Manson said that the houses were too close together; that was the reason that he gave for driving off.
Then he drove to a church in Pasadena. She said he pulled into the parking area of the church and remarked, she recalls, there were a lot of trees nearby. Linda said she was not positive, but she thinks Manson said something to the effect that he was going to go into the church and get a minister, a preacher or priest or whoever was in there. Manson got out of the car alone, walked to the door of the church, came back to the car, and said the doors were locked, so he drove off. After Manson drove off from the church, he then got onto the freeway. He eventually got off the freeway, and ended up on Sunset Boulevard in a residential area beyond the Sunset Strip. At that point, Manson instructed Linda to take over the driving.
“Did anything unusual happen while you were driving east on Sunset Boulevard in the residential area?”
“Yes, after I had been driving for a few minutes there was a small white sports car in front of us and there [were] stoplights here and there, and Charlie-“
“Do you know who was in the car?”
“I believe it was a man, one person.”
“No one else was in the car with him?”
“No, I don’t think so.”
“Did Mr. Manson say anything to you with respect to that car?”
“Yes, he did.”
“What did he say to you?”
“He told me to follow it and at the next stoplight when it was green to pull up beside it.”
“When the stop light was green?”
“I mean, excuse me, red, I get my colors mixed up. So that we were stopped. It would have been red, excuse me. Charlie wanted me to pull up beside the car, and Charlie was going to get out and kill the man, shoot the man, whatever.”
“Did you in fact pull up next to this white sports car at a red light?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Did Mr. Manson get out of the car or start to get out of the car?”
“He proceeded to get out of the car, yes.”
“And what happened at that point?”
“The light turned green, so the car left.”
And I think one point is abundantly clear, ladies and gentlemen, the only reasonable inference that can be drawn from Linda Kasabian’s testimony, that up until the time of the white sports car incident, up until that point in time, Manson was looking for his victims totally at random.
You remember Harold True testified that Linda had been to the residence, to his residence the summer of 1968 with her husband.
“When had you been parked in front of that home prior to this occasion?”
“A year before, approximately, in July of 1968.”
“What was the occasion for your being in that particular location a year earlier?”
“My husband and I and friends were on our way down from Seattle, Washington, to New Mexico and we stopped off in Los Angeles, and this one particular person knew Harold True, so we went to his house and had a party.”
“Is this the house in front of which Manson told you to stop the car?”
“Yes, it is.”
“Now, when Manson directed you to stop in front of Harold True’s place, did you recognize the spot?”
“Yes, I did right away.”
“Did you say anything to Manson with respect to this?”
“What did you say to him?”
“Charlie, you are not going into that house, are you?”
“Did he say anything to you when you said that to him?”
“Yes, he did, he said, ‘No, I’m going next door.’ “
“What was the next thing that happened?”
“He got out of the car alone.”
“Did all of you remain in the car?”
“Yes, we did.”
“What is the next thing that happened?”
“I saw him put something in his pants, an object, I don’t know what it was.”
“What is the next thing that he did?”
“He disappeared up the walkway, the driveway leading toward Harold’s house, and I could not follow him any longer. He just disappeared.”
“What happened after Mr. Manson returned to the car?”
“He called Leslie and Katie and Tex out of the car.”
“Was he out of the car at that point, too?”
“What happened next?”
“Sadie-excuse me-Clem [Tufts] jumped in the backseat with Sadie and I pushed over on the passenger side, and I heard bits and pieces of the conversation that he had with Tex and Katie.”
“What did you hear him say?”
“I heard him say that there was a man and a woman up in the house, and that he had tied their hands and that he told them not to be afraid; that he was not going to hurt them.”
“Did he say anything else to Leslie, Katie, and Tex?”
“Yes, at one point he instructed them, for Leslie and Tex, to hitchhike back to the ranch, and for Katie to go to the waterfall.”
In addition to those instructions, ladies and gentlemen, Linda also recalls hearing Manson telling Tex, Katie, and Leslie not to cause fear and panic to the people. He was concerned about the people.
And although she is not positive, she testified: “It keeps ringing in my head that he said, ‘Don’t let them know you are going to kill them.’ ” Now, wasn’t that considerate, wasn’t that considerate of Charles Manson?
Since Manson was able to leave Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca in their home all by themselves while he walked back to the car, we can assume that Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca believed Charles Manson when he told them that everything was going to be all right and he was not going to hurt them. If they didn’t believe him, right after he left, it seems to me that one thing they could have done would be to run out of the house, to get help. There is evidence that Leno’s wrists were tied. There is no evidence that Leno and Rosemary had their feet tied. So if they did not fall for Charles Manson’s lies when he left the house, they could have ran out of the house for help, or they could have locked the door.
Manson probably left them still alive with pillowcases over their heads, and they probably thought he was just some freaked-out hippie, and if they did everything he told them to do and did not resist him, no harm would come to them. To fool the LaBiancas, ladies and gentlemen, Charles Manson had to wear the same mask that he is wearing in this court, just a peace-loving individual. In assuring them everything was going to be all right, and not to be afraid, obviously Manson had to talk to Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca. Can’t you just picture the scene, ladies and gentlemen, Leno and Rosemary with pillowcases over their heads, Manson saying to them: “You two piggies just stay put, now, and everything is going to be all right.”
And then silently snaking, snaking out of that residence to go down and get his bloodthirsty robots. Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca had no way of knowing that Charles Manson and his soft voice, his soft demeanor, was preparing them for their horrible death.
Linda testified that she did not hear all of the instructions Manson gave to Tex, Katie, and Leslie. Outside of the car, you recall, she said she heard bits and pieces. She testified that when Tex, Katie, and Leslie left the car, she thinks each of them were carrying a change of clothing in a bundle. Manson then got back in the car and handed Linda a wallet. Linda testified that she did not see the wallet in the car before Manson got out of the car. She also said it was the only thing that Manson appeared to have brought back to the car with him.
“Did he tell you to do anything with respect to this wallet after he handed it to you?”
“Yes, he did.”
“What did he tell you?”
“He told me to take the change out of the wallet and to wipe off the fingerprints, and then – this is while we were driving off – and we drove a few blocks, and he told me that he would stop, and he wanted me to throw it out on the sidewalk.”
“Well, when he gave you those instructions about wiping the fingerprints off the wallet, did you do that?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Did you remove the change from the wallet?”
“Yes, I did.”
“What did you do with the change?”
“I believe I put it in the glove compartment.”
I then showed Linda this wallet, and Linda identified this as being the wallet which Charles Manson gave her on the night of the LaBianca murders, and she said she wiped the fingerprints off of it.
With respect to Manson telling her to throw the wallet out of the window, I asked Linda:
“Did he tell you why he wanted you to throw the wallet out of the window?”
She answered: “Yes, he did. He said he wanted a black person to pick it up and use the credit cards so that the people, the establishment would think it was some sort of an organized group that killed these people.”
Presumably, the Black Panthers.
However, Manson changed his mind and told Linda not to throw it out of the window of the car. He changed his mind at that point. Manson then got on a freeway which Linda said did not appear to be too far from the LaBianca residence. As they were driving Manson said that he wanted to show “Blackie” how to do it. Driving on a freeway Manson says, “I want to show Blackie how to do it.”
Linda doesn’t recall what town or near what town she stopped. She testified she really didn’t know where they were.
“What happened after you stopped the car?”
“We all got out of the car, started walking toward the beach, we got down to the beach, walked on the sand, and Charlie told Clem and Sadie to stay a little bit behind us. And Charlie and I started walking hand in hand on the beach, and it was sort of nice, you know, we were just talking, and I gave him some peanuts, and he just made me forget about everything, just made me feel good.”
“I told him I was pregnant and started walking. We got to a side street, a corner, and a police car came by and stopped and asked what we were doing. And Charlie said, ‘We are just going for a walk.’ Charlie said something like, ‘Don’t you know who I am?’ or ‘Don’t you remember my name?’ They just said no. It was a friendly conversation. It just lasted for a minute. Then they walked back to the car.”
“With respect to this conversation with the policemen, did they write your names down?”
“Not that I saw, no.”
Charlie wanted to pay a social visit, apparently, at five in the morning to say hello to someone and ask them how they were feeling and maybe have a cup of coffee and then drive off.
They all told Charlie they did not know anyone at the beach.
“Then he looked at me and he said, ‘What about that man you and Sandy met?’ He said, ‘Isn’t he a piggy?’ I said, ‘Yes, he is an actor.’ And then he further questioned me and he asked me if the man would let him in. And I said, ‘Yes.’ And he asked me if the man would let my friends in, Sadie and Clem. And I said, ‘Yes.’ And he said, ‘Okay. I want you to kill him,’ and he gave me a small pocket knife. And at this point I said, ‘Charlie, I am not you, I cannot kill anybody.’ And I don’t know what took place at that moment, but I was very much afraid. And then he started to tell me how to go about doing it, and I remember I had the knife in my hand, and I asked him, ‘With this?’ And he said, ‘Yes,’ and he showed me how to do it. He said, ‘As soon as you enter the residence, the house, as soon as you see the man, slit his throat right away.’ And he told Clem to shoot him. And then, also, he said if anything went wrong, you know, not to do it.”
“What happened after you arrived at this man’s apartment?”
“Charlie wanted me to show him where he lived.”
“Did you do that?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Did you get out of the car with Charlie?”
“What about Sadie and Clem?”
“No, they stayed behind.”
“What is the next thing that happened?”
“We entered the building and we walked up the stairs. I am not sure in took him to the top floor – I am not sure exactly what floor I took him to. Then I pointed out a door which was not his door.”
“Which was not the actor’s door?”
“What is the next thing that happened?”
“Then we walked back downstairs to the car, and he gave Clem a gun.”
“Charlie Manson gave him a gun?”
“Yes. At this point he said something–“
“When you say ‘he,’ you are talking about Charles Manson?”
“Yes. He said that if anything went wrong, you know, don’t do it; and of course, to hitchhike back to the ranch, and for Sadie to go to the waterfall.”
Manson told Clem and Sadie that while Linda knocked on the door, for them to wait around the corner until she entered and asked the man if they could come in.
“Did either Clem or Sadie say anything to Mr. Manson at this point?”
“No, not that I know of”
“Then you say Charlie drove off?”
“What is the next thing that happened?”
“Clem, Sadie, and myself walked up – I believe I took them to the fourth floor, because I know I didn’t go all the way to the top, and I went – as I entered the hallway, whatever it is, where all the doors are, I went straight to – to the first door, and I knocked. They hid behind the corner.”
“When you say ‘they,’ you are referring to whom?”
“Sadie and Clem. And I knocked on the door, which I knew wasn’t the door, and a man said, ‘Who is it?’ And I said, ‘Linda.’ And he sort of opened the door and peeked around the corner, and I just said, ‘Oh, excuse me. Wrong door.’ “
‘And that was it? How long did you look at this man who opened the door?”
“Just for a split second.”
Linda identified a photograph of the actor, and we learned his name as being Saladin Nader. She said the beach house had five floors, and Nader lived on the top floor. Linda said that the actor lived on the top floor. So, there is just obviously no question in the world that the actor whom Linda was testifying about lived on the top floor.
Now assuming – of course, we don’t know, because Nader has not been able to be located – assuming that Nader was in his apartment house that night – we don’t know, but if he was – but for Linda’s deliberately knocking on the wrong door, the probabilities are great there would have been eight murders, not seven, on these two nights of horrendous murder.
Recall that Clem Tufts had a gun which Manson had given him, and Sadie was with Clem, waiting around the corner. Now, I am not saying, ladies and gentlemen, that Linda Kasabian deserves any medal, any award from the Kiwanis Club or anything like that; all I am saying is that there is a distinct possibility that she saved the life of a human being on the night of the LaBianca murders, and this act by Linda in deliberately knocking on the wrong door shows, along with all the other evidence in this case about her, that although she is not an angel – and we have never said she was; and she would be the first one to admit that she is not an angel – she is not cut out of the same cloth that these defendants are.
Keep one further point in mind. Linda was not a hard – core member of this Family. She had just joined the Family a little over one month before these two nights of murder; whereas, Sadie had been with Manson for over two years, and Katie and Leslie for over one year.
I asked Linda why she knocked on the wrong door.
“Why did you knock on the wrong door, Linda? When you knocked on the door of this apartment, did you know it was the wrong door?”
“Yes, I did.”
“Why did you knock on the wrong door, Linda?”
“Because I didn’t want to kill anybody.”
Linda told her mother about everything. Her mother went to the police; they arrested her. She did not resist extradition, and came back to Los Angeles the following day, December 3, 1969, and, as you know, pursuant to a request by the prosecution, on August 10, 1970, Judge Older granted Linda Kasabian immunity from prosecution for these murders.
And, as we saw, ladies and gentlemen, the testimony of the other witnesses in this case was 101 percent consistent with Linda’s testimony. Linda’s testimony about these two nights of murder, ladies and gentlemen, all by itself, without anything else, all by itself, I think convinced each and every one of you that these defendants committed these murders, just her testimony alone.
The LaBiancas. While Manson, ladies and gentlemen, and his killers were roaming the Pasadena area indiscriminately looking for their victims, Leno and Rosemary LaBianca were driving toward Los Angeles, their home, and violent death.
Officer Rodriguez, the first officer to arrive at the scene around 10:35 P.M., on August 10, 1969. He entered through the front door. Although the front door was closed, it wasn’t locked. He observed Leno LaBianca lying on his back in the living room, a fork stuck into his stomach, papers all over, pillowcase over his head.
After Rodriguez observed Leno, he said he ran out of the house to his radio car and called for an ambulance and a backup police unit. Sgt. Edward Cline arrived around 10:45 P.M. He testified to discovering Rosemary dead in her bedroom. He also testified to observing the writings “Death to Pigs” and “Rise” on the walls in the living room, and “Helter Skelter“ on the refrigerator door, and he identified photos of these things. “Death to Pigs” on the living room wall in the LaBianca residence, the word “Rise” printed in blood in the LaBianca residence.
[Bugliosi shows the jurors a photograph.]
Here is “Helter Skelter.” It looks like it is misspelled, H-e-a-l-t-e-r S-k-e-l-t-e-r, printed in blood on the refrigerator door at the LaBianca residence.
When the pillow was removed he observed a blood-soaked pillowcase covering Leno’s head. Around the pillowcase was an electrical cord which was attached to a lamp around four or five feet from Leno’s body. He observed the fork, of course.
And he also observed Leno’s wrists to be tied with leather thongs, and he observed the word “War” to be carved on Leno LaBianca’s stomach, “War.”
He said he observed no evidence of a struggle in the living room, and he testified that Rosemary also had a pillowcase over her head, an electrical cord from a nearby lamp was also tied around her neck, very much like that of her husband.
He testified he found several items of value, such as several diamond rings, one of which was marked “14 karat,” wristwatches, expensive camera equipment, many rifles and guns, a jar of coins, a coin collection, and other matters of value, personal property, all of which he said were inside the residence and easily accessible to anyone if their intent had been to steal.
Dr. Katsuyama. He is the deputy medical examiner for the Coroner’s Office. He performed the autopsies on Leno and Rosemary on August eleventh in the Coroner’s Office. With respect to Leno, the cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the neck and abdomen, causing massive hemorrhage.
The doctor said that when he removed the pillowcase he observed the knife, lodged in Leno’s throat, and he gave it to a representative of the Los Angeles Police Department. He said Leno had twelve stab wounds in his body, all of which were penetration wounds, and six of which were fatal in and of themselves.
In addition to the twelve stab wounds, there were seven pairs of double – tined fork wounds, in other words, fourteen puncturewounds, for a total of twenty-six wounds in Leno LaBianca’s stomach and body. The doctor also observed the word “War” scratched on Leno’s abdomen. There were no defense wounds on Leno. And, of course, there wouldn’t be. Leno’s hands had been tied up around his wrists and obviously he was helpless, helpless to defend himself.
With respect to Rosemary, her cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the neck and trunk causing massive hemorrhage. When Rosemary’s body arrived at the Coroner’s Office, the pillowcase was still over her head, and the electrical cord was wrapped over the pillowcase around Rosemary’s neck. Rosemary, ladies and gentlemen, had fortyone stab wounds, all of which were penetration wounds, eight of which were fatal in and of themselves. Dr. Katsuyama also found three linear abrasions on Mrs. LaBianca’s back, which he felt were caused by an instrument such as a screwdriver, or the metal prongs on the plug to the electric cord. He ruled out a sharp knife. Rosemary had one defense wound to her right jawbone.
Dr. Katsuyama testified that several of Rosemary’s stab wounds to her buttocks were definitely inflicted after Rosemary had already died, and he even circled these areas in black here, because you will notice that the wounds within the circle are very, very light color, very, very light colored, as opposed to the darkness around the wounds up above.
He found blood at various places at the LaBianca scene, took samples of the blood, and determined what the blood type was. The words “Helter Skelter” were B-type blood, Leno LaBianca’s type blood.
The testimony of the following witnesses, basically, apply to both the Tate and the LaBianca murders. We are starting to get into an area now of Manson’s state of mind, his philosophy on life.
First, we will discuss briefly Sergeant Gutierrez’s testimony. He testified on the morning session of the second day that Linda Kasabian testified, he was seated in front of the rail here in court. He observed [that] Mr. Manson’s and Mrs. Kasabian’s eyes meet, and observed Mr. Manson make a slitting-of-the-throat motion to Mrs. Kasabian, by taking his right index finger and moving it across his throat from right to left. This act alone, of course, by Manson, is indicative of guilt. The motion by Manson was a threatening motion, the obvious purpose of which was to silence Mrs. Kasabian. He certainly does not want her to tell you folks what happened on these two nights of murder. You twelve people are the last people in the world he wants to know about these two nights of murder.
Gutierrez also testified that one day in August 1970, during the trial, he observed Mr. Manson came to court with an X scratched on his forehead. The very next day he observed the three female defendants, Atkins, Krenwinkel, and Van Houten with X’s on their foreheads. This clearly and vividly illustrates the power and the control this man has over these three female co-defendants. They follow whatever he does.
Incidentally, Revelation 9, you will be reading it back in the jury room, speaks of locusts going out into the world and destroying everything, including men who do not have a mark on their foreheads. So maybe Charlie put that X on his forehead to save himself from the locusts.
Deputy Dunlop. He testified he was among the forty or so armed deputy sheriffs who raided the Spahn Ranch on August the sixteenth, 1969. He testified that when he first saw Mr. Manson, Manson was in a little hole beneath the floorboards of one of the buildings on the ranch. Manson refused to come out, and Dunlop had to crawl under the building and pull Manson out by his hair. So, just one week after the seven Tate-LaBianca murders he ordered, Manson is hiding out under a building at the Spahn Ranch. It certainly shows a consciousness of guilt on his part.
Of course, Manson had no idea why the sheriffs came to the ranch. He could have easily thought they were coming out there to arrest him for these murders. He was probably extremely relieved to find out that they were just making a bust at the ranch for the grand theft auto ring. Everyone at the ranch was arrested, and shortly thereafter released, on the grand theft auto charges.
Out of the twenty-seven adults at the ranch who were arrested, nineteen were girls.
Paul Watkins, Mr. Watkins as you know, is a young lad, twenty years of age, also a member of Charles Manson’s Family, who knew Mr. Manson rather intimately. Paul is not a bad-looking young man, and Manson apparently realized this because he told Paul to go out and get young women and bring these women in to him.
Manson was sure to add, parenthetically, however, that he didn’t want Paul to touch these girls before Paul brought them in to him. Watkins, in reflecting back, observed, “That was a pretty good trip on Charlie’s part.” Charlie liked young love, and he wanted them to be untainted; he wanted to taint them himself. He had this discussion with Watkins about Helter Skelter.
“During your association with Charles Manson, did he frequently discuss Helter Skelter with you?”
“He used the word ‘Helter Skelter’ constantly?”
“I wouldn’t go so far as to say constantly. He did not say, ‘Helter Skelter, Helter Skelter, Helter Skelter.’ But he did quite a bit, yes, it seemed to be the main topic.”
Manson told Watkins, in January of 1969, the reason Helter Skelter hadn’t started yet was because the black man could release his frustrations by going up to Haight-Ashbury and having the white man’s young daughters. He said when the young white love left Haight-Ashbury, “Blackie” would have to release his frustrations elsewhere, and that elsewhere would be Helter Skelter. He said it was going to start that summer, that is, the summer of 1969. Manson told Watkins how Helter Skelter was going to start.
I believe that now it is clear to each and every one of you that Helter Skelter was the principal and main motive for these
savage murders. Here is what Manson told Watkins how Helter Skelter was going to start:
“There would be some atrocious murders; that some of the spades from Watts would come up into the Bel-Air and Beverly Hills district and just really wipe some people out, just cut bodies up and smear blood and write things on the wall in blood, and cut little boys up and make parents watch.”
“So, in retaliation-this would scare; in other words, all the other white people would be afraid that this would happen to them, so out of their fear they would go into the ghetto and just start shooting black people like crazy. But all they would shoot would be the garbage man and Uncle Toms, and all the ones that were with Whitey in the first place. And underneath it all, the Black Muslims would-he would know that it was coming down.”
“Helter Skelter was coming down?”
“Yes. So, after Whitey goes in the ghettoes and shoots all the Uncle Toms, then the Black Muslims come out and appeal to the people by saying, ‘Look what you have done to my people.’ And this would split Whitey down the middle, between all the hippies and the liberals and all the up-tight piggies. This would split them in the middle and a big civil war would start and really split them up in all these different factions, and they would just kill each other off in the meantime through their war. And after they killed each other off, then there would be a few of them left who supposedly won.”
“A few of who left?”
“A few white people left who supposedly won. Then the Black Muslims would come out of hiding and wipe them all out.”
“Wipe the white people out?”
“Yes. By sneaking around and slitting their throats.”
“Did Charlie say anything about where he and the Family would be during this Helter Skelter?”
“Yes. When we was [sic] in the desert the first time, Charlie used to walk around in the desert and say-you see, there are places where water would come up to the top of the ground and then it would go down and there wouldn’t be no more water, and then it would come up again and go down again. He would look at that and say, ‘There has got to be a hole somewhere, somewhere here, a big old lake.’ And it just really got far out, that there was a hole underneath there somewhere where you could drive a speedboat across it, a big underground city. Then we started from the ‘Revolution 9’ song on the Beatles album which was interpreted by Charlie to mean the Revelation 9. So-“
“The last book of the New Testament?”
“Just the book of Revelation and the song would be ‘Revelations 9: So, in this book it says, there is a part about, in Revelations 9, it talks of the bottomless pit. Then later on, I believe it is in 10.”
“Yes. It talks about there will be a city where there will be no sun and there will be no moon.”
Manson spoke about this?”
“Yes, many times. That there would be a city of gold, but there would be no life, and there would be a tree there that bears twelve different kinds of fruit that changed every month. And this was interpreted to mean – this was the hole down under Death Valley.
“Did he talk about the twelve tribes of Israel?”
“Yes. That was in there, too. It was supposed to get back to the 144,000 people. The Family was to grow to this number.”
“The twelve tribes of Israel being 144,000 people?”
“And Manson said that the Family would eventually increase to 144,000 people?”
“Did he say when this would take place?”
“Oh, yes. See, it was all happening simultaneously. In other words, as we are making the music and it is drawing all the young love to the desert, the Family increases in ranks, and at the same time this sets off Helter Skelter. So then the Family finds the hole in the meantime and gets down in the hole and lives there until the whole thing comes down.”
“Until Helter Skelter comes down?”
“Did he say who would win this Helter Skelter?”
“The karma would have completely reversed, meaning that the black men would be on top and the white race would be wiped out; there would be none except for the Family.”
“Except for Manson and the Family?”
“Did he say what the black man would do once he was all by himself?”
“Well, according to Charlie, he would clean up the mess, just like he always has done. He is supposed to be the servant, see. He will clean up the mess that he made, that the white man made, and build the world back up a little bit, build the cities back up, but then he wouldn’t know what to do with it, he couldn’t handle it.”
“Blackie couldn’t handle it?”
“Yes, and this is when the Family would come out of the hole, and being that he would have completed the white man’s karma, then he would no longer have this vicious want to kill.”
“When you say ‘he,’ you mean Blackie?”
“Blackie then would come to Charlie and say, you know, ‘I did my thing, I killed them all and, you know, I am tired of killing now. It is all over.’ And Charlie would scratch his fuzzy head and kick him in the butt and tell him to go pick the cotton and go be a good nigger, and he would live happily ever after.”
Watkins did not appear to be any dummy, but he testified that he actually and sincerely believed that Charles Manson was Jesus Christ when he was a member of the Family. Of course he doesn’t believe that anymore. He recognizes Manson for the complete and total fraud that he is. When he was a member of the Family he actually believed that Manson was Jesus Christ. Watkins recalled one experience with Manson in which Manson almost killed him. He said:
“We was sitting around on acid, and I was getting kind of – I was feeling really weird, getting really stoned, and I was reacting quite a bit. And Charlie was telling me to die. He was just saying ‘Die,’ just ‘Die.’ And I didn’t just die. So he jumped up and started choking me. At first I sort of fought it. I mean, I was going to physically fight it. Then I knew there was something else going on, so I didn’t. I just laid there. But I was emotionally fighting it. In other words, I was scared, and really, really afraid. He was laying on top of me, looking into my eyes, and he was actually overpowering me. My throat wasn’t strong enough to overcome the strength in his hands, and I noticed that there was a relationship between my fear and how strong his hands were on my throat, because it puzzled me that he could overcome me like this.
So then it was going on for quite a while, in other words, I was really running out of air, and then he smiled and looked in my eyes and he says, ‘I’m going to kill you now.’ “And at that point I thought I was dead anyway so I just says well, I couldn’t talk, but I just sort of mentally said, ‘Okay, I give up, go ahead.’ And he jumped off and he sat back and smiled and said, ‘Then if you are willing to die, then you don’t have to die.’ Then he said, ‘Come on and make love with me.’ “
Watkins testified, of course, to Manson’s control, absolute and complete control over his Family. He said that one time Manson told him to hang on a cross near Spahn Ranch and be crucified, and Watkins agreed to do it. Watkins said he was willing to die for Charlie. He testified he never disobeyed Charles Manson.
Charlie once told Sadie to go to Rio de Janeiro to get a half a coconut-and Sadie headed out the door, at which time Charlie told her she didn’t have to go, he wasn’t that hungry for coconuts.
At this time, I would like to tie all the evidence together in a concluding summary. I will separate the wheat from the chaff and tie everything together.
In all murder cases, ladies and gentlemen, evidence of motive is extremely powerful and extremely important evidence. Motive points toward the killer. There is always a motive for every murder; for instance, revenge, hatred, money, fear, passion, escape. People simply do not go around killing other human beings for no reason whatsoever. There is always a reason, there is always a motive.
Likewise, there was a motive for these murders. The fact that the motive for these murders was not a typical motive does not make it any less of a motive. Charles Manson and Charles Manson alone had a motive for these barbaric murders. It was an incredibly bizarre motive. The motives that the co-defendants, the actual killers, had, on the other hand, was a very simple motive. It was not bizarre. They killed the people “Because Charlie told us to.”
One thing is abundantly clear. That the motive for these seven horrendous murders was not money, it was not burglary or robbery. These savage murders were not committed to effectuate a robbery. If that had been the motive, there wouldn’t have been any need to stab Voytek Frykowski fifty-one times, to hit him thirteen times over the head and shoot him twice. There would have been no need to stab Rosemary LaBianca so many times. There wouldn’t have been any need for any of these victims to have been murdered so mercilessly. One gunshot would have sufficed. And if robbery or burglary had been the motive, there wouldn’t have been any need to print the words in the victims’ blood at the scene of both residences.
In view of the unbelievably savage nature of these murders, and in view of the fact that hardly anything at all was taken from either the Tate or the LaBianca residences, and in view of all the other evidence in this case, including the statements of Manson, Watson, and Atkins that I have just referred to, a conclusion that these seven murders were perpetrated to help carry out some burglary or robbery would not seem to be consistent with the evidence in this case. The mission, ladies and gentlemen, the mission of these defendants on both nights, was murder. Clear and simple, murder. No other reason.
Now, why were these murders committed? Well, this trial answered that question. There appears to be three motives for these murders. There was Manson’s hatred, his hatred for human beings, and his passion and lust for their violent death. Anyone who could order these seven savage, horrendous murders had to have a lust, a passion for violent death. The evidence at this trial amply showed Manson’s complete immersion and engrossment and preoccupation with death, blood, and murder.
Another motive – another motive – was Manson’s extreme antiestablishment hatred. Unquestionably, on both nights, Charles Manson was viciously striking out at the establishment; and with respect to the Tate residence particularly, the establishment’s rejection and repudiation of him. Of course, the principal motive for these murders, the main motive, was Helter Skelter, Manson’s fanatical obsession, his mania with Helter Skelter. Helter Skelter was Charlie’s religion, a religion that he lived by. To Manson, Helter Skelter was the black man rising up against the white man, and then the black-white war.
Keep this in mind, ladies and gentlemen, that murders as extremely bizarre as these murders were, almost by definition – by definition – are not going to have a simple, common, everyday type of motive. Just imagining the incredible barbarism and senselessness of these murders would leave one to conclude that the person who masterminded them had a wild, twisted, bizarre reason for ordering them.
The evidence at this trial shows that Charles Manson is that person who had that motive, and the trial showed what that motive was.
I, as a prosecutor, and you folks as members of the jury, cannot help it, we cannot help it if Manson had this wild, crazy idea about Helter Skelter. It is not our fault. Manson is the one that made the evidence, not we. We can only deal with the evidence that presents itself.
That evidence was that he wanted to start this black-white war out in the streets. That is what the evidence was that came from that witness stand.
On the very day of the Tate murders, a matter of hours before these five murders, Linda Kasabian testified that Manson said: “Now is the time for Helter Skelter.”
Afer dropping Tex, Katie, and Leslie off at the LaBianca residence, as they were driving away on the freeway, Manson told Linda: “I have to show Blackie how to do it.”
Of course, he then gives Linda the wallet and tells her to hide the wallet, and says, I hope a black person finds it and uses the credit cards, thereby leading the white community to believe that black people had committed these murders. On the refrigerator door at the LaBianca residence we find the words “Helter Skelter” printed in blood. We know the killers printed those words, “Rise,” and “Death to Pigs,” printed in blood on the living room wall of the LaBianca residence. “War” was carved on Leno’s stomach. “Rise,” “Death to Pigs,” ‘War,” all of these terms are tied in with Manson’s fanatical obsession with Helter Skelter.
The Family at Spahn Ranch was Charlie Manson’s Family, ladies and gentlemen. He controlled every single facet of their daily existence.
Manson and the Family used the term “Helter Skelter” constantly. It was an everyday word with them. Even a song composed by Charles Manson had the words “Helter Skelter” in there. The song “Helter Skelter,” as recorded by the Beatles, was played over and over again by Manson and the Family.
When these defendants and Charles “Tex” Watson printed the word “Pig” at the Tate residence and the words “Death to Pigs,” “Rise,” and “Helter Skelter,” and “War” at the LaBianca residence, instead of those words, ladies and gentlemen, they may just as well have printed the name Charles Manson. It is that obvious. Those words and Charles Manson are synonymous.
The prosecution at this trial put on some very, very powerful evidence of motive. All of it – all of it – unerringly and irresistibly pointed in one direction, toward these defendants, and particularly Charles Manson, and His Honor will instruct you – His Honor will instruct you that you may consider evidence of motive, you may consider motive evidence as evidence of the guilt of these defendants.
Very briefly summarizing the main and principal items of evidence against each defendant, including co-conspirator “Tex” Watson, and without repeating many other items of evidence that I have already gone over, these are the highlights against each particular defendant.
Against Watson, co-conspirator in count number eight of the indictment, in addition to Linda Kasabian’s testimony, which, of course, proves that Watson was one of the Tate and the LaBianca killers, we have his fingerprints found at the scene. This is conclusive proof that he was one of the Tate killers.
Now, since Watson was a member of the Family living with Manson and the others at Spahn Ranch, and since Linda Kasabian testified that Watson was at the Tate residence on the night of the Tate murders, murdering the people with Katie and Sadie, and since his fingerprints were found at the scene, evidence proving that Watson was at the scene can be used by you as circumstantial evidence against his co-conspirators. In other words, these defendants.
The fact that Watson was at the scene is circumstantial evidence against his co-conspirators, these defendants.
Against Krenwinkel – and I am omitting many, many peripheral items of evidence against all of these defendants, I am just giving you the main ones – against Krenwinkel, in addition to Linda’s testimony, which proves beyond all doubt that Patricia Krenwinkel was one of the murderers at the Tate and LaBianca residences, her fingerprint was found at the Tate residence, right inside Sharon Tate’s bedroom. When you leave your fingerprints at the scene, ladies and gentlemen, you leave your calling card. You leave your calling card. It is positive, conclusive, scientific evidence.
Susan Atkins, in addition to Linda’s testimony which clearly ties Miss Atkins in the Tate and LaBianca murders, confessed to three people of her involvement in the Tate murders.
Leslie Van Houten. Of course, we have Linda Kasabian’s testimony which irrevocably ties Miss Van Houten in with the LaBianca murders. In addition to that, Miss Van Houten confessed of her involvement in the LaBianca murders….
The Family, the Family that lived at Spahn Ranch in the very, very, last analysis, was nothing more than a closely knit band of vagabond robots who were slavishly obedient to one man and one man only, their master, their leader, their god, Charles Manson. Within his domain, his authority and power were unlimited. He was the dictatorial maharajah, if you will, of a tribe of bootlicking slaves who were only too happy to do his bidding for him.
Charles Manson’s Family preached love but practiced cold-blooded, savage murder. Why was that so? Because Charles Manson, their boss, ordained it. If Manson had wanted his Family to be singers in a church choir, that is what they would have been.
On the other hand, if Charlie wanted the girls in his Family to be streetwalkers and the boys to pimp for them, again, that is what they would have been. But churches and whorehouses, ladies and gentlemen, were not Charles Manson’s business. Charlie’s trip was violent death. And since that was his trip, we have these seven Tate-LaBianca murders. He controlled everything that they did on a day-to-day basis. He even controlled their sex lives.
Manson’s total and complete domination over his Family, including the actual killers, “Tex” Watson, Krenwinkel, Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, is extremely powerful circumstantial evidence that on the two nights in question he was also dominating them and directing everything that they did. He dominated Watkins, Atkins, Krenwinkel, and Van Houten before the Tate-LaBianca murders, during the Tate-LaBianca murders, and after the Tate-LaBianca murders, right up until the time of the Family’s arrest in October of 1969 at Barker Ranch.
There is a very powerful item of evidence, circumstantial evidence, that you may consider against Manson, Atkins, and Krenwinkel on the LaBianca murders – not on the Tate murders – but on the LaBianca murders, and not against Van Houten, just Manson, Atkins, and Krenwinkel on the LaBianca murders.
Now, remember we discussed during voir dire, we went over it ad nauseam, that from circumstantial evidence of one fact we infer the existence of another fact.
Now, the testimony that I am referring to is this, it is rather clear, ladies and gentlemen, even without Linda Kasabian’s testimony, in fact, without the testimony of any witnesses in this case, other than the testimony of the coroners [and] the testimony of the officers who testified of their observations of the murder scene, just by looking at their testimony without any other evidence, it is obvious, ladies and gentlemen, that the people who murdered the Tate victims also murdered Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.
Now, I say this because of the very, very substantial and unique similarities between the Tate murders and the LaBianca murders.
These murders happened on consecutive nights; both murders apparently were committed in the depth of night. The Tate-LaBianca victims were all Caucasians, and I think they would be considered or described to be members of the establishment.
Certainly, Sharon Tate, Abigail Folger, and Jay Sebring were rather prominent people. Mr. LaBianca was the chief stockholder in Gateway Markets.
Getting into the murders themselves, the main murder weapon in both the Tate and LaBianca murders was a knife; not only was the murder weapon a knife, ladies and gentlemen, but four out of the five of the Tate victims and Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca received a great number of stab wounds. The five Tate victims were stabbed 102 times. Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca were stabbed sixty-seven times for a total of 169 stab wounds. In fact, the cause of death of six out of seven of the Tate-LaBianca victims was multiple stab wounds. This multiplicity of stab wounds certainly is a strong similarity between the Tate and the LaBianca murders, and somewhat related to what I just said, both murders were marked by incredible savagery.
There was a literal orgy of murder at both places.
Also, both murders were marked by a lack, an absence of a conventional motive. Neither the Tate nor the LaBianca residences had been ransacked, and many items of very valuable personal property were found all over the residence and had not been stolen. These were not murders committed to carry out any burglary or robbery.
At the Tate residence, the killers placed a towel over Jay Sebring’s head. That is kind of unusual, very unusual, and yet at the LaBianca residence Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca had pillowcases over their heads. Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring had ropes tied around their necks. Leno and Rosemary LaBianca had electrical cords tied around their necks. Perhaps the most unique and conclusive similarity between the Tate and the LaBianca murders is that not only did the killers print words in the victims’ blood at the scene of both residences, which in and of itself was extremely unusual – extremely unusual by itself, but some of the words they printed were the same.
“Pig” at the Tate residence. “Death to Pigs” at the LaBianca residence.
Now, what is the legal relevance? What is the legal relevance of these similarities to you? The legal relevance is simply this: If you ladies and gentlemen of the jury believe beyond a reasonable doubt that Manson, Watson, Atkins, and Krenwinkel are the Tate killers, you are convinced of this fact, inasmuch as there are a remarkable number of unique similarities between the Tate murders and the LaBianca murders, the fact that Manson, Watson, Atkins, and Krenwinkel were the Tate killers is circumstantial evidence that they were also the LaBianca killers.
When you go back to that jury room you may consider this as circumstantial evidence against Manson, Atkins, and Krenwinkel on the LaBianca murders.
Briefly discussing the rules of law under which these defendants are guilty of these murders, you will recall my earlier discussion, beginning with my opening argument regarding the law which you are going to be dealing with during your deliberations, all of these defendants are charged in count eight of the indictment with the crime of conspiracy to commit murder.
Conspiracy is nothing more than an agreement, getting together, agreeing to commit a crime, followed by an overt act to carry out the object of the conspiracy. Conspiracies can be and normally are proven by circumstantial evidence.
In this case, we proved the conspiracy by direct evidence; Linda Kasabian, ladies and gentlemen, was present with these defendants and she told you everything that happened in her presence. To have a conspiracy it is not necessary that the conspirators enter into any formal agreement. All that is necessary is that there be a meeting of the minds; that they be working together toward a common goal.
There couldn’t possibly be a more obvious conspiracy than this case, ladies and gentlemen. To say that on these two nights these defendants did not have a meeting of the minds and they were not working together toward the common goal would just be totally preposterous.
The object of the conspiracy on both nights was murder, and these defendants, working together with deadly and savage precision, carried out that mission of murder by mercilessly cutting down their victims. All defendants are guilty of count eight of the indictment, the count of conspiracy to commit murder.
What about the first seven counts of murder, what about those counts?
Patricia Krenwinkel is guilty of all seven counts of murder because it is obvious from the evidence that she was one of the actual killers of the Tate and LaBianca victims.
Susan Atkins is guilty of the five Tate murders because she was one of the actual killers of the Tate victims.
Leslie Van Houten is guilty of the two LaBianca murders because it is obvious from the evidence that she was one of the actual killers of Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca.
Since Charles Manson was not one of the actual killers of the seven victims, and since Susan Atkins was not one of the killers of Mr. and Mrs. LaBianca, under what rule of law are they guilty of these murders?
Manson is guilty of all seven counts of murder under the vicarious liability rule of conspiracy. It is also called the joint responsibility rule of conspiracy.
And likewise, Susan Atkins is guilty of the two LaBianca murders because of the vicarious liability rule, the joint liability rule of conspiracy.
The law is clear then that once a conspiracy is formed, each member of the conspiracy is criminally responsible for and equally guilty of crimes committed by his coconspirators which were in furtherance of the object of the conspiracy.
As I stated in my opening argument, if A and B conspired to murder X, and pursuant to that agreement B murders X, A, even though he was not the actual killer, is equally guilty of that murder. I don’t care where he was; he could have been playing tennis, badminton, anywhere; he was [a] member of that conspiracy. He was guilty of that murder. That is the law of conspiracy, and there just are no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Even if Charles Manson was merely a member, just a member of this conspiracy to commit these murders, and never killed anyone, he would still be guilty of all seven murders, but here he is not only a member, he is a leader, the leading force behind all of these conspiracies.
Charles Manson is a clever fellow all right. He is clever all right.
In Manson’s world, he probably felt if he never himself killed anyone but had someone else murder for him, he was thereby immunized or insulated, as it were, from all criminal responsibility. Well, it is not quite that easy, and when you folks come back into this courtroom with your verdict of first – degree murder against Charles Manson, you are going to tell him it’s not quite that easy. In the offbeat world of Charles Manson he probably never heard of this rule of law. Well, he is learning about it right now.
The law of this state, ladies and gentlemen, has trapped and subdued these defendants just as they trapped and subdued these seven helpless, defenseless victims whom they so mercilessly murdered.
His Honor will instruct you that Linda Kasabian is an accomplice to these seven murders. This simply means that in the court’s judgment, Linda Kasabian’s testimony concerning her involvement with these defendants on these nights of murder makes her an accomplice as a matter of law.
His Honor will go on to instruct you that you cannot convict any defendant on the uncorroborated testimony of an accomplice. If Linda’s testimony has been corroborated as to each defendant, then of course you can convict each defendant.
If, on the other hand, her testimony has only been corroborated as to certain defendants and not as to others, you can only convict those defendants against whom Linda Kasabian’s testimony has been corroborated.
However, the prosecution’s burden under the law, ladies and gentlemen, is that we only have to offer slight evidence to corroborate the testimony of an accomplice, and this slight evidence, which has to be independent of Linda’s testimony, can be any type of evidence, direct or circumstantial. Of course, ladies and gentlemen, we offered an enormous amount of evidence, not just slight evidence, which is our only burden, we only have to offer slight evidence to corroborate the testimony of an accomplice.
We offered a massive and enormous amount of evidence corroborating the testimony of Linda Kasabian. There is no question whatsoever that her testimony has been corroborated as to each defendant. Just for instance, Linda testified that three people were with her on the night of the Tate murders. What could possibly corroborate Linda Kasabian’s testimony more than the fact that two out of the three people who she said she was with, Tex Watson and Patricia Krenwinkel, were proven to be there by positive scientific, conclusive evidence. In other words, their fingerprints were found at the scene. This evidence is totally independent of Linda’s testimony.
And the third person, the third person she says was with her on that night, Susan Atkins, confesses to three people of her involvement in the Tate murders.
Of course, the confessions of Manson, Krenwinkel, and Van Houten also of course corroborate Linda’s testimony.
And all of the other – many other items of evidence, all of the other many items of evidence I have just enumerated a short while back against each defendant on that Tate-LaBianca murders, of course, constitute corroboration of Linda’s testimony. The evidence connecting these defendants with these murders was monumental.
The world’s leading skeptic, I don’t know where he comes from. whether it’s supposed to be Missouri or some place else; wherever he comes from, the world’s leading skeptic would have to concede that the prosecution clearly, unquestionably proved the guilt of these defendants beyond all reasonable doubt.
I feel confident; I feel very confident that Linda Kasabian’s testimony alone without any other evidence satisfied each and every one of you that these defendants committed these murders. She was on that witness stand for eighteen days, ladies and gentlemen. Each one of you watched her very, very closely. If any witness was ever placed under a microscope, it was Linda Kasabian, and I am convinced that each and every one of you saw the same thing under that microscope, a young hippie girl whose aimless drug – oriented life tragically led her to Spahn Ranch, Charles Manson, and two nights of murder – two nights of horror.
You saw a witness who took that witness stand with one and only one purpose in mind, to tell you everything she knew about these two nights of murder. Although she testified for eighteen days, I am convinced that long, long before she was through testifying, long before that, it was obvious to each and every one of you that Linda was telling the truth.
The defense did everything possible during fourteen days of cross-examination to crack Linda’s testimony. They never even caused a submicroscopic dent in her testimony. It was ridiculous. If they were wise they would have let her alone. Not only was she an excellent witness, answering all questions in an honest, forthright, unevasive attitude, but the testimony of all of the other witnesses in this case was completely consistent with her testimony. Moreover, there was no way under the moon, no way under the stars, for Linda Kasabian to have known all of the details about these two nights of murder unless she was with these defendants.
All that can be expected of you as reasonable men and women is that you conscientiously evaluate the evidence in this case and apply your logic and your common sense and your reasoning powers and the law given to you by Judge Older to that evidence, and thereby reach a just and a fair verdict.
When you apply the law and your logic and your common sense and your reasoning powers to the evidence in this case, you won’t have any difficulty whatsoever coming to the conclusion that the prosecution proved the guilt of these defendants beyond all reasonable doubt.
Ladies and gentlemen, the prosecution did its job in gathering and presenting the evidence. The witnesses did their job by taking that witness stand and testifying under oath. Now you are the last link in the chain of justice.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Sharon Tate… Abagail Folder… Voytek Frykowski… Jay Sebring… Steven Parent… Leno LaBianca… Rosemary LaBianca… are not here with us now in this courtroom, but from their graves they cry out for justice. Justice can only be served by coming back to this courtroom with a verdict of guilty.
Under the laws of this state and nation these defendants were entitled to have their day in court. They got that. They were also entitled to have a fair trial by an impartial jury. They also got that. That is all that they are entitled to. Since they committed these seven savage, senseless murders, the people of the state of California are entitled to a guilty verdict.
Thank you very much.
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